By Lauren Markoe from the Huffington Post
A group of clergy and lawmakers is trying to overturn a nearly decade-old policy that allows faith-based organizations that receive federal funds to hire and fire employees on the basis of religion.
Critics say President Obama has reneged on a campaign promise to repeal the policy, which was put into place by President Bush in 2002.
“It is shocking that we would even be having a debate about whether basic civil rights practices should apply to programs run with federal dollars,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va.
“There is just no justification for sponsors of government-funded programs to tell job applicants, ‘We don’t hire your kind.”‘
Scott has sponsored legislation to repeal the policy. But advocates for the change say the most effective route would be for Obama to issue a new executive order to overturn Bush’s, Scott told reporters on Tuesday (June 21).
Bush introduced the policy to advance what he deemed a more faith-friendly federal approach toward charitable organizations that receive federal contracts for social services. Previously, groups that received government money were forbidden to consider religion in their employment decisions.
Bush, however, argued that while an organization accepting federal support could not refuse to help people based on their religion, it should be able to take religion into account when hiring and firing employees…