December 13, 2002

FOTS and Faith

Today's FOTS:

"In America in 1822, the postmaster of Washington, DC complained that he had to add 16 mailmen at Christmas to deal with cards alone. He wanted the number of cards a person could send limited by law. 'I don't know what we'll do if this keeps on,' he wrote."

"Religious organizations that receive funds from covered programs have a federal right, under existing civil rights law, to take their faith into account in making employment decisions, permitting them to limit hiring to employees who share their religious beliefs." (My emphasis). That's from the HHS press release yesterday, announced by Bush amidst all the furor about his rebuke of Lott. The Administration argues that such hiring practices remain in compliance with provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act; no doubt there will be court cases to determine whether that's true.

Posted by Linkmeister at December 13, 2002 10:22 AM

I don't really have a problem with a religion only hiring one of their believers to do work related to their religious organization or practices, but I don't see why someone hired to carry out a public work sponsored by federal funds needs to share their religious beliefs.

I wonder if they are going to require that those reciever the government funded services must agree with their religion too, such as the stripper who's child was kicked out of a church-run daycare because stripping was against their faith.(In that case, the daycare was not sponsored by government funds, though).

Posted by: wKen at December 13, 2002 11:52 AM

Yeah, that's what I find objectionable. Public money in essence funding discriminatory hiring practices is at least implicitly forbidden by the Constitution, the way I read it.

Posted by: Linkmeister at December 14, 2002 09:49 AM

I have absolutely zero problem with religious organizations or institutions hiring only those that practice their faith. And I don't know that accepting public funding is implicitly or explicitly 'forbidden' by the consititution -- someone with an actual background in constitutional law would have to explain that to me.

BUT: from a strictly religious POV, I find the acceptance of public funds, especially if it could potentially compromise religious protocols, questionable indeed.

Posted by: Jen at December 14, 2002 05:38 PM

I should have said implicitly forbidden by statute based on subsequent interpretation of the establishment clause, e.g. whatever law created the EEOC.

And I do think that religious organizations taking public money may find themselves subject to all manner of laws they'd rather not have to conform to.

Posted by: Linkmeister at December 14, 2002 07:27 PM