Feds slam council, Lutheran synod for bringing religion into programs for victims of violence

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Feds slam council, Lutheran synod for bringing religion into programs for victims of violence

*A partnership involving a Lutheran synod in North Dakota ran afoul of federal regulations when it brought religion into a federally funded program that supports victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, the U.S. Department of Justice found in a highly critical report finalized this month.

The missteps included a guide that urged faith leaders to offer to help victims reconnect with their faith and to “reassure her it is not her fault nor God’s will,” according to the report released Nov. 4 by the Office for Civil Rights within the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs.

Information received in October 2014 led the civil rights office to review the nonprofit North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services, or CAWS, for not following a federal regulation banning use of federal funds for religious activities in DOJ-funded groups…*

Read more: bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/feds-slam-council-lutheran-synod-for-bringing-religion-into-programs/article_903abd2e-2ca4-5949-bc92-b0624def671b.html

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So interestingly enough, I’m studying to be an Occupational Therapist in Canada and even our overwhelmingly secular, liberal program recognizes the therapeutic value of engaging with a client’s spirituality. It would be one thing if they were guilty forcing their beliefs into a situation where it isn’t warranted, but using faith as a tool to help address issues like domestic violence and sexual assault can have a powerful therapeutic effect.

Exactly. This seems like nothing more than an attempt to restrict religion to Sunday mornings and private homes.

Our church has a structured program for women and children seeking to escape abuse. It is run by a member who is a social worker, and supported by private funds - mostly congregational offerings. I suppose we could serve more families with government grants but that seems to require compromises I know we could not make.

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