Friday, August 28, 2015
Not that it's surprising, but Stanley Carlson-Thies is exactly right about (among other things) why American United (et al.) is exactly wrong when it comes to the right of religious organizations to hire-for-mission, even when they are cooperating with the government to provide social-welfare and other services. A bit:
. . . The basic American practice is to protect the religious identity and character of religious organizations by permitting them to consider religion when they hire and fire employees, just as the law does not prohibit Senate offices from assessing the political convictions of job applicants or PETA from rejecting cat-haters who apply for jobs.
Enabling religious organizations to continue to hire based on religion when they agree to partner with the government avoids making eligibility for the government funds conditional on abandonment by the organizations of a right (religious hiring) specifically protected in law. And protecting that right when government funds are involved has a big benefit for government and society: it keeps those many faith-based based organizations from having to reject government funds and partnerships with government in order to maintain their religious identity. Because faith-based organizations play such critical roles in serving persons, families, and communities, protecting religious hiring is an essential way to promote the common good.
Protecting religious hiring is not simply a matter of respecting legal freedoms and constitutional principles but is thus a vital means to promoting social justice in our society. . . .