What do World Vision and Hobby Lobby have in common?

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.

4 Responses to What do World Vision and Hobby Lobby have in common?

  1. Daniel Bartholomew March 27, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    I see nothing good coming from taking the King’s Shilling. We’re better off without it.

  2. andrew alladin March 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act will soon go the way of DOMA and all the state laws against gay marriage that have been struck down by enterprising judges wishing to become part of history. Eventually Justice Anthony Kennedy will cast the deciding vote in a 5-4 decision and Christians will be told to move on. Move on to issues like fighting poverty, racism, social injustice, economic injustice, sentencing disparities, immigration reform and environmentalism. On these issues the parameters of what constitutes good policy will be determined by the secular left and not by say, the New Evangelicals.

    Sarah Posner will not be satisfied if all government funding was withdrawn from World Vision.
    She is not supportive of the right of bakers or photographers to decline participating in gay marriage ceremonies. Eventually Churches will be forced to chose between keeping their tax-exempt status or keeping with the spirit of the age. It is not enough for the New Morality evangelists to reject biblical teachings for themselves. Christians must be forced to participate – to get their hands dirty – and in so doing become silent about biblical truths. After all, if you’re baking a cake for a gay wedding then that isn’t so bad, is it? And if Paul was wrong about homosexuality then perhaps he’s also wrong about the resurrection, hell, heaven, etc, right?

  3. Chris Ryan March 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

    Yeah, I don’t see anything good here either. Rather than take federal funds WV should rely on private donations. Its perfectly acceptable for evangelical missions to discriminate as part of their proselytizing, but Federal Funds should never be used to discriminate. At our church we do a pretty good job of keeping the proselytizing in the sanctuary while we’re distributing food from the food bank downstairs.

    • andrew alladin March 27, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

      There is no shelter in avoiding “Federal Funds”. There will no private sphere in which Christians will be allowed to believe their own fables (so to speak.) Private corporate donors to the Boy Scouts are withdrawing their private dollars lest they appear intolerant, homophobic, hateful, etc. Private citizens who contributed private dollars to California’s Prop. 8 campaign were harassed – and I don’t mean name-calling by angry leftist bloggers – after the Prop 8 organizers’s tax records were leaked by certain IRS agents. The Roman emperors/population who persecuted the early church weren’t motivated by any funding disputes and they were not content to let the early church alone. The idea that there were some people who did not acknowledge Caesar as god was enough. People were dragged out of their homes and churches and were told to recant or be put to death. There will be no “Benedict option” for those who resist the New Morality.

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