Monday, April 10, 2006

One hand washes the other -- and itself

Things are not always what they seem department:

The lawsuit filed last week on behalf of "faith-based" groups who say they have been discriminated against in a state employee giving campaign was filed by the Center for Law and Religious Freedom, of Springfield, Va.

The groups basically argue that it is not discrimination for them to use religion as a basis for hiring their employees. As in, if State Sen. Tom Reynolds can do it, why can't we?

The Journal Sentinel reported:

The lawsuit says the Christian Legal Society was denied permission to be included in the 2005 campaign. The complaint also says the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was excluded.

In its application, the Christian Legal Society of Springfield, Va., didn't comply with the non-discrimination statement. It included a letter that said the group does require certain religious beliefs for employees but doesn't consider that to be discriminatory, and its application was ultimately rejected.
You get the impression, reading about the Center for Law & Religious Freedom and the Christian Legal Society, that one is bravely trying to protect the other. Actually, the Christian Legal Society runs the Center for Law and Religious Freedom. So the suit is also about self-enrichment.

The Center for Law and Religious Freedom is the lobbying wing of the Christian Legal Society. CLRF Link. CLS home page.

Among other things, CLS sued then-HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson for allowing stem cell research, and continued its lawsuit to block federal funding of stem cell after Bush announced his policy:
“While most of President George W. Bush’s new policy on stem cell research was welcomed by pro-life leaders, his decision to permit federally funded research on existing stem cell lines is being challenged in court by a Christian legal group. The Christian Legal Society sued the federal government months ago in an effort to stop funding of embryonic stem cell research. Now attorney Sam Casey says the organization will press ahead with its lawsuit because the new Bush policy violates the law.” [ Christian Examiner]
CLS finally backed down and withdrew the suit in January 2002.

CLS calls stem cell research “The Dark Side of the Force” “We must stand steadfastly for the sanctity of life and turn our backs on the siren song of the Dark Side.” [ Source.]


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