Groups Slam Gore on his Pandering to the Religious Right

May 26, 1999 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

The Interfaith Alliance, "a leading organization on faith and politics that often sides with the Clinton administration, raised 'real concerns'" May 25th over Gore's proposal to put more federal dollars into faith-based social programs. The group, "which touts itself as a grass-roots organization of Muslims, Jews, Christians and other people of faith," said Gore's idea could lead to unhealthy competition between religious organizations and inevitable government regulations that could affect religious freedom. A spokesperson said that "serious questions remain over who would decide which faith-based organizations deserve federal dollars and which ones don't."

Interfaith Alliance Director of Communications Amber Khan said, "We are really concerned what the underlying message is here. We see some real dangerous problems developing when we give federal money to faith-based organizations for a couple of reasons." Among other things, Khan said that "some organizations, citing religion, believe that gay people can be 'converted' to heterosexuality, and that some militant anti-government groups also claim to be faith-based"

"Are we going to be in the business of judging whose faith is more acceptable, because this whole idea of competing for federal dollars is about that."

-- (Raasch, Gannett News Service, 5/26)

In another release, People for the American Way said Gore's proposal "would undermine the First Amendment by entangling government in the operations of churches." In a letter to Gore, PFAW President Carole Shields "expressed disappointment at Gore's decision to back a proposal that poses considerable danger to both the Constitution and to churches that might seek to receive government funds."

"What you are proposing is a constitutional lose-lose situation. This proposal will go wrong either way – either it will undermine the Constitution by supporting the practice of religion or it will undermine the churches' freedom by imposing limits on religious expression."

-- (PFAW Release 5/26)