WASHINGTON, USA (BosNewsLife)– A pending bill that bars government funding for non-profits having religious requirements in their hiring process is a “serious assault” on faith-based charities, according to the senior vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) in the United States.
Craig Parshall wrote that the SAMHSA Modernization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5466) sponsored by Republican Patrick Kennedy may curtail social services provided by faith-based groups.
“His bill represents a serious assault on non-profit faith groups as it threatens to cripple faith-based humanitarian and charitable organizations,” he said.
Parshall said the proposal doesn’t make sense since faith-based groups are known for providing local social services that are more cost-effective than any provided by the government.
“In an age where the American people seem to be telling the federal government to stop spending, and the government’s counter-argument is that our society is hurting for services,” said Parshall, “why in the world would we want to cripple the faith-based charities”?
GOSPEL INSPIRED WORK
The NRB fears that its member organizations may be compelled to hire unbelievers to give “Gospel-inspired” social work. In an effort to halt the trend, more than 100 religious organizations sent a signed letter to members of Congress urging them to reject the proposal, Parshall said. The letter also reminded Congress that under current legislation, employers can discriminate on the basis of a protected trait essential to the operation of the business or organization.
The organizations backing the letter agreed not to use public funds to proselytize and to serve all people of all faiths, according to the NRB.
“We intend to continue working effectively with government in a constitutionally-sound and proven manner, but only if we can stay faith-based in mission, which means remaining faith-based in those we hire”.
Among those who signed the letter were World Vision, Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.