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6/18/2004

Freedom From Religion

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a lawsuit, alleging the President's Faith Based Initiatives project violates the establishment clause. The New York Times wrote it up. Slate notes the troublesome connotations for the program of Bush-Cheney's heavy-handed armtwisting [#7] of religious organizations.

Regardless of what one thinks of the faith based initiatives, there is a serious problem in the NYT's reporting:

President Bush announced the religion-based initiative early in his presidency but has been unable to persuade Congress to approve some of his proposals. He has instead sidestepped lawmakers with executive orders and regulations to give religious organizations equal footing in competing for federal contracts.

The White House says the goal is to level the playing field for religious groups and ease bureaucratic barriers.

"They're not leveling the playing field," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. "They're cajoling religious organizations to come to them and telling them how to fill out the forms and giving untried groups money. We think it's about promoting religions."
The italicized portion of the excerpt assumes that Bush's take on the controversy is correct, when that question is at the heart of the lawsuit.

 

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