Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations to Staff on a Religious Basis

Esbeck, Carl H; Carlson-Thies, Stanley W.; and Sider, Ronald J. The Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations to Staff on a Religious Basis. Washington, D.C.: Center for Public Justice, 2004.

Call no.: FDC 361.75 Es12f

Publisher's Description: This important new book sets the record straight on the right of faith-based organizations to hire staff compatible with the religious mission and vision of their programs.

Are faith-based social-service providers permitted to select staff based on religion if their programs receive government funds?

Despite what opponents would like to think, the general freedom of religious groups to hire and fire on a religious basis is only curtailed in some states and some localities and under some federal laws if the group accepts government funds. There is no general rule that requires faith-based organizations to give up this important freedom when they use government funds to serve their communities.

Why does the law often respect this important religious freedom when religious organizations collaborate with government and why should it always respect it? What are the policy justifications for this so-called "job discrimination" and the constitutional arguments? What difference does Charitable Choice make?

A new book by Carl Esbeck (Christian Legal Society and the University of Missouri Law School), Stanley Carlson-Thies (Center for Public Justice), and Ron Sider (Evangelicals for Social Action) provides the analysis and arguments. The book also includes a bibliography and excerpts of key federal statements and regulations that provide helpful background.