February 24, 2006

"Faith-Based" Federal Funding

Fellow blogger "A Typical Joe" gave me a heads up on this post at Daily Kos regarding the Bush administration's policy of releasing funds, including a new $500 million pot, to "faith-based" organizations. This latest grant, according to the story, is target toward "strengthening marriages."

By marriages, of course, they mean "traditional marriage" between a man and a woman. Don't even think about using any of it to support same-sex marriage. Also, the history of previous "faith-based" grants has gone almost exclusively to Christian groups and excluded other non-christian religions.

Folks, this is another step toward a Federal theocracy, and GLBT people are NOT welcome to participate. This article suggests, and "A Typical Joe" concurrs, that other Christian groups should try to get a piece of this pie and attempt to level the playing field. There is certainly solid logic behind that approach, but I strongly disagree with it.

One of my recurring themes on this blog has been, "If it's wrong for the opposition to do something, it doesn't become right when my side does it." I feel the suggestion of going after this federal money would go against that philosophy. If you really believe in the separation of church and state, you need to carry that thought through regarding this issue.

I don't believe churches have ANY right to take taxpayer money for anyting. I could bend that rule to allow a church-sponsored operation, like a day-care center, to accept federal funding, but only if they were subject to the same anti-discriminatory policies that every other organization must follow.

Remember, churches already have an advantage in that they generally don't have to pay federal taxes. Given the political activism of some church organizations, that really grinds my cookies. There are laws limiting the level of political activism churches can have, but they are clearly not being stringently enforced. That's bad enough, but giving some "fundamentalist" group part of my tax money to spread the message of hate and exculsion--NO WAY!

Rather than try to put their hands in the till, I feel the better course of action is to lobby for the abolition of "faith-based" funding altogether. Let churches help people with money they generate, and let the federal government spend my tax money.


  1. Lobby to abolish "faith-based" funding as well ending tax-exemption for churches.

    Just saying........

  2. Jim,

    You might be interested in this discussion.

    Gist: "Governor Mitt Romney and a legislative leader yesterday delivered unwelcome news to the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts, who plan to seek permission from the state to exclude gay and lesbian parents from adopting children through its social service agencies."

    As it turns out, the board of Catholic Charities doesn't like the bishops' idea either.

    Regards, Bill