Yesterday the House passed H.R. 1388, the charmingly titled Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act (GIVE – nice to know our congressmen are just that clever, isn’t it?). It has been sent on to the Senate, where it will likely pass and be signed into law by early April.
As it stands now, the bill does not require mandatory service for young people. However, it is far from innocuous. An amendment to Section 125 disallows participants from a number of activities, including but not at all limited to
(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing…
(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.
that a commission be established to investigate, “Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.”