ADL Says Position Paper On Faith-Based Initiatives Does Not Adequately Address Concerns
New York, NY, February 27, 2001 Ö The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said a
position paper on government funding of faith-based social services, issued
today by the American Jewish Committee and the Feinstein Center for American
Jewish History at Temple University, is "premature" and "does not
adequately address concerns" about the channeling of government funds to
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said the document, In Good
Faith: A Dialogue on Government Funding of Faith-Based Social Services,
"does not totally reject the channeling of government funds to pervasively
"The Anti-Defamation League, a proponent of church-state separation,
continues to hold strong reservations with the Bush administrationís
faith-based initiatives and, therefore, decided not to sign on to this document,
which we believe does not adequately address those concerns," Mr. Foxman
said. "While we appreciate the significant effort to reach agreement on the
issue of faith-based social services, we are concerned that this document does
not totally reject the channeling of government funds to pervasively sectarian
organizations to advance their religious mission. That would clearly be
inappropriate as a matter of both law and public policy."
"This document does not completely reject the potential for
discriminatory employment practices by the would-be recipients of funding. There
is no discussion on the role of religious iconography, art and literature in
determining whether an organization is pervasively sectarian. This document does
not insist on separate incorporation by religiously affiliated entities that
provide social services, one measure that could create a firewall to guard
against church-state entanglement.
"Finally there is a risk that in opening government coffers to religious
entities, the government could end up in a situation where it would be directing
funds to terrorist, hate-mongering or extremist groups. The document does not
discuss or endorse appropriate safeguards in this respect."
As the administration moves forward with its plan to expand the governmentís
partnership with faith-based organizations, ADL will be working to ensure that
federally funded faith-based initiatives maintain necessary constitutional
safeguards in the delivery of these essential social welfare services.
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.