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   2001-03-02: Bush Faith


White House

George W. 

The Jewish Citizen

Faith-Based Initiatives Office
may ally Christian Right and ADL

San Diego Jewish Press-Heritage, March. 2, 2001

Washington (special) --Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition is often at loggerheads with the Anti-Defamation League on issues before the U.S. Congress, but the two groups may find themselves allies on the question of funding for President George W. Bush's new Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

On his television show, "The 700 Club," Robertson expressed concern that
such an office would have to give governmental recognition to all
religious groups, not just those within the mainstream. Meanwhile, the
ADL and other groups oppose the office on the grounds that it violates the
constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state.

"You know, I hate to find myself on the side of the Anti-Defamation
League and the others, but...this gets to be a real problem," Robertson

The ADL is not the only Jewish group voicing concerns about the Faith-
Based program. Diana Aviv, a spokeswoman for United Jewish
Communities, said there are "a thicket of questions" raised by a
governmental program for Faith-Based initiatives.

Currently religious organizations are permitted to create non-religious,
non-profit agencies to carry out social work, provided those agencies do
not discriminate either in their employment or in the people to whom they
offer services. Bush's plan would permit religious groups to provide
social services directly, raising questions whether discrimination would
be the result. --Donald H. Harrison