ADL Says White House Report on "Charitable Choice"
Understates Church-State and Discrimination Concerns
New York, NY, August 16, 2001 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed disappointment that a White House report on the status of faith-based initiatives, issued today, "appears to understate the mandate that government not fund religious or discriminatory activity."
Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
So-called "charitable choice" programs pose a serious threat to the very foundation of the wall between church and state. We are disappointed that this report appears to understate the constitutional requirement that government not fund religious or discriminatory activity. As the administration considers what obstacles to remove, it is important to take care to leave in place safeguards that are absolutely vital for the protection of individual rights, the preservation of religious institutions and the prevention of governmental involvement in religious affairs.
Although this report identifies "barriers" to extending government-funded social services by religious institutions, it is silent about the administration plans to remove them. In light of the highly divisive nature of this issue, it is important the administration and Congress move cautiously with ample opportunity for public comment and input. We urge the administration to avoid unilateral action and a headlong rush to eliminate essential safeguards which have served the nation and its religious communities well for decades.
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.