My attention was caught by this news item from Akela Lacey about how the state of South Carolina is seeking to discriminate against foster parents who are not Christian.
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is considering whether to grant a South Carolina request that would effectively allow faith-based foster care agencies in the state the ability to deny Jewish parents from fostering children in its network. The argument, from the state and from the agency, is that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act should not force a Protestant group to work with Jewish people if it violates a tenet of their faith.
If granted, the exemption would allow Miracle Hill Ministries, a Protestant social service agency working in the state’s northwest region, to continue receiving federal dollars while “recruiting Christian foster families,” which it has been doing since 1988, according to its website. That discrimination would apply not just to Jewish parents, but also to parents who are Muslim, Catholic, Unitarian, atheist, agnostic or other some other non-Protestant Christian denomination.
Beth Lesser, a Jewish parent who was turned away by Miracle Hill, describes what this organization does.
Originally from New Jersey, she and her husband lived in Florida before moving to South Carolina for 18 years. They’ve fostered and mentored other children through various agencies, and have since returned to Florida.
“What Miracle Hill does, is they scoop up these kids from foster care, and they have these group homes. And then once they get the kids in there, their whole objective is to indoctrinate them into their brand of Christianity,” Lesser said.
On top of that, [another Jewish mother Lydia] Currie said, the agency “practices coercive Protestant Christianity.”
“Many, many children who have absolutely no religious affiliation, or have a religious affiliation other than Christianity, are placed by the Department of Social Services with Miracle Hill,” Currie said. That means, Currie said, “effectively mandatory Sunday school, mandatory after school Bible study. Mandatory prayer. Including teenagers, including children for whom this is terrifyingly inappropriate.”
Can you imagine if a Muslim foster organization dared to do the same thing?
But Christian organizations can do almost anything.