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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?

Source

UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
As long as the job could not in any way used to influence others, yes I would have a problem with the discrimination then.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
So Undave, you would have not support them discriminating against gays for secreterial, clerical and janitorial work? Only leadership roles?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Hypno, as big as my a$$ is, if you pinched, you might lose your hand in there. ;) There are more leadership positions within a church, especially larger churches, than just being up front on Sunday. I will admit that I am speaking from my experiences only, and I haven't been involved in a small rural congregation. My wife gave an interesting point of view on this last night. She said that the government created this because the faith organizations are able to provide better care, and do it in a more effecient manner than the government could. But if the government enforces their non-discrimination laws, several of these faith based organizations would not be eligable to continue helping their communities, and in most cases, there isn't a 2nd fiddle waiting to play.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
amy your avater makes me laugh, i don't know why but i find it hilarious
em1282 em1282 8 years
:notworthy: Hypno!!!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I am so confused as to why this is even an issue. If a faith-based group is receiving federal funding, which they use to hire and pay their employees, why in the world would they be allowed to institute discriminatory hiring practices based solely on their religious beliefs? I pay taxes, and while I have no problem with faith-based groups receiving funding for running helpful programs, I do not want to fund religious-based bigotry- that really seems to go against the establishment clause of the constitution.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
preach the truth hypnotic.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well first of all UnDave I'm not sure why anyone would hire some one outside the church for a leadership position either. How are they going to lead what they know nothing about? As for homosexuals leading the church hey the Catholics still ban women from preaching but they don't ban them from performing every other task other than that. You keep bringing up leadership positions as though they are a plenty when in actuality they comprise the fewest positions. Look if you're afraid that if I worked at your church in the office that I would pinch your @$$ when you walk by. Let me tell you something UnDave. You don't have to worry about me pinching your @$$. This is just so twisted because here you have congregation members who happen to be gay, come to church do the whole bit just like everyone else every Sunday and leave their sexual orientation at home like a good little church member only to have their identity thrust upon them by their hetero church members who insist on bringing it back into the church and making it an issue when the homosexual members are the one's who are leaving it at home. Now if that ain't twisted I dont' know what is. There are people who don't want us to talk about it but for some reason they can bring it up to keep us from doing things. It's rediculous.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
What is the topic of the article? "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?"
stephley stephley 8 years
It makes sense, but its relevance to the conversation is unclear.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
We're not talking about congregations, we're talking about congregational leaders, and employees. There's a difference. Everyone is welcome to come sit in the pew. Only a select few are welcome to come to the front and lead. Does that make sense?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
"You shouldnt expect a religious group/charity to accept anyone in who is totally polar opposite to what they are teaching." With all due respect CP this isn't about polar opposition or total dissagreements. This is not about radicles going in with with their sharpies & card board in hand making protests. This is about persons who happen to be gay who are most likely members of or associated with the church in some way in a friendly agreeable manner. To say that these people are bared from performing simple jobs whether it be clerical, maintenence whatever is contrary to the creed hate the sin love the sinner. And Undave you talk about church ethics ha if churches were bootin people out based on ethics (across the board) let me tell you you'd see congregations shrink around the country.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
CG, I was pointing out that there are plenty of gays that are religious and belong to churches. I just chose to mention christians, I didn't mean anything by it. But the analogy of gays working for churches and prolifers working for a pro choice organization just doesn't work for me.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Roar, i didnt say anything about christians in that analogy so i dont know why you are.
em1282 em1282 8 years
Well in that case I'm glad my conservative church doesn't mind that their musical director is a good singer and pianist (and helps the little kiddies put on the cutest presentations every few months--one time they did the whole "Sister Act" thing which was really cute) and keeps him on no matter what his sexual orientation. :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
And from the more conservative side of it, I've had to serve on disciplinary boards to get ask members of the church to resign from the church council because of an affair, or had to listen to my wife complaign about a pastor who was defrocked for coming out of the closet.
zeze zeze 8 years
Exactly em...if you are a gay pianist, it is not like your fingers don't work the same way a straight catholic pianist would.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
If the government gives money to them they can't claim to be a private industry so they shouldn't be allowed to discriminate. If they want money from the government then they should have to abide by some of the government's rules.
em1282 em1282 8 years
I volunteer with Catholic Charities on a regular basis, and one of the other volunteers is gay. No one's had a problem with it, and she's incredibly respected (and respectful) at the organization. Side note--our co-musical director at my church is also openly gay (and trust me, my parish is really not very liberal at all, at least not in my mind), and my old grade school parish has become, well, really really liberal as of late (one of the most liberal in Chicago, actually), and hire people from the GBLT community all the time. So I don't really see the problem, but that's just my experience...
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
My problem is this isn't a regular job. Does anyone else here work for a church? Does anyone else here do any sort of volunteering on a regular basis through a church. In both cases, and with most churches, there is an ethics clause which says that you must respect the code of ethice set by the church (which is usually set by the denomination as a whole at the national assmblies). I don't see how anyone could do this kind of job, if they didn't believe in the ethics of that particular church in some way.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
"would you expect a prochoice group to hire a prolifer to hand out pamphlets and still retain their personal stance? No." That analogy doesn't work since there are plenty of christian/catholic gays. They don't not believe in god, just the interpretation of his word. Pro lifers don't believe in abortion at all.
zeze zeze 8 years
If you are getting government funds then you have to follow non-discriminatory rules, IMO. Besides, if a person can do their job without letting their beliefs interfere (some people that think of a job as a job, for money and treat their beliefs as personal) why should they not be hired. There is nothing inherently wrong with a gay person that makes them incapable of handing out pamphlets or answering phones and taking messages. If that person lets their beliefs get in the way of their job then fire them for just cause, but don't assume because they hold those beliefs they can't do the job, especially when taxes from people of ALL beliefs are funding your program.
stephley stephley 8 years
How often do people who totally oppose what an agency stands for seek jobs there? It happens occasionally but not enough for the government to approve discriminatory practices for anyone.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
would you expect a prochoice group to hire a prolifer to hand out pamphlets and still retain their personal stance? No. You shouldnt expect a religious group/charity to accept anyone in who is totally polar opposite to what they are teaching. Should they be getting government money? I would say no, because then crap like this happens.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
If it's about charity then yes they should accept people because they need the money don't they. It bothers me when faith based hospitals or charities would rather shut down than fall into lien with the government, what about the people they are supposed to help?
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