ACLU Joins Religious Leaders in Fight To Protect Religious Liberty and Stop Discrimination

March 13, 2001 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the publication of “Keeping the Faith: The Promise of Cooperation, The Perils of Government Funding: Guidelines for Houses of Worship,” a new resource for religious leaders who want to provide social services to their communities without jeopardizing their autonomy or the constitutional and civil rights of people in need.

“In the months since President Bush announced his plans for a program to provide government funding to religious institutions, the Administration has been buffeted by questions and outright opposition from the left, right and center,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU’s Washington National Office. “Today’s new publication from The Interfaith Alliance and the Baptist Joint Committee provides useful guidance to religious leaders who are struggling for answers on how to serve those in need without compromising their institutions.”

The ACLU also today launched a new web-based clearinghouse – Government-Funded Religion: What You Should Know – to provide a collection of actions, information and links to other websites to allow individuals concerned about the Bush initiative more information about the dangers of government-funded religion. The clearinghouse can be found at

The new site contains resources that question various elements of Bush’s faith-based initiative. In addition to articles, op-eds and editorials that have expressed concerns about the Bush initiative, the clearinghouse will include documents produced by a number of different organizations, including the new “Keeping the Faith” publication. Also featured are quotes and perspectives from conservative religious leaders concerned with the new proposal such as Pat Robertson, Rev. Jerry Falwell and Louis Farrakhan.

“Scores of religious leaders, columnists and editorial boards have raised serious questions about the Bush initiative,” Murphy said. “We hope the new clearinghouse will serve as a comprehensive resource for people seeking to educate themselves on Bush’s dangerous proposal for government-funded religion.”

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