President Barack Obama [recently] named a new executive director for his White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and signed an executive order creating a 25-member advisory council of religious and community leaders.
But civil rights and civil liberties advocates were disappointed to see that Obama left completely untouched five Bush-era executive orders and numerous agency regulations and rulings that allow publicly funded religious groups to discriminate in hiring on religious grounds and permit public funds to pay for construction and renovation of buildings used for worship.
That means billions of tax dollars in the federal pipeline are being allocated today under the controversial Bush-era rules.
“I would rather there be no ‘faith-based’ office,” said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn. “But if it exists, it must comply with long-established protections guaranteeing civil rights and civil liberties.”