Remember that faith initiative thing the administration was pushing way back when? Critics thought it amounted to taxpayer dollars spent on the promotion of Christianity. Well, the critics were completely wrong. It amounted to taxpayer dollars spent on the promotion of Evangelical Protestantism.
The Bush administration yesterday suspended a federal grant to the Silver Ring Thing abstinence program, saying it appears to use tax money for religious activities.
Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services ordered the group to submit a "corrective action plan" if it hopes to receive an expected $75,000 grant this year. . . .
The action comes three months after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against HHS, accusing the administration of using tax dollars to promote Christianity. In documents filed in federal court in Boston, the ACLU alleged that the activities, brochures and Web site of Silver Ring Thing were "permeated with religion" and use "taxpayer dollars to promote religious content, instruction and indoctrination." Teenage graduates of the program sign a covenant "before God Almighty" to remain virgins and earn a silver ring inscribed with a Bible passage reminding them to "keep clear of sexual sin."