Traditional role shifts at Justice Department
More priority is placed on cases involving religion rather than race
By NEIL A. LEWIS
New York Times
WASHINGTON — In recent years, the Bush administration has recast the federal government's role in civil rights by aggressively pursuing religion-oriented cases while significantly diminishing its involvement in the traditional area of race.
Paralleling concerns of many conservative groups, the Justice Department has argued successfully in a number of cases that government agencies, employers or private organizations have improperly suppressed religious expression in situations that the Constitution's drafters did not mean to restrict.
The changes are evident in a variety of actions. They include:
• Intervening in federal court cases on behalf of religion-based groups like the Salvation Army that assert they have the right to discriminate in hiring in favor of people who share their beliefs even though they are running charitable programs with federal money.
• Supporting groups that want to send home religious literature with schoolchildren; in one case, the government helped win the right of a group in Massachusetts to distribute candy canes as part of a religious message that the red stripes represented the blood of Christ.
• Sharply reducing the complex lawsuits that challenge voting plans that may dilute the strength of black voters. The department initiated only one such case through the early part of this year, compared to eight during a comparable period in the Clinton administration.
There are more examples of the mockery these people have made of the Justice Department, but these ones really stood out to me. They used tax payer dollars to push the rights of some religious group to give kids candy canes and blather about the "Blood of Christ"? To paraphrase someone else, "Yeah, because those White Christians have been sooooo historically oppressed. Signs everywhere!! No White Christians or dogs!"
Are the adults in charge yet?