Perfect Example of How Secular Left and Religious Right Both Get it Wrong
In Pennslyvania the federally-funded program to match workers with employers banned certain employers from posting job openings. The folks they banned are those who have religious preferences in their hiring. For example a parochial school who has an opening for a teacher or a librarian or a janitor may prefer an applicant of their own faith for the position. Too bad for them. There is a federal rule against using the program to help employers who "discriminate" on the basis of religion in their hiring.
The jobs-matching program has become so large that it is the way to get to the best talent pool of employees in the state. The program's administrators are taking a position that the ACLU would concur with. The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group that fights discrimination against Christians in the law, has come to the defense of the religious institutions. It argues that the best employees for a Presbryterian Church school are going to be Presbryterians, or at least believers, and that the real discrimination in this case is against Christians (and those of other faiths who want to hire their own to run their religious institutions).
I lean to the idea that religion is not an immutable characteristic like race, and so if an employer wants to prefer a Presbryterian over a Wiccan it is their own business and there should be no law against discriminating against them- at least as long as they are hiring for a non-government entity. Nevertheless, both sides seem to be missing the larger point. If this point were addressed there would be nothing for liberals and conservatives to fight about, and that would be a good thing.
The point is that the government has no business being the entity that matches employers with employees in the state of Pennslyvania, or any other state. They are running an employment agency. There are private employment agencies (at least their used to be before the government started muscling in) that can do that job. The free market can do that job, so why are the taxpayers being called on to do it? The answer is likely that big business prefers it that way. They would rather the taxpayers provide them with employees than have to use their own dollars at a private employment agency.
Once the government is doing a job extra rules and regulations come with the deal. Including the goverment's prohibitions about propping up a particular sect. I don't think that is what is happening should they help churches find a Presbryterian janitor, but bureaucrats tend to err on the side of caution.
It is time for secular left and religious right to join together for the purpose of reducing government, starting with goverment programs that are really corporate welfare. Let's face it, some will always be on the lookout for any government effort to "impose religion", while others will always be on the lookout for "government persecution" of believers. If the government gets out of the employment agency business, we won't have to fight about whether the government employment agency is helping to "establish a religion" or "discriminating against Christians".
Let's get goverment out of areas of life where the free market can do a better job so that we will have that much less to fight about.