Bush Admin. Funneling Millions to Faith-Based Programs

This doesn't surprise me so I won't pretend shock. But I will do is ask this: what is different from taking money from taxpayers and putting it into programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, which conservatives loath, and taking money from taxpayers and giving it to religious organizations and faith-based nonprofits?

The answer: RELIGION...and everything that's tied to it, including the bias and prejudices inherent in a particular faith.

The Washington Post has the story and The Blend does a good follow-up on it. You can read it all there, but here is the lead in from the Post:

For years, conservatives have complained about what they saw as the liberal tilt of federal grant money. Taxpayer funds went to abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood to promote birth control, and groups closely aligned with the AFL-CIO got Labor Department grants to run worker-training programs.

In the Bush administration, conservatives are discovering that turnabout is fair play: Millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have flowed to groups that support President Bush's agenda on abortion and other social issues.

Under the auspices of its religion-based initiatives and other federal programs, the administration has funneled at least $157 million in grants to organizations run by political and ideological allies, according to federal grant documents and interviews.

The Blend pulls out these factoids:

Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing took in $23.5 million (yep, gay-bashing, call for the execution of international leaders Pat Robertson)

The Door of Hope Pregnancy Care Center in Madisonville, Ky., a small outfit of four part-time employees committed "to the belief in the sanctity of human life, primarily as it relates to the protection of the unborn," operated on an annual budget of $75,000 to $79,000, most of it raised from an annual banquet and a "walk for life." Last year, Door of Hope got an abstinence education grant of $317,017, allowing it to hire staff and expand.

In Dyersburg, Tenn., the Life Choices Pregnancy Support Center, where the staff believes "without reservation or qualification that the Scriptures teach that human life begins at conception," had revenue of $81,621 and could pay Executive Director Natalie Wilson $12,247 in 2001. Two years later, the center got a $534,339 grant for abstinence education. By 2004, annual revenue totaled $617,355.

Bishop Sedgwick Daniels (pictured above as a convention delegate) met “with top administration officials” and also met with “the president himself.” Later, his church received $1.5 million in federal funds through Bush’s faith-based initiative.

So, the way I see it, my money is going to religious-based programs that basically don't fit with my belief system, and somehow this is okay. Conservatives don't see a problem with this. FYI, a conservative tool on the Tennessee Guerilla Women's site got on a rip about "social programs" but he had no problem with "faith-based" programs. Yet, it's only a problem to conservatives if THEIR money goes to a program that THEY don't agree with on moral and religious grounds.


At 10:06, Blogger John Hosty said...

This is really informative, and like you said, not surprizing. Now tht we know, what do we do about it?

At 08:11, Blogger GiG said...

Hi Callie,

This is off-topic, I just wanted to share some good news from Georgia.

Domestic partners eligible for pensions

At 22:13, Blogger dorsano said...

The Rush Limbaughs of the world have been taught to think that Democrats created social programs like Social Security and Meidcare to secure large blocks of votes to keep them in power.

So they figure that they can do the same.


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