.- The Catholic League intends to submit a recommendation to Mississippi lawmakers that will sidestep increased government oversight of faith-based organizations and allow donors to direct their funds to Mississippi-based pro-life centers of their choosing.
A report last week revealed that the Mississippi branch of Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of America, has been denying Catholic couples the right to adopt children.
The agency receives funding collected from the sales of “Choose Life” license plates, some of which was collected from Catholics. More than 40 Catholics reportedly complained to the Catholic League about this practice.
“In this case, the right remedy is not to grant government more police powers overseeing faith-based institutions,” said the league’s president, William Donohue.
“Currently, the extra fees collected from ‘Choose Life’ license plates are given to a non-governmental body, Choose Life Mississippi. This non-profit organization then distributes the private donations to appropriate pro-life centers,” including Bethany, explained Donohue.
“In the interest of fairness, it would make more sense to allow those who pay the additional fee the right to decide which of the approved pro-life centers should receive their donation,” Donohue suggested.
“This kind of menu is common practice in the workplace and would insulate Bethany Christian Services from government oversight without asking Catholics to subsidize its work,” he argued.
“In short,” he stated, “this remedy would not only allow for freedom of choice, it would also allow for diversity without sanctioning discrimination.”