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Casting Aside the Constitution

The Trend Toward Government Funding of Religious Social Service Providers

By Alex J. Luchenitser

Government funding of "faith-based" social service programs—supported by the Bush administration—is gaining support in Congress. However, the current "charitable choice" legislation conflicts with the equal protection clause, free exercise clause, and establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Nonetheless, government officials and religious organizations can take a number of steps in order to avoid constitutional pitfalls.

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