Wednesday, March 02, 2011

State investigates foster care agencies for discrimination -

Investigations on religious social agencies like this destroys any consensus on same sex marriage. UUA ought to shout out support for Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities and their right to discriminate placing kids. Of course they discriminate, G-d help us should they be indiscriminate.

State investigates foster care agencies for discrimination - Catholic, Lutheran, Evangelical groups get public funds yet reject gay parents


Chalicechick said...

They should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of parenting skills, sure. But discriminating against good parents on the basis of something like sexual orientation in a world that has desperate need for good foster parents is like kicking a soldier out for being gay while you're trying to defend the Alamo, as in, stupid.

Though the UUA has supported stupid things before, I'm not sure why you would expect them to support this particular stupid thing.


Bill Baar said...

The Government should never be dictating a Church's ethics. I can see pulling the Grant funds. There are plenty of Grants Illinois should be pulling back. But under no circumstance should the government dictate ethics this way....

Chalicechick said...

Other than pulling the grant funds, I don't see that the government is trying to dictate the church's ethics. In fact they seem to go out of their way to make it clear in the article that their issue is the funding. As the article mentions about DC, we've had the same issue here.

As far as I can see Illinois' issue is also entirely about the grant funds. Some churches, the Mormons come to mind, fund entire separate welfare programs for taking care of poor members of their own church that offers food, job training* sometimes housing, etc. The state does not care. But if the Mormons were to say "Hey, we have a program that takes care of poor Mormons, but turns other people away at the door, give us government funding" the government wouldn't go for that.

Same principle.


*I once worked for a Mormon company and we were constantly taking on unqualified Mormon employees and doing our best to train them rather than hiring people who knew what they were doing in the first place. It was a huge pain, particularly since Mormon culture being what it is, some of the men didn't like taking orders from the female vice president and were obnoxiously insubordinate.

Bill Baar said...

I think the Government should get out of a lot of Grant business. Including the quarter million or what ever it was for Unity Temple's roof a few years ago.

Ethics is about discriminating between behavior that's right or wrong. Catholics and Lutherans have an ethic that discriminates against SSM unions as wrong.

It's none of the Gov's business to butt in on that discrimination.

See if this investigation goes away absent the funding issue too, or if the discrimination becomes reason enough.

Chalicechick said...

Any church that wants to keep the government out of its charitable work needs only to not apply for grants and funding. I don't have a problem with limiting the privitizing of social service to secular organizations in general, but even without that broader rule, churches can pretty easily duck this problem on an individual level by simply seeking outside funding sources.

FWIW, in DC this issue did go away when the Catholics said that if they had to serve gay people, they wouldn't serve at all. The DC government said "Ok" and gave the grants to somebody else. Problem over.

I'm sure if the Illinois churches take a "We won't help gay children" position, that would be politically unpopular, but taking that position is within their constitutional rights and I don't think anybody disputes that when public funds aren't involved.*


*All of the recent fights on this topic that I've seen (e.g. the Boy Scouts, an organization that does not accept gay children or atheist children, is allowed to meet in taxpayer-supported institutions paid for with the taxes of gays and atheists and whether a public university's Christian student group that doesn't accept non-Christian or gay students can get university funds that come from the tuitions of all students have been recent lawsuits, the one about the school group making it to the Supreme Court) have involved public funds.

Bill Baar said...

Same logic apply to planned parenthood? Check the responses over at PB to my suggestion PP split into two organizations.

This is what's turning me into a small gov conservative. Get the gov money out of as much as possible.

Chalicechick said...

Last I checked, Planned Parenthood was not refusing its services to anyone. When Planned Parenthood decides that only people with certain religious beliefs get their charitable medical care, then I will advocate them not getting any government funding. As it is, if Sarah Palin herself showed up and Planned Parenthood and asked for a pap smear, they'd give her one, and give her one for a reduced rate if she claimed to be poor.

And again, churches that don't want government in their business shouldn't apply for government funds. Churches that REALLY don't want government in their business shouldn't accept the tax-free status.

But if they are taking government money, they have to help people that don't agree with them. It's really that simple.


Bill Baar said...

I'm thinking in terms of PP splitting into two organizations. One not offering abortins eligible for Fed Funds, and another non-funded group offering abortions. It's a solution rejected with some vengence over at PB.

I think it's a solution consistent with your comments. If Lutherans and Catholics want to discriminate on SSM for placement, they should not take the money; or organize themselves into seperate entieties depending on mission.

If you take Fed Funds, you also get the Feds telling you want you can, and can't do.

It also embroils the Feds in moral questions I don't think the Feds well suited to decide, what is the nature of marriage, what rights does an unborn child hold vs its mother.

So, I think the best bet is simply get the Feds and all government out of the business of giving grants to these outfits.

And let them fend for themselves.

Chalicechick said...

So should the part of planned parenthood that gives out contraception be in the "abortion" part because some people have a moral objection to contraception or the "non abortion" part because some people don't?

Some people think AIDS patients are being punished by God. Should clinics that treat poor people be forced to split off separate AIDS clinics? What about people who don't want Christians and non-Christians served by the same charities?

IMHO, as long as planned parenthood is giving out the charity care to all comers per federal law they should get all the federal funding they are eligible for. Yes, I'm sure that funding will be cut when conservatives are in power and expanded when liberals are in power. That's democracy.

I get that you really wanted me to weigh in on the "splitting planned parenthood" idea and I did so, but I don't at all see its relevance to this conversation. I'm not sure why the Lutherans splitting into separate entities would help. Both entities would still presumably have a moral objection to gay families and the state isn't funding organizations that discriminate.

Again, I'm fine with the government only contracting charity work out to secular organizations. But I do think outside organizations are more efficient than government-run orphanages, so I want the government to contract it out to somebody.


Bill Baar said...

...but I don't at all see its relevance to this conversation.

Splitting out the morally objectionable part into a separate and unfunded entity solves the problem of funding something morally objectionable weather it be abortions, or discrimination in adoption.

Bill Baar said...

..whether... it's really and I pushed the wrong spell check button

Chalicechick said...

Yes, but first off, as I illustrated with the contraception, non-Christian and AIDS examples, something is always going to be morally objectionable to somebody.

Besides, my guess is the rationale behind the anti-discrimination statute is not moral, it is legal in that the concern is that taxpayer-funded services discriminating on the basis of something not rationally related to the quality of care is a denial of equal protection under the law.* Thus it isn't a question of whether it is morally right, but of interpretation of the federal constitution and whatever state statutory and constitutional provisions apply.


*at least that's the first argument I'd look to.