Last week, I posted about the problems with President Obama‘s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Besides the issue of existing at all (which I know a lot of people have a problem with), there are two serious concerns we should all have: The office gives grants to religious groups doing charity work (1) even if they proselytize along the way and (2) even if they discriminate against LGBT people in their hiring.
To address the proselytizing, the Office announced a proposed rule change that would ban the use of taxpayer money on any work that involves preaching. It’s a good move and I hope that rule goes into effect.
But what about allowing those faith-based groups to discriminate against LGBT people during their hiring process? Right now that’s still legal.
Today, a coalition of 130 national organizations sent a letter to President Obama asking him to fix that problem before he leaves office.
Australian public schools have been offering “special religious instruction” (SRI) which is something of a joke when you realize how bad these classes are. In theory, it’s great because kids can learn about the beliefs of all different faiths. But in many schools, the religious education is primarily Christian and the education veers into heavy indoctrination. Volunteers — and they’re always Christian, it seems — often use the time with students to make converts instead of merely educating them about what they believe.
In an effort to expose the program for what it is, groups like Fairness In Religions In School (FIRIS) put up a billboard featuring Jesus petting a dinosaur as a way to inform parents about the Creationist views their kids were being taught: