Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Religious Leaders Oppose Bill They Said Would Violate First Amendment Rights

September 24, 2010 by  

Religious leaders oppose bill they said would violate First Amendment rightsSignificant public attention has been focused on the proposed Islamic Center in New York and its implications for the freedom of religion. However, another First Amendment conflict has been brewing all this time which may also shape the role of government in regulating religious organizations.

The issue has centered around pending legislation that would prohibit religious groups that receive Federal funding from religion-based discrimination in their hiring decisions. The bill in question is HR 5466, introduced by Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), which would reauthorize Federal substance abuse treatment funding administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Recently, leaders of more than 100 organizations — including the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — sent a letter to all members of Congress to protest the language in the bill that would ban them from preferring staff who share their religious faith. Among other laws, the signatories invoked the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as the grounds for their complaint.

"Stripping away the religious hiring rights of religious service providers violates the principle of religious freedom, and represents bad practice in the delivery of social services," said Anthony R. Picarello Jr., General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Religious Leaders Oppose Bill They Said Would Violate First Amendment Rights”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.