I’ve posted a couple of times in recent days on the debate over the efforts to preserve the religious freedom of groups that accept government money. If you’re one of the three people who read my posts, you know that on an essentially party-line vote, Democrats succeeded in keeping the co-religionist exemption out of the Head Start reauthorization bill.
That’s bad enough, but, as Gregory Baylor points out, the newest version of the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act is even worse, permitting mission-sensitive hiring (when it comes to the moral disapproval of homosexuality) only for "employers that ’ha[ve] as [their] primary purpose religious ritual or worship or the teaching or spreading of religious doctrine or belief.’" Let me translate: only churches and church-like organizations can act on their religious and moral principles in hiring. It’s plausible that religiously-affiliated colleges and universities won’t be able to, nor will faith-based social service organizations. Let me be clear: this has nothing to do with strings attached to government funding and everything to do with government coercion. If something like it passes (and survives a free exercise challenge, which unfortunately isn’t out of the question), morally and theologically conservative denominations will be able to care for the proverbial widows and orphans only at the price of acquiescing in the gay rights agenda.