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Holy Controversy! Obama's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives

Holy Controversy! Obama's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives


Should a religious charity group be allowed to have a policy against hiring homosexuals or individuals outside the faith? What if the organization accepts federal money? That is the question Barack Obama's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives must answer, and the administration has yet to clarify its stance.

Ever since 2002, when President Bush signed an executive order permitting the groups to exclude other faiths and homosexuals, critics have argued that the government has implicitly endorsed discrimination. But, the Civil Rights act of 1964 (passed before the creation of the Office of Faith-Based Organizations) says religious organizations have a right to discriminate in hiring with respect to religion, and the groups argue that they could lose their fundamental identity if they have to hire people outside the faith.

While it's common for federal money to come with strings attached, do you think faith-based organizations should have to choose between following antidiscrimination laws and rejecting federal funds that support their successful charity work?

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