American Jewish Congress v. Bost


American Jewish Congress v. Bost

"American Jewish Congress v. Bost" is an establishment clause lawsuit concerning the separation of church and state in Brenham, Texas. [cite web| url=http://www.religionandsocialpolicy.org/legal/legal_update_display.cfm?id=4| title=American Jewish Congress v. Bost| work=The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy| author=Tuttle, Robert| accessdate=2007-11-01| date=2002-06-14| publisher=Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government| ] The case is the first constitutional challenge to a charitable choice contract. [cite web| url=http://letfreedomringtx.tripod.com/newsletters/January03.htm| title=Texas Lawsuit Challenging Charitable Choice Law Ends | work=| author=| accessdate=2007-11-02| date=2003| publisher=Let Freedom Ring| ]

History

In the community of Brenham, Texas, the American Jewish Congress and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit against a social services program who they believe used a tax funded jobs program to support religious practices which violated the separation of church and state. Other accusations include; use of funds to proselytize, purchase bibles, and coerce participants to "accept Jesus." [cite web| url=http://www.jewishjournal.org/archives/archiveAug4_00.htm| title=Time To Say It Again| work=The Jewish Journal | author=Editorial| accessdate=2007-11-01| date=2000-08-04| publisher=The Jewish Journal| ] [cite web| url=http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2000_3229950| title=Lawsuit accuses Brenham-area consortium of evangelical proselytizing | work=Houston Chronicle| author=Hughes, Poly R.| accessdate=2007-11-01| date=2000-07-25| publisher=Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division| ] On May 21, 2002, the Houston Chronicle reported that the case would be sent to federal district court. [cite web| url=http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2002_3547119| title=Faith program challenged over use of taxpayer funds| work=Houston Chronicle| author=Hughes, Polly R.| accessdate=2007-11-01| date=2002-05-21| publisher=Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division| ]

NGO reports

The Rockefeller Institute of Government reported that the lawsuit is a response to the 1996 gathering of a number of churches and businesses in Brenham, Texas, that formed the "Jobs Partnership of Washington County," a program which has come under legal scrutiny. [cite web| url=http://www.religionandsocialpolicy.org/legal/legal_update_display.cfm?id=4| title=American Jewish Congress v. Bost| work=The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy| author=Tuttle, Robert| accessdate=2007-11-01| date=2002-06-14| publisher=Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government| ]

The Texas Freedom Network, a nonpartisan organization, reports that, "The religious message seemed to have a coercive impact on clients. About one-third of the participants said in the program evaluation that they felt pressure to join the host church, Grace Fellowship Baptist Church." [cite web| url=http://www.tfn.org/religiousfreedom/faithbased/jobspartnership/| title=Jobs Partnership of Washington County: Spending Taxpayer Funds on Overtly Religious Activities | work=Texas Faith-Based Initiative at Five Years: TFNEF Report (2002)| author=| accessdate=2007-11-01| date=2002| publisher=Texas Freedom Network| ]

Final ruling

The lawsuit went back and forth between state and federal courts and was twice appealed. In January of 2003, the lawsuit that is believed to the first constitutional challenge to a “charitable choice” contract, came to a conclusion. The case was finally dismissed, "on the ground that there was no live controversy." [cite web| url=http://letfreedomringtx.tripod.com/newsletters/January03.htm| title=Texas Lawsuit Challenging Charitable Choice Law Ends | work=| author=| accessdate=2007-11-02| date=2003| publisher=Let Freedom Ring| ]

ee also

*History of the Jews in Brenham, Texas

References


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