Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fer Cryin' Out Loud

Msgr. Pope alerts us to a change in Federal policy that now excludes religious workers from Federal Student Loan Forgiveness because they are no longer deemed in "public service" as defined by government employment or part of a 501(c)(3) charity.

New Rule Excludes Religious Workers from Benefits Offered to Others. Another Example of Hostile Secularism in the Federal Government

However, a recent rule change now excludes those who are involved in any work of a religious nature. In the Washington Post “On Faith” section Brad Hirschfield writes the following to explain the change:
What counts as public service? 

Until the end of January, the government definition was clear and inclusive. It read as follows: “Qualifying employment is any employment with a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization or a non-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)."

Now though, the rules have changed. At the end of the description of who qualifies for this program, a new paragraph appears and it’s striking not only in that it re-defines things, but that it does so in a way that seems purposefully disingenuous. 
“Generally, the type or nature of employment with the organization does not matter for PSLF purposes. However, if you work for a non-profit organization, your employment will not qualify for PSLF if your job duties are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing.” [1] 

Thus, the new policy explicitly goes out of its way to exclude religious work. In effect it implies that such work is NOT public service, merely because it is exercised through a religious organization for a religious purpose.
Click on over to read the rest.

Is anyone really surprised at the new hostility to religion by the administration? Dismayed, yes. Surprised, no.

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