The Faith-Based Initiative, Charitable Choice, and Protecting the Free Speech Rights of Faith-Based Organizations

By Broyles, Vernadette Ramirez | Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

The Faith-Based Initiative, Charitable Choice, and Protecting the Free Speech Rights of Faith-Based Organizations


Broyles, Vernadette Ramirez, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy


   We ought not to worry about faith in our society. We ought to
   welcome it into our programs. We ought to welcome it in the
   welfare system. We ought to recognize the healing power of faith in
   our society.

   --President George W. Bush (1)

I.   CONTEXT
  A. Many FBOs Express Religious Perspectives
     on Social Problems
  B. Charitable Choice and Agency Guidelines
     Impose Speech Restrictions in Directly Funded
     Programs
II.  FREE SPEECH PROTECTIONS FOR
     FAITH-BASED PROVIDERS
  A. The Free Speech Clause Protects the Religious
     Speech of Faith-Based Providers from
     Viewpoint Discrimination
  B. The Free Speech Clause Protects Relevant
     Speech That May be Characterized as
     Proselytizing or Religious Instruction
     from Viewpoint Discrimination
  C. Government Funding of Social Services
     Implicates Private Free Speech Rights
     1. The Speech of Publicly Subsidized Faith
        Based Providers is Private Speech
     2. Whether the Government Specifically
        Intended to Create a Public Forum For
        Speech is Not the Issue
     3. McCallum Places Too Much Reliance on Rust
        v. Sullivan
     4. McCallum Would Convert All Social
        Service Contractors and Grantees Into
        an Arm of the Government
III. ADDRESSING ESTABLISHMENT
     CLAUSE CONCERNS
  A. Viewpoint Discrimination Violates the Principle of
     Neutrality Toward Religion Required by the
     Establishment Clause
  B. Viewpoint Neutral Protection of FBOs' Religious
     Speech Would Not Constitute an Endorsement of
     Religion
  C. Prohibitions on Religious Speech Risk Excessive
     Entanglement
  D. Concern for Government Religious
     Indoctrination Does Not Override Free Speech
     Protections for FBOs
  E. Clarifying Further the Distinction Between Protected
     Religious Speech and the Prohibited Funding of
     Religious Activities
IV.  RECOMMENDATIONS
  A. Agency Guidelines Must Clarify Existing Charitable
     Choice Provisions and Amend Existing Agency
     Restrictions
  B. Charitable Choice Expansion Legislation in Congress
     Should be Amended
  C. A Separate 501(c)(3) Should Be Created To Receive
     Direct Public Funds
  D. Essential Parameters of Government Programs That
     Directly Fund FBOs
  E. Ensuring that Participation in Faith-Based Programs
     Is Voluntary
  F. Categorizing FBOs Based On Their Use of Religious
     Speech Should Be Avoided
V.   CONCLUSION

As part of the "faith-based initiative," President Bush has welcomed the faith community back into the public square as equal partners alongside government, corporate, and other community groups in the war on poverty and dependency. Significantly, the President vowed to issue this "call to arms" without impairing the religious character of faith-based social programs that respond.

As this initiative moves forward, however, there is an inadequate understanding of the constitutional protections afforded faith-based organizations ("FBOs") to freely express their unique religious solutions and perspectives on social issues without being excluded from direct public funding. Current statutes and policies that discriminate against the religious viewpoints of FBOs have the effect of suppressing their unique character and risk alienating them entirely from participating in government programs. More significantly, they deny FBOs the right of freedom of speech guaranteed in the United States Constitution.

One example of the threat to FBOs' free speech rights is a section of Charitable Choice (a provision of the Welfare Reform law) that prohibits the use of federal funds for "sectarian instruction" or "proselytizing" by private social service organizations. Agency guidelines contain similar speech restrictions as a condition of funding. While the intent behind such prohibitions may be to avoid the use of public funds for exclusively religious activities, these injunctions are likely to restrict speech that conveys a religious perspective relevant to publicly funded social issues.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Faith-Based Initiative, Charitable Choice, and Protecting the Free Speech Rights of Faith-Based Organizations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.