ADL Outlines Safeguards and Firewalls for President Bush’s Faith-Based
New York, NY, January 29, 2001…In response to President George W. Bush’s
initiative to expand government funding to faith-based organizations, the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the President to "maintain
essential constitutional safeguards for protecting both religious organizations
and beneficiaries" and to prevent "entanglements between government
In their letter to the President, Glen A, Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said, "We strongly believe that
every component of your initiative must maintain essential constitutional
safeguards for protecting both religious organizations and beneficiaries."
The ADL leaders cited the success of government-funded partnerships with
religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic Charities, Jewish
Community Federations and Lutheran Social Services, as having provided excellent
service to communities because "safeguards have protected beneficiaries
from unwanted and unconstitutional proselytizing" and "protected the
integrity and sanctity of America’s religious institutions." Mr. Tobias
and Mr. Foxman also stressed the need to "ensure that extremist, terrorist
and hatemongering groups are not able to receive government money."
Among the other safeguards outlined by ADL are:
- Ensure that taxpayer money does not fund religious discrimination in the
hiring and firing of people who will deliver the services,
- Ensure that secular alternatives to religiously provided services are
readily available, and that those who prefer secular alternatives are made
aware of them and have realistic and convenient access to them,
- Ensure the development of proper firewalls between government-funded
services and the core religious activities of a religious organization, so
that taxpayer dollars are not channeled into other religious activities of
sectarian organizations (as a practical matter, this can best be implemented
through religious organizations’ establishment of a separate corporate
structure which would distinguish a sectarian religious entity from its
government-funded social welfare organization).
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.