Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked the Obama administration to investigate recent Congressional earmarks that the civil-liberties watchdog group says have been made to nine religious schools and organizations.
The earmarks, which are in the current federal budget, raise constitutional issues about inappropriate public financing of religion, Americans United said in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and three other cabinet members.
“We ask that you carefully investigate these earmarks and that you impose any restrictions necessary to ensure that the earmarks satisfy all legal requirements,” wrote Americans United. “If such restrictions cannot feasibly be put in place for one or more of the earmarks, then, in order to comply with the law, please refrain from funding those earmarks.”
The Obama administration did not have immediate comment. Americans United said the earmarks were designated for:
- Atlanta Christian College, in East Point, Ga.
- Beth Medrash Govoha, in Lakewood, N.J.
- Grace College and Theological Seminary, in Winona Lake, Ind.
- Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, in Minot, N.D.
- Men of Valor Academy, in Oakland, Calif.
- Team Focus, in Mobile, Ala.
- Wesley Biblical Seminary, in Jackson, Miss.
- United Methodist Children’s Home, in Selma, Ala.
- Tacoma Rescue Mission, in Tacoma, Wash.