It may not seem like it, but the settlement reached between the ACLU and the US Department of Health and Human Services is really going to be good news in the long run for the abstinence-program Silver Ring Thing.

In a deal struck yesterday, Silver Ring Thing (SRT) has been barred from all future federal grants and funding, unless it makes programmatic changes to “ensure the money isn’t used for religious purposes.” SRT has received about $1 million in government money over the last three years, and the settlement concludes a case filed by the ACLU last May.

I’ve discussed the SRT funding situation in a couple previous posts (here and here). The bottom line is this: SRT should be able to find plenty of funding from churches and religious groups to do what it needs to do. And in the process, it won’t be beholden to the fickleness of politics or the changing demands of government bureaucracy. It will be free to do what it does best: promote the desperately needed Christian view of purity and sexuality among our nation’s youth.


  • http://www.mtapie.blogspot.com Matt Tapie

    Jordan I could not agree with you more about the “bottom line.” In my research at Baylor’s Church-State Institute I found that Charitable Choice and other Faith-Based programs are inhibited by the changing winds of politics and public opinion. I view Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative as a half-way house for effective welfare reform: hopefully the next step is further privatization and renewal of civil society.