November 2011 Church & State | AU Bulletin

Americans United has joined with 55 other organizations to express concern to President Barack Obama over his approach to hiring bias in “faith-based” initiatives.

The groups wrote a letter to Obama in response to remarks he made in College Park, Md., in June. He said religious organizations have “more leeway” to “hire somebody who is a believer of that particular faith.”

The coalition responded in its Sept. 19 letter that Obama not only clouded the issue, but it seemed he might be backing down from comments he made in July 2008 while on the campaign trail in Zanseville, Ohio. He said then: “If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion.”

The letter asked Obama to clarify if he has reversed his position on faith-based hiring bias in publicly funded programs or if he will “take concrete steps to fulfill the commitment [he] made in 2008 in Zanesville.”