What do World Vision and Hobby Lobby have to do with one another? Besides the fact that they’ve both been in the news this week, they also both enjoy protections from the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Hobby Lobby is appealing to the Supreme Court for relief from the contraceptive mandate on the basis of this law. World Vision receives $70 million dollars in government grants every year also on the basis of this law. Sarah Posner reports,
But its not just World Vision’s donors who contribute to its substantial coffers (in 2012, it brought in more than $1 billion in contributions). World Vision is also a big recipient of federal faith-based funding, which means that taxpayers also are footing the bill for an organization that discriminates based on religion and religious beliefs. In fiscal year 2013, according to a federal government database, World Vision took in nearly $70 million in federal funding.
The reason World Vision gets away with this is rooted in a federal statute familiar to anyone who followed this week’s Supreme Court arguments in the Hobby Lobby case: the Religious Freedom Restoration Act…
In case you didn’t have enough RFRA this week, here’s another example of how religious exemptions have an impact on people other than the exempted religious institutions.
Posner argues that the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” has been used to sanction government-sponsored discrimination. The implication of her argument is clear. It is not in the best interests of all Americans to make government funds available to such charities as World Vision. On this logic, World Vision’s personnel policy would disqualify them for public money. Religious charities must stop hiring only Christians if they want to be eligible for government funds. Read the rest here.