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Published : 17.06.2014 | Author : admin | Categories : Numerology Love Calculator
When I first heard that Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee cited church-state separation when vetoing a bill for Choose Life license plates, I rolled my eyes. Part of my confusion stemmed from the fact that I am from Florida, where funds from Choose Life plates go to Choose Life Florida, which then distributes the funds to qualified "pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, or non-profit adoption agencies" within the state.
But as it turns out, the Rhode Island legislation would have done something entirely different: the sole charity to receive funds from the Rhode Island Choose Life plates was Care Net, a Christian pregnancy resource center. Right to Life of Rhode Island says that Governor Chafee is "hiding behind the separation of church and state." Perhaps he is. But the only way to know is to pass legislation that funds pregnancy support services broadly. With the vast sums of tax dollars (from many of us who oppose abortion) going to the giant-who-will-not-be-named that performs thousands of abortions annually, this is such a non-issue to me.
My own money is on Chafee not actually caring about church-state separation and just wanting to reduce competition to said giant-who-will-not-be-named.
Tony, your argument makes the assumption, which I'll assume to be false until presented with very strong evidence to the contrary, that this religious center does provide the same services as a secular organization would.
That may be the test employed by the executive branch in some of its programs, but the courts have refused to rule on the constitutionality of the faith based initiate, and I would maintain that they are not constitutional. But only the people buying the plates and supporting the organization would give money to it, right? This is the official license plate for the state of Missouri as it has been officially adopted by the state legislature. License plates in the United States require yearly renewal and this renewal date is reflected in the small stickers, or "tabs", that are affixed to the plate each year. This is the official license plate for the state of Kansas as it has been officially adopted by the state legislature. This is the official license plate for the state of Maine as it has been officially adopted by the state legislature. This is the official license plate for the state of New Hampshire as it has been officially adopted by the state legislature. Great, I thought, another politician who thinks "pro-life" and "religious" are synonyms.
Perhaps he really just doesn't want his abortion industry donors to have too much competition from pro-life charities.
Pro-life advocates in Rhode Island should try again, this time with a bill that distributes funds to qualifying charities without regard to religion.

But since it's such an easy excuse to eliminate, pro-lifers should go ahead and just do that. So if the government were to pick out one organization to give the funds to, and that organization wasn't religious, I see no problem with that, since that organization would be able to serve all citizens of Rhode Island regardless of their religion. In particular, does it provide non-christian clients the ability to receive services without being confronted with symbols of a religion they may find deeply offensive or hostile?
My comment about the integrity of your argument was ill-advised.Thank you for your explanation of questions of fact and questions of law. In general rights given to organizations tend to cut into individual rights, which is why they're so controversial. You can see what charity your giving your money to and decide whether or not that's a charity you want to support. Other states give to adoption programs only, give to a non-sectarian Right to Life group, or follow the Florida model. But singling out a religious charity for license plate fundraising help, when there are secular charities available to accomplish the same or similar goals, does indeed pose a church-state separation problem.
Without being offered information about Jesus, or how christian doctrine might help them in their situation? The question is whether they provide services in a way that constitutes preaching, worshiping, proselytizing, etc. The cop pulls up behind you at a light, you're doing nothing wrong but he runs your plate. Unfortunately, I did not continue my studies beyond courses in common law and contract law, and I was unaware of this distinction (though this seems like a common law principle, so perhaps I was not paying enough attention). If the gov gives money to soup kitchens, having a crucifix on the wall, Christian music on the radio, and bibles in the waiting room shouldn't be a problem.
No warrant, no reasonable suspicion, nothing.Putting that aside, why can't the state get out of the license plate business?
I will consider my burden of proof argument properly dismissed.It seems to me that we are having a fundamental disagreement based on our different approaches to this situation.
I can't think of a case where free exercise was in play over a government denial of funds to anyone. By the reasoning you present, a secular organization may fairly be the sole recipient of public funds, but a religious organization which provides an identical service may not receive any public funding until at least one secular group is also being funded.
For non-christians these sorts of things are at best very awkward and at worst create a very hostile environment.

The state could assign you your number and you could buy your plate from Care Net or SPLP or anyone else. The only cases I can think of where free exercise has been at play from the government denying someone money have been unemployment benefits cases which have been limited to their facts. If this center only meets the needs of christians, that should be plenty of for the government set up to serve all citizens not to fund it, at least without funding other centers that provide similar services to non-christians. They can see where the money goes and make the decision to support the organization or not.
You do not demonstrate that any secular pro-life organization requested to be part of this license plate program and was denied participation on the basis of being non-Christian.
You have not explained what you found in examining the wording of the legislation that would prevent additional pro-life groups from benefiting from the program in the future. You have allowed yourself to be caught up in the part of the media sensationalism that you wanted to believe (that a Christian group was receiving an unfair benefit over its peers due to the intentional exclusion of those peers), because of your frustration with religious identification in the pro-life arena. Supreme Court heard a case where an organization denied government funding (and other benefits) because it wouldn't (in the governments eyes) serve people of all religions equally, and the organization lost, the court found that the requirement was viewpoint neutral (Christian Legal Society v. What I appreciate more than anything about this blog is your unrelenting dedication to the underlying universal logic of the pro-life position.
I believe you compromise your integrity when you allow your bias to show (as you have done here). As a matter of what legal requirements formally apply to what, the standards that the executive branch of the federal government has set for its own programs simply have no application to how the state of Rhode Island chooses to disperse funds.
Neither the President nor any of these federal agencies has any authority to tell Rhode Island what to do in a case like this.
And as I've said, the standard you cite has never been considered by a court in terms of how it meshes with the First Amendment (which does apply to Rhode Island). I've told you why I think that creating an environment hostile or offensive to non-christians is a sufficient basis to deny exclusive government funding. Non-christians are equal citizens of the state of Rhode Island and therefor equally entitled to benefit from the funds generated by government programs.

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