More than 100 religious organizations are urging members of Congress to reject pending legislation that would prohibit them from considering religion when hiring.
A letter – endorsed by such groups as World Vision, Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, U.S. conference of Catholic Bishops, and Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – was delivered Wednesday.
“The law has long protected the religious freedom of both the people who receive government-funded services, and the groups that provide the services – long before President Obama, and long before President Bush,” said Anthony R. Picarello Jr., general counsel of USCCB, in a statement. “Stripping away the religious hiring rights of religious service providers violates the principle of religious freedom, and represents bad practice in the delivery of social services.”
The groups are protesting a provision in HR 5466 – a bill introduce in the House in May that would reauthorize federal substance abuse treatment funding that is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), the bill includes language banning faith-based groups from receiving federal funds if they consider religion in their hiring process.