Must Social Service Providers Nix Their Faith to Receive Federal Funds?

Rather than follow the equal protections secured in Supreme Court decisions, the Biden administration opted for a complicated and soul-killing alternative.

Nine federal departments have issued new regulations governing social service grants for a range of programs including drug rehabilitation; assisting penitentiary inmates reentering their communities; sheltering the homeless; aiding needy families with dependent children; settling refugees; and providing overseas lifesaving aid in response to natural disasters, war, famine, and public health crises.

The regulations take effect on April 4, 2024, governing tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds. And they represent a threat to the many Christian ministries that have long provided these social services with the help of federal grants while maintaining their religious identity and mission.

Rather than follow the rule of equal treatment secured in recent Supreme Court decisions, the Biden administration opted for outdated and unwieldy alternatives that will entangle the government in the work of religious nonprofits offering social services.

Since the 1996 welfare reform enacted in the Clinton administration, faith-based organizations have been invited to compete on an equal basis for social service grants under the “Charitable Choice” act sponsored by former senator John Ashcroft.

At the time, it seemed foolish for federal grants to exclude community-serving organizations that were already embedded in depressed neighborhoods via churches and storefront outlets, and whose mercy workers were known to the poor and trusted by those they were serving. These ministries of hope had a holistic approach that proved especially effective for addressing certain afflictions.

Early in 2001, then-president George W. Bush created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to nurture the idea. The hope was that …

Continue reading

Read More

This post was originally published on this site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.