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CFI Urges Congress to End Federally Funded Discrimination February 1, 2008

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Press Release.
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The Center for Inquiry (CFI), urges voters to contact Senate members to halt re-authorization of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Act (SAMHSA) unless critical changes are made to the so-called “charitable choice” provisions in current law. These provisions have undermined civil rights and religious liberty protections since their enactment in 2000.

Although the reasons to oppose charitable choice are numerous, there are three main reasons to oppose this legislation: discrimination against employees, devastation of local civil rights legislation, and the destruction of constitutional religious liberties. First, charitable choice allows federally funded programs to discriminate against potential employees solely on the basis of the candidate’s religious or non-religious affiliation. Second, charitable choice threatens to devastate local civil rights legislation by preempting local anti-discrimination laws. Third and finally, charitable choice destroys the religious liberties protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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Declaration In Defense of Science and Secularism February 1, 2008

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Uncategorized.
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DECLARATION IN DEFENSE OF SCIENCE AND SECULARISM

We are deeply concerned about the ability of the United States to confront the many challenges it faces, both at home and abroad. Our concern has been compounded by the failure exhibited by far too many Americans, including influential decision-makers, to understand the nature of scientific inquiry and the integrity of empirical research. This disdain for science is aggravated by the excessive influence of religious doctrine on our public policies.

We are concerned with the resurgence of fundamentalist religions across the nation, and their alliance with political-ideological movements to block science. We are troubled by the persistence of paranormal and occult beliefs, and by the denial of the findings of scientific research. This retreat into mysticism is reinforced by the emergence in universities of “post-modernism,” which undermines the objectivity of science.

These disturbing trends can be illustrated by the push for intelligent design (a new name for creationism) and the insistence that it be taught along with evolution. Some 37 states have considered legislation to mandate this. This is both troubling and puzzling since the hypotheses and theories of evolution are central to modern science. The recent federal court decision in the Dover, Pa., case has set back, but not defeated, these efforts. Moreover, the resilience of anti-evolution movements is supported not only by religious dogmatism but also by the abysmal public ignorance of basic scientific principles. Consider these facts:

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