Officials in South Carolina are lobbying the Trump administration to ensure that a conservative Christian foster-care agency doesn't have to place children with any prospective parents who disagree with its theology.
Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville stated in a newsletter that it had made it clear to state officials that "the heart of our ministry was tied to our common faith in Jesus Christ, and that while we would help any healthy family find a way to provide foster care by helping connect them to some other agency, Miracle Hill would only work directly with Christian families."
Miracle Hill is licensed by the state and receives tax funding for its work placing children, yet it has made it clear that it won't work with families that fall outside its interpretation of Christianity.
Journalist Sarah Posner with The Nation reported that South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has personally intervened in the matter. McMaster wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and later told Miracle Hill's CEO, Reid Lehman, "It is important that religious organizations not be required to sacrifice the tenets of their faith in order to serve the children of South Carolina."
The investigative website "The Intercept" reported in October that the Trump administration is considering the request. The site quoted Beth Lesser, a Jewish woman, who was denied service by Miracle Hill.
"Understand, in the upstate of South Carolina, if you want to be a foster parent or a mentor, there's DSS (Department of...