Religion and Social Welfare in the United States: The Case of Charitable Choice
U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-37
13 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2009
Date Written: September 1, 2009
This paper was presented at “Religion and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia: Continuing the Conversation,” an international conference held in Hanoi, Vietnam on November 3-4, 2007. It briefly describes the faith based initiatives or “Charitable Choice” experiment currently underway in the United States that is testing and shaping the relationship between religious organizations and the state. The experiment’s goal is to invite overtly religious groups to partner with the government in the delivery of social services under conditions that allow the groups to retain, and act in, their religious character, while preventing the imposition of religious belief or practice on the recipients of those services. Charitable Choice is controversial. In many respects, the debate surrounding it is peculiar to the circumstances of the United States. But it may also illuminate analogous issues in very different cultures. After editing, it will appear in the Fall 2009 issue of THE REVIEW OF FAITH & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. An earlier version was published by the Institute of Religious Studies of the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences in its journal, RELIGIOUS STUDIES REVIEW, Volume 1, Number 2 (March 2008): 69-81.
Keywords: Religion, Faith-Based Initiatives, Charitable Choice, First Amendment, Nonprofit Organizations
JEL Classification: L31, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation