January 30, 2009

Faith-Based Aid Favored – With Reservations

A 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life found that while Americans generally support allowing religious groups to apply for government funding to provide social services, they draw the line at letting such organizations hire only people who share their religious beliefs. An overwhelming majority (73%) say religious groups should not be allowed to do this.

  • For more findings on this issue – including the public’s views on which religious groups should receive government funding – see the survey’s section on faith-based aid »
  • For an examination of the legal issues surrounding religious groups taking a potential employee’s religion into account when making hiring decisions, see a recent Q&A with church-state scholar Ira “Chip” Lupu.

religious hiring
Source: August 2008 surveyby the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public LifeQuestion wordings:

Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose allowing churches and other houses of worship to apply, along with other organizations, for government funding to provide social services such as job training or drug treatment counseling to people who need them?
If religious organizations do use government funds to provide social services, do you think these organizations should be allowed to ONLY hire people who share their religious beliefs, or should they not be allowed to do this?