Faith Hiring Protection

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks June 9 during the Catholic Health Association's annual assembly in Washington. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Religious leaders from different faith traditions urged President Obama in a letter on Sept. 10 to continue to permit government-funded faith groups to employ people with like beliefs. Their request comes less than a month after a coalition of religious and secular organizations sent the president a letter saying the current policy will tarnish his legacy of fair and equal treatment for all Americans. The latest signatories said the administration’s policy allows equal opportunities for religious groups to work with government in helping the needy. “Making it more difficult for faith-based organizations to join those partnerships would undermine, rather than burnish, your commitment to effective and flourishing ‘all hands’ partnerships,” reads the letter, released by the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance. “Religious staffing by religious organizations is protected in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and is not illegal discrimination,” signatories said. “This right is not somehow waived or otherwise lost simply by the receipt of government funds.”

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