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Southern Religion

No faith-based federal aid (at all)

Susan Jacoby goes right to the core of the faith-based federal aid debate:

To require any religious institution to hire people who do not agree with and represent its principles is absurd. That is why the government should not be in the business of funneling money for social services through any faith-based organization, whatever its hiring practices.

This is not only my position as a secular civil libertarian. It is also the position of honest religious leaders, like the Rev. Albert H. Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. For Mohler, it is unthinkable that Baptists should compromise their religious principles–such as their mission to proselytize for Christianity–in order to receive federal grants. Therefore, understandably enough, he opposes the acceptance of government aid by churches. The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints has taken the same position.

At issue is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed in 1993 and designed to protect religious liberty, not countenance discrimination.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been asked to reverse the “constitutionally questionable” June 2007, Bush administration memo which held that RFRA could exempt certain religious organizations from federal anti-discrimination provisions.

Not enough, Jacoby says, and not a chance more than that will be done. Ever.

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September 23, 2009 - Posted by | Churches, Law, Obama, Religion | ,

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