Q: Dozens of major religious groups and denominations are urging Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to renounce a Bush-era memo that allows faith-based charities that receive federal funding to discriminate in hiring. Should religious charities that receive federal grant money be allowed to discriminate in hiring?
While discrimination under any circumstances is wrong I question the very idea of federal funding for religious-based initiatives. It is very clear that religiously motivated institutions have an ulterior motive in doing social work. The not-so-subtle implication in all their work is that we are feeding you or nursing you or doing something for you because our religion teaches us compassion and we hope that you will appreciate it and join us. I mean, it is clearly a direct way of proselytizing people, so how can the federal government fund religiously based initiatives and still maintain that the church and state are separate?
A few years ago I met a Southern Baptist minister who spoke glowingly of how he frequently went to India as a tourist and clandestinely met with leaders of the Mizo tribe from north-east India and gave them money to rebel against the Indian Government. Assam and Mizoram, the two contiguous states in India, have long been influenced by Christian missionaries, so this gesture by the Baptist minister must be seen as a way to influence local people to accept Baptist philosophy.
This is an extreme case but I am sure the faith-based Initiatives funded by the federal government in this country serve the same narrow purpose. So, how does this ensure religious liberty? If the federal government is funding faith-based initiatives -- almost 99 percent of which are Christian of various denominations -- how can it be said that the Church and State are not linked?
Posted by: gandhireader | September 28, 2009 1:32 PM
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