Despite being unconstitutional the Faith-Based Initiative was established by President George W. Bush to have government funds assist religious institutions that provide humanitarian efforts.
Taxpayer-supported religion–AKA Faith-Based Initiative–creates the potential for the following scenario:
Teach Sunday School at a Christian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma or in another city, then most likely you will be required to document your belief in their religious creed.
But if you apply for a job at a government funded agency or even a private agency in Tulsa, Oklahoma or in another city, it’s most unlikely that you will be asked to identify your religious beliefs. That’s because it is illegal for a company or the government to ask.
But what if you apply for a job at a religious institutions that receives government funds from the faith-based initiative?
Government funded religious institution discriminates
That’s the problem that Sylvia Spencer experienced.
Christianity Today wrote:
When Sylvia Spencer applied at World Vision’s U.S. headquarters near Seattle in 1995, she described herself as a committed Christian.
The article reported that she signed a document affirming her Christian faith. But in 2006 she was fired because she, “did not believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and a member of the Trinity.” The article does not indicate how the Christian thought police determined her low level of faith in Jesus as God.
The article further stated:
That is the problem, said Steve McFarland, chief legal officer for World Vision. “The employees were discharged because they no longer met an essential job prerequisite: that they genuinely affirm their belief in a statement of orthodox Christian faith as understood by the World Vision board.
Sylvia Spencer and other colleagues who were fired, for not believing in Jesus the way these evangelicals expected, filed a lawsuit against World Vision.
World Vision is worried:
He [Steve McFarland] said that if World Vision loses the federal discrimination suit, the consequences will be wide-ranging. “This would be a seismic disruption to religious freedom in the U.S., not to mention to the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of the government.”
But those pesky Constitutional defenders, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, wrote in the article, “Tax Dollars, Sectarian Bias: Publicly Funded Evangelical Agency Fights For Religious Discrimination”, that:
[Sylvia Spencer] took a job at World Vision, an evangelical Christian relief agency that took in $344 million in public funds in 2009 – 29 percent of its total income. And because Spencer’s religious beliefs don’t line up exactly the way World Vision requires, she has been fired.
If World Vision wants to impose a religious test for employment, it ought to rely on the donations of the faithful, not the forced contributions of the American taxpayer.
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