ADL Urges President Bush to Reconsider Executive Order on Faith-Based Initiatives
New York, NY, December 12, 2002 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed serious concern that the Executive Order dealing with faith-based initiatives signed today by President Bush will allow taxpayer dollars to fund job discrimination and proselytizing.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
While we welcome the President's remarks making it clear that he supports the Constitutional mandate requiring that no federal funds be used to directly support inherently religious activities, we are very concerned that the Executive Order he signed will allow taxpayer dollars to be used to fund positions that discriminate on the basis of religion. Religious institutions have always been permitted to take religion into account when hiring; the President's order represents a serious departure that would allow religion to be taken into account when hiring for a government-funded position.
We urge the President to ensure that those religious organizations given federal money are not allowed to proselytize while delivering their social services; that beneficiaries of these social services must be offered feasible secular alternatives; that extremist groups do not get public money.
We find that the President's Order, by offering so-called equal status to religion, undermines the unique protection from government interference that the U.S. Constitution gives to religion. We ask the President to recognize that further entangling of government and religion will be very harmful to that important ideal and that he reconsider today's actions.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.