A Christian homeless shelter in Pennsylvania could lose more than half its funding because it doesn’t want Muslim employees and has refused to sign a government contract barring hiring discrimination. Founder Bill Halle says Jesus is the center of the foundation’s work. He says, “You cannot have a Muslim within our organization.”
Trib Live The Grace Youth and Family Foundation in Butler, PA tells The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review it only wants employees who believe in Jesus Christ and being forced to hire people of other faiths is unacceptable.
Butler County’s only homeless shelter, which opens for the winter season Sunday, could lose more than half of its funding because of a spat over a government contract.
The faith-based Grace Youth and Family Foundation’s Winter Relief Center was in line for about $35,000 from the Butler County Department of Human Services, provided it sign a contract promising not to discriminate based on race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or non-job related handicap or disability.
Bill Halle, head of the foundation, says he cannot sign a contract in which the county stipulates hiring criteria he says interferes with the group’s religious beliefs.“We have a statement of faith that Jesus Christ is the center of everything we do. We want the opportunity to talk about it. You cannot have a Muslim within our organization. Our faith is central to what we do,” Halle said. “We will not hire people or employ services that are in opposition to our faith, which is a legally allowable exception to discrimination laws for faith-based organizations,” he said.