FFRF Challenges Emory University Grant

Emory University received a $1.5 million federal grant from Health and Human Service, announced in October 2002, to support faith-based community health programs across the country. Emory's Interfaith Health Program (IHP) disbursed $900,000 of its public grant to nine "religious health conversion" foundations, who in turn were charged with awarding subgrants. The grant application stated that "subawards will be granted to 49 faith-based organizations." At the point of the legal challenge, at least 80% of subgrants had gone to religious agencies.The Emory grant application identified religious goals such as the improvement of "government/FBO collaborations." Emory admitted in correspondence with HHS that "some of the Foundations exercise a preference in their private grant making for competent applications which reflect their own religious heritage." On January 11, 2005 (as the Foundation's attorney was at Emory taking depositions), Shabaz ruled the Foundation had not proved the funding was unconstitutionally favoring religion. In the same decision, Shabaz ruled in favor of the Foundation's challenge of federal funding of MentorKids USA.

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