“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,” explained then presidential-hopeful Barack Obama while discussing his proposed changes to the controversial “faith-based” initiative on the campaign trail in Ohio in 2008.
For several years now, Americans United and other groups have spoken out against religious hiring bias in taxpayer-funded “faith-based” programs.
The issue to many people might seem like a legal abstraction. That’s why it’s helpful to occasionally have a human face put on the controversy.
Consider the case of Saad Mohammad Ali, a Washington state resident who volunteered for the evangelical Christian agency World Relief for six months.