Monday, August 30, 2010

Religion Holds Up Kids As A Shield

I just love the counter argument when addressing hiring practices of religious organizations with public money are questioned. 
"If you do not believe, you will not be hired."

They hold up a baby as a transparency shield when asked to be held accountable. Weak.

I know many child welfare religious-based organizations that make the staff sign a religious pledge. This is one of the reasons why the imperialistic morality parade keeps banging their drums, purchased with taxpayer money.

If these groups do not respect separation of church and state, perhaps they can easily refuse to receive public funding and become privately funded.

I say any religious organization, mainly child placing agencies, receiving federal funding must be subject to federal audits and reviews. If there is no wrong, then transparency should not be an issue.

Faith-Based Organizations Protest Restrictions in Federal Legislation

A group of more than a hundred faith-based nonprofits is fighting the passage of a provision that would prohibit them from receiving federal money if they consider a job applicant's religion in the hiring process, the New York Times reports.

The groups sent a letter to Congress which argues that the provision — included in a bill to reauthorize the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — would dilute protections granted to the groups by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Constitution. Although many of the groups protesting the legislation do not receive money from the agency, they say the language of the provision is broad enough to affect other, unrelated sources of federal funding. World Vision USA, a Christian aid organization that is leading the protest, received more than $300 million in cash, goods, and services from federal sources last year, while the Salvation Army received almost $400 million from federal, state, and local governments.

The debate over federal support for programs run by nonprofits with religious affiliations dates back to the Clinton administration, when the issue was included in welfare reform legislation. Under "charitable choice," as the compromise forged by the Clinton administration was called, organizations are not allowed to discriminate against clients based on religion but are able to exercise their religious beliefs in hiring and other aspects of their operations. The Coalition Against Religious Discrimination, whose members include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Hindu American Foundation, and the NAACP, has been pushing Congress to eliminate charitable choice for years and does not believe the provision at the center of the controversy goes far enough.

That view does not sit well with the faith-based organizations petitioning Congress. "Those four lines in the legislation would be a seismic change in bedrock civil rights law for religious organizations," said World Vision USA chief legal counsel Steven McFarland. "The impact would be huge and severely affect our ability to help children and others in need."
Strom, Stephanie. “Religion-Based Groups Protest Restrictions in Bill.” New York Times 8/25/10.
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