Justice Department OKs Christian-only hiring by World Vision
Nondiscrimination would "substantially burden" religious practice
Dec 02, 2008
The U.S. Justice Department recently disclosed a 2007 ruling by its Office of Legal Counsel that permitted the relief agency World Vision to keep a $1.5 million grant despite its policy of hiring only Christians.
World Vision successfully sought an exemption from a statute that requires grant recipients to refrain from hiring discrimination on the basis of religion. The grant was for a program aimed at reducing youth involvement in gangs.
World Vision’s Web site notes under its employment qualifications that U.S. applicants will be “screened for Christian commitment.”
In the government opinion issued June 29, 2007, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John P. Elwood wrote: “We determine that it is reasonable to conclude that requiring World Vision to comply with the nondiscrimination provision as a condition of receiving the grant would ‘substantially burden’ its religious exercise.”
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).