Faith-Based Organizations and a New Executive Order

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 26:  U.S. President Bara...
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On November 17, 2010, an Executive Order was issued that affects faith-based organizations that receive federal funds. Significant in the fundamental principles outlined in section 2 of the order are several changes. Mentioned early on is the intent to keep organizations that compete for federal funds on an even footing, whether they are faith-based or not. Very clearly stipulated is this, “[n]o organization should be discriminated against on the basis of religion or religious belief,” and:

All organizations that receive Federal financial assistance under social service programs should be prohibited from discriminating against beneficiaries or prospective beneficiaries of the social service programs on the basis of religion or religious belief. Accordingly, organizations, in providing services supported in whole or in part with Federal financial assistance, and in their outreach activities related to such services, should not be allowed to discriminate against current or prospective program beneficiaries on the basis of religion, a religious belief, a refusal to hold a religious belief, or a refusal to attend or participate in a religious practice.

Faith-based organizations will, however, still be allowed to perform “explicitly religious activities,” they just won’t be permitted to perform these activities in the course of providing the services they get funds for.

So what does this mean?

It looks like it means AA can’t receive federal funding for its very questionable services unless about 7 of the 12 steps are left out. Those 7 steps call upon a supernatural creator, -a Christian god.

It means the Boy Scouts shouldn’t be receiving any federal funds (either in cash or trade as with space for jamborees on federal land). As an organization of bigots, the Scouts discriminate based on religious belief (and “a refusal to hold a religious belief”) as well as sexual preference.

It means missions and soup kitchens that reach out to the homeless with blankets and warm food won’t get to proselytize to them

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