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Joshua DuBois: On Faith-Based Hiring Controversy

One of the most controversial questions facing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is whether religious groups that receive federal grants may discriminate in their hiring and only employ people who share their beliefs. At the “Mobilization to End Poverty” conference in Washington on April 27, 2009, Joshua DuBois, director of the White House faith-based office, was asked how the administration will handle church-state concerns and, specifically, how it will deal with the hiring question.

  • Jim Etchison

    This is why the White House should not fund faith-based organizations, and why those organizations should not accept White House funding. I, for one, would not like my tax dollars spent in this way.

  • Al Prescott

    Pandora’s box is now being opened. I for one do not like having the government deciding which faith based organization is worthy of any of our tax dollars.

  • Fred Salzberg

    I completely agree with both Jim Etchison and Al Prescott. At no time and in no way should federal tax dollars be used to fund faith based organizations. It would be wise for all to look at the statements made by this countries Founding Fathers regarding the separation of Church and State. Federal funding of faith-based organizations will lead us to a slppery slope from which there may be no recovery.

  • a pitre

    maybe some people don’t like gorvernment funding or should i say giving grant out to faith base organization like schools ect, free lunches let ll those kid go to public school i the long run the cost to ALL will surpast you tax dollar increase worthy yes it save me money

  • Suzette

    I for one would rather spend money this way instead of funding abortions.

  • Missah Shahzad

    Again this is a council that will be more informative on organizing issues to help the American people. This is not about us giving them money but who descides what, when and where the money is most needed and churches are charity based organizations that lead and aid society. they still have to follow rules of the federal and state on financial aid and cannot discrimante. My Church paid for my surgery when I lost everything and could not work. So if the government is willing to help churches help the community. AMEN!!

  • Jake

    Those opposed to spending on faith-based organizations need to evaluate your reasoning. The original impetus for giving federal funds to faith-based organizations is that these organizations were meeting community needs…needs that the federal government values. The federal government gives all kinds of money to organizations which perform tasks that the government is not able to execute. Why would faith-based soup kitchens, health clinics, shelters, rehab centers, youth programs, etc. be any different. Remember, the faith organization is not getting a blank check. They are applying for a grant to meet a specific need or perform a specific task and the use of that money is dictated by the government.

    As for discriminatory hiring, why should an organization (any organization) be required to hire someone who doesn’t agree with the mission and vision of the organization simply because they meet the minimum job requirements? Do abortion clinics hire pro-lifers? Do republican politicians hire democratic staffers?

  • Jack

    Let me make some observations:
    First, I live in a small Pennsylvania town that never recovered from the closing of the steel mills in the 1980s. Here you have only two options for help, govenment and faith-based. While the government does furnish aid, people need more than money. In many cases their lives need transformed. It is here that faith based organizations excell. There offer to teach people a different way to live.
    Second, people of faith pay taxes. Should the organizations that tax payers of faith want services from be discriminated against? Is this not discriminating against tax payers? Let me suggest a compomise, let each tax payer be asked if s/he wants her share of taxes going to faith based organizations or not. This is a non-discriminating way to fund charities.
    Third, because faith based agencies offer life transformation, they need to hire only those who believe in the faith. This makes discrimination necessary.

  • Hannah

    Exactly, Jake.

  • Guillaume Cale

    Why are religionists always given a free pass to be bigoted and reactionary? No other philosophy or political orrientation or ethnic group is , or should be given a free pass to discriminate against others on the basis of race creed or sexual orrientation. But when Religion the sacred
    delusion to believe in an all powerful invisible
    being enters the equation, all our other values
    seem to dissappear. Religion has caused countless Fratricidal Wars , been used to justify slavery , segregation, anti mescegination laws, violent discrimination against gays, Jews and alternately Protestants and or Catholics depending on which denomination was in power,
    and yet this is all excused or apologized for by repeating the mantra of “religious freedom or religious tolerance”. How is it advancing the cause of Freedom or Tolerance to give special priveledges to the most intolerant and authoritarian ideologies and rationalizing it as protecting Religious Freedom?! I don’t get it.

  • David Heber

    Let me keep my tax dollars and I will decide who gets my gift. Any faith based biase, prejuduices, preferences or any other socially or polictically incorrect practices can be blamed on only myself.

  • Sam Crees

    Hey, I can show you at least 5 businesses where I live that descriminate because of one’s beliefs; and there is nothing anyone can do, for they do not openly say anything. But, when the numbers show, that the majority of employees are of one faith, and that all of the management are of one faith, and that the people promoted to say 1st shift over 2nd shift and that senority means nothing then I would say there is a very good probability that religion is playing a role, since all of the people can be traced to one church.

  • Carlyn

    Funding faith-based organizations (FBO’s) for programmatic and capacity building purposes is the best thing the gov’t has done. FBO’s are on the ground working with communities. They know their needs and deal with them on a day to day basis.