HR-1388 was a real bill and was
originally called the
“Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education" or "GIVE" Act was
signed into law by President Obama on April 21, 2009. It is now
called "Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act."
Some versions on this eRumor confuse this
bill with a Presidential determination to fund emergency relief and
migration for Gaza refugees. This was not part of the HR-1388
bill. For findings please
Critics found the wording of a particular
section of this bill that prohibits religious practice to be offensive
but the bill does not restrict religious practices on off time. It
is only while on duty that the volunteers are restricted from such
activity. This has no effect on participants in their off time.
The part in question of the original
text of the bill was:
SEC. 1304 PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND
SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND
(a) Prohibited Activities- A
participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle
may not engage in the following activities:
7, "Engaging in
religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing
instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious
instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to
religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or
inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in
any form of religious proselytization."
The forwarded email is
from the blog of Christian author Jonas Clark based in Hallandale Beach,
Florida. Clark voiced his concern over the wording in a section
which prohibits volunteers from engaging in religious activity.
On April 21, 2009, World Net Daily (WND)
reported on this bill saying, "The plan also raises First Amendment
issues over its limitations on what various corps participants are
allowed to do, " and stated section 125 of the bill as an example.
for WND article.
The bill also prohibits participants
in the program from other activities such as lobbying, protests,
petitions, boycotts or strikes.
In the final text of the bill it now
reads, "An approved national service position under this subtitle may
not be used for the following
Click for Bill information