ADL Says Charitable Choice is "Bad Public Policy", Urges Senate to
Protect Church-State Separation
Washington, D.C., June 6, 2001 … Calling the proposed charitable choice
legislation "constitutionally suspect and bad public policy," the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged members of the Senate Judiciary
Committee to include a series of safeguards as part of any faith-based
initiative under consideration by Congress.
"Any charitable choice proposal must protect religious freedom and
prevent government and religion from becoming entangled," said Glen A.
Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
"We believe Congress must establish safeguards to ensure that taxpayer
funds do not pay for employment discrimination, do not fund hate-mongering
groups and do not support proselytizing."
Excerpts from the League’s testimony to the Judiciary Committee:
So-called "charitable choice" programs are constitutionally
suspect -- and even if they were not, such programs are bad public policy
and may negatively impact the vitality of religion in America.
Indeed … these divisive proposals are not sufficiently taking into
account the success of existing government-funded partnerships with
religiously affiliated organizations. In seeking to establish a whole new
system of government contracting, "charitable choice" fails to
recognize the fact that the groups mentioned above have provided excellent
service to communities while maintaining safeguards that have protected
beneficiaries from unwanted and unconstitutional proselytizing, that protect
religion and that protect government.
Without these safeguards, the religious liberty of all Americans –
especially the nation’s most vulnerable – can be jeopardized. We risk
paying for religious causes and beliefs we may not support – or even find
to be deeply troubling. We risk finding ourselves excluded and unwelcome
when applying for a federally funded job – or in seeking government
assistance at a time of greatest need or vulnerability. And we risk ushering
in an undesirable era of government-funded programs where the provision of
government services are intertwined with efforts to bring about a program
participant’s religious redemption.
Read ADL’s Full Testimony Before
the Senate Judiciary Committee
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.