Friday, August 27, 2010

Faith-based groups face end to public funding

A bill before congress would prohibit faith-based organization from receiving federal money if they discriminate in hiring based on the applicant’s faith.

“Those four lines in the legislation would be a seismic change in bedrock civil rights law for religious organizations,” said Steven McFarland, chief legal counsel at World Vision USA, a Christian aid organization that is leading the protest. “The impact would be huge and severely affect our ability to help children and others in need.”

I hope the provision stays as written. It’s time these groups were forced to play fair if they are operation with government funds.

While many of the groups signing the letter do not get money from the agency, they say the language of the provision is so broad it will affect other, unrelated sources of federal grants. World Vision, for example, 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.

Give the $700 million to our public schools, or better yet, use it to pay off our national debt, well, a really small part of it any way.

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