The Case Against 'Charitable Choice'

Introduction
Background
Unconstitutionality
Bad Public Policy
Bad for Religion

Related ADL Articles:
School Vouchers
Separation of Church and State


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The Case Against 'Charitable Choice'
Why Government funding for faith-based social services
endangers religious freedom
'Charitable Choice' is Bad Public Policy

"Charitable choice" explicitly creates, for the first time, the possibility of Federally-funded employment discrimination on the basis of religion. Since religious institutions are exempt from the nondiscrimination requirements of Title VII and other anti-discrimination laws, "charitable choice" essentially amounts to a form of government-subsidized religious discrimination. For example, a Presbyterian Church receiving funds for a welfare program could refuse to hire non-Presbyterians to administer the program. Further, even racist or anti-Semitic groups -- such as the Nation of Islam or Christian Identity -- may be able to receive Federal money to provide benefits and services.

As they do under current law, religious institutions that receive. Federal funds under "charitable choice" programs should be required to comply with the same standards and regulations that currently govern existing social service agencies. These necessary quality-control requirements may include professional training standards, disability access requirements, and health, safety, and fire regulations.



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