Religious Discrimination: Some Fascinating Developments

It looks like we are going to have a lot to discuss over the coming months regarding the Obama Administration and its approach to freedom of religion and the workplace. Today, I am just quickly going to touch on some of the controversies that are brewing.

First, this past Tuesday, the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships submitted its final report. While 176 some pages of reading, certainly all religious institutions that receive federal social services funds, need to be aware of the report’s discussion, on which the Council was divided, with the majority advocating that churches should be required to form separate corporations in order to receive federal monies.

Second, the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination, a coalition of some 26 civil rights groups, sent a letter on Tuesday to the President, advocating that religious-based hiring in federally funded social service programs be banned, and that churches be required to create separate corporations as a predicate to seeking secular government-funded social services.

Third, the Coalition requests that the White House direct the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel to withdraw the Bush Administration’s June 29, 2007 memo interpreting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.