First Amendment Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 1, June 2001
The Newsletter of the Oklahoma Chapter of Americans United
Hotline to Monitor Government Funding of Religion
Mainstream Baptists have set up a hotline to monitor Faith Based Initiatives in Oklahoma.
The number, 1-800-676-3541, will provide information and referral to those faith groups, social service organizations, and persons who feel that the government’s faith based social services are being provided in a discriminatory or unconstitutional manner.
The hotline was established after concerns were expressed that the government’s Faith Based Initiatives could be administered in such a way that the state would be 1) endorsing covenant marriage counseling that teaches male supremacy and requires wives to submit to their husbands 2) funding religious expression 3) making religion dependent on tax dollars 4) exposing ministries to intrusive regulations 5) creating conflict and competition between religions for government funding 6) establishing special privileges for a majoritarian faith 7) disenfranchising persons of minority faith, and 8) undermining religion’s role as prophetic critic of government policies and procedures.
While some members of Americans United are opposed to taxpayers funding the social services provided by “religiously affiliated” such as Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services, Mainstream Baptists are not opposed to services provided by agencies that separate their religious message and mission from the social services they provide. The group is opposed to funding agencies that are “pervasively religious” and determined to communicate a religious message along with the services they are providing at taxpayer expense.
Mainstream Baptists can provide free copies of the booklet “Keeping the Faith — The Promise of Cooperation, The Perils of Government Funding: A Guide for Houses of Worship” produced by the Baptist Joint Committee and the Interfaith Alliance upon request.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
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