Secular Coalition Responds to Pew Faith-Based Program Survey

A recent survey on faith-based programs from Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life collected considerable data that concerns the Secular Coalition for America. According to the Pew report, more people are using religious social service providers than secular nonprofits. As religious organizations continue to receive more federal funding to help the needy, secular nonprofits struggle to provide and expand their services. According to the Pew survey 9% of Americans are using faith-based organizations for help, compared with 7% of Americans who use secular organizations.

 

The whole premise behind faith-based organizations was allegedly to level the playing field for religious organizations, so they could compete with secular organizations. Secular Coalition for America opposes the funneling of tax dollars to any religious entity as a violation of constitutional principles. That said, even the premise on which faith-based proponents argued for funding no longer holds true, if it ever did. The Constitution should not be subject to a popular vote.

It is gratifying that seventy-four percent of survey participants say religious groups that receive government funding should not be allowed to hire only people who share their religious beliefs. President Obama continues to allow groups that receive federal funds for social services to discriminate in employment and proselytize.

“With the stroke of a pen, President Obama can follow through on his promise to the American people,” said Secular Coalition for America Executive Director Sean Faircloth. “President Obama pledged in Zanesville, Ohio in 2008 that he would prohibit discrimination and proselytizing in tax-funded faith-based organizations. This requires an Executive Order – not an act of Congress. So far, the Faith Based Council that the President appointed has done nothing to follow through on the President’s Zanesville pledge. The President, however, does not need a Faith-Based Council to follow through on his pledge. He needs a pen.”

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The Secular Coalition for America advocates for the separation of church and state, as well as the greater acceptance and inclusion of non-theistic Americans.

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