Last week the federal government agreed to end funding for The Silver Ring Thing, a religious abstinence-only education program based in Pittsburgh. The ACLU brought the lawsuit on the grounds that The Silver Ring Thing used taxpayers’ dollars for Christian evangelization of teenagers.
From the AP:
[The Silver Ring Thing] won’t be eligible for more unless it changes its program to ensure the money isn’t used for religious purposes, according to the agreement reached Wednesday between the American Civil Liberties Union and Department of Health and Human Services.
“Public funds were being used to fund a road show, really, to convert teens to Christianity,” said Julie Sternberg, an ACLU attorney.
Sternberg said the ACLU supports the program’s right to offer religious content, but not with taxpayer money. She added she hopes the lawsuit is a “wake-up call” to the federal government to more closely monitor the abstinence-only programs it funds.
The Silver Ring Thing looks like it will be OK without federal earmarks from Specter and Santorum; there is plenty of private money behind it. In fact, Former Philly Mayor W. Wilson Goode is now on a crusade to make Philadelphia the new hub for the Silver Ring Thing.
Which is fine with us–go wild. More power to you. Just don’t use our tax dollars to do it.