The Beshear administration tries to impose its own ideological demands on Sunrise Children’s Services, a Baptist-sponsored adoption and foster care service that the administration knows the group cannot meet.
But you wouldn’t know it from reading the Louisville Courier Journal headlines. If you didn’t read the fine print, you’d think Sunrise just wasn’t interested in helping kids anymore.
Of course, this is the furthest thing from the truth. If there is anyone involved in this conflict who does not want to help the children, it is certainly not Sunrise Children’s Services. And Sunrise doesn’t reject anything. In fact, it is the current administration that is threatening rejection.
The Beshear administration requires Sunrise to comply with a requirement that conflicts with its religious mission. He wants Sunrise to agree to set out hiring guidelines that would require him to hire people who disagree with his core Christian beliefs.
This amounts to an attempt to ban Christian organizations from helping children through adoption and foster care. The Beshear administration is well aware of the consequences of its actions, consequences which were recently highlighted in a letter.from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a letter also signed by Secretary of State Michael G. Adams, Treasurer Allison Ball, Auditor Mike Harmon and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
âThe Beshear administration is forcing Sunrise to choose between continuing to serve the children of Kentucky or abandoning its religious beliefs,â the letter said. “This is not good government, and it does not respect the First Amendment rights of a religious organization. Previous administrations, Republican and Democratic, have found ways to partner with Sunrise, and I hope that Governor Beshear will do the same. “
Letters were also sent by Republican lawmakers in the State House and Senate.
Kentucky’s executive branch began including sexual orientation in state nondiscrimination guidelines several years ago. But past administrations, recognizing the importance of not interfering with religious freedoms, have exempted Sunrise from these requirements.
The action against Sunrise is just one more attempt to politicize a process that does not need to be politicized. When it comes to helping children in need of families, state officials should lose ideology and think about the practical consequences of their actions.
The main concern of the administration should be to help the children. How does putting a religious charity in a position to deny its own principles or abandon the children it helps help those children?
How does that help someone?
More and more, we are seeing enlightened politicians inserting themselves into all areas of life and public policies. This is the nature of ideology, but it shouldn’t be. If people think that grinding their ax of gender ideology should replace basic human well-being, then they have to find a profession other than administering public programs.
The Beshear administration is basically telling a Baptist service organization that it can either continue serving children as long as it gives up being a Baptist, or it can continue to be a Baptist and stop serving children.
It is a position in which no group trying to help people should be placed. Children in particular should not be placed in the midst of ideological battles like this.
Perhaps the administration thinks it is helping itself by championing the causes of its liberal constituency. But he must find another way to do it that does not endanger the well-being of the children.
The Beshear administration must carefully consider the implications of its attempt to block Christian adoption and foster care and tell its ideological allies to leave orphans alone.
Martin Cothran is the Senior Policy Analyst for The Family Foundation.