Faith-Based Groups Received Massive Amounts of U.S. Stimulus Money

Hypocrisy is one thing that relgious fanatics and politicians tend to have in common. Here’s a great example revealed by Politico:

The stimulus bought Castleton United Methodist Church in Indianapolis a new heating and cooling system. In Laramie, Wyo., it bought the Church of St. Laurence O’Toole new windows for the Roman Catholic school it runs. And in Harrisburg, Pa., Christian Churches United of the Tri-County Area spent its $120,000 in stimulus funding on food and shelter for local homeless people.

“It kind of fell from the sky, and it was unbelievable that we had this much extra money,” said Jackie Rucker, executive director of the church-sponsored nonprofit in Pennsylvania’s capital.

For many conservatives, the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as the stimulus is formally known, has been Exhibit A in their case against the Obama administration, a symbol for an era they feel will be defined by out-of-control government spending. (See: Biden: ‘Recovery Act is working’)

But the stimulus is also the largest-scale embodiment of what was, not long ago, a conservative priority: directing tax dollars to “faith-based initiatives,” as President George W. Bush called them. (See: Obama to rename Bush’s faith office)

The story of the Obama administration’s large-scale spending on faith-based groups has been largely untold, perhaps because it cuts so sharply across the moment’s intensely partisan narrative. And in fact, when the stimulus was being debated in February 2009, conservatives attacked the bill as “anti-religious” in its spending guidelines…

[continues at Politico]

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  • DeepCough

    There’s good reason to not like this: it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

  • DeepCough

    There’s good reason to not like this: it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

  • DeepCough

    There’s good reason to not like this: it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

  • 5by5

    What’s also interesting is not just the fact of the government handing out money to religious organizations, but also the faith-by-faith distribution of that money. You don’t see Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Wiccan, or tribal religious charities getting gobs of money, and Islamic charities? Fugetaboudit. They are not only not getting funds, they’re getting investigated.

    Because this is the case, it’s tantamount to the government not just supporting religion in violation of the Constitution, but it’s the government favoring one PARTICULAR religion. Which is yet another reason why government should stay the hell out of this from the get-go.

    It’s wonderful that religious charities feel compelled to do good works (though I personally don’t require some invisible parent-figure in the sky commanding me to do so under threat of eternal damnation to motivate me to do good for my fellow man) but such activities are a personal choice, not a public activity, and should remain so, not just to protect government from religion, but to protect religion from government too.

    Moreover all these other weird public exceptions for religion need to be abolished. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples — all need to pay property taxes and “render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.”

  • 5by5

    What’s also interesting is not just the fact of the government handing out money to religious organizations, but also the faith-by-faith distribution of that money. You don’t see Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Wiccan, or tribal religious charities getting gobs of money, and Islamic charities? Fugetaboudit. They are not only not getting funds, they’re getting investigated.

    Because this is the case, it’s tantamount to the government not just supporting religion in violation of the Constitution, but it’s the government favoring one PARTICULAR religion. Which is yet another reason why government should stay the hell out of this from the get-go.

    It’s wonderful that religious charities feel compelled to do good works (though I personally don’t require some invisible parent-figure in the sky commanding me to do so under threat of eternal damnation to motivate me to do good for my fellow man) but such activities are a personal choice, not a public activity, and should remain so, not just to protect government from religion, but to protect religion from government too.

    Moreover all these other weird public exceptions for religion need to be abolished. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples — all need to pay property taxes and “render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.”

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      Man…I got nothing to add. That’s exactly my point. This money is doled out almost exclusively to large Christian Evangelical movements…not to anyone or anything else…it is state sponsored dollars for groups that proselytize even when they say they don’t. It is criminal, unconstitutional and grossly unethical. If they want to play politics and get federal loot…they can pay taxes like anyone else.

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  • http://www.propertytaxfunding.com/ Loans

    Regarding the comment about property taxes, at least in Texas, religious entities are generally excluded from paying property taxes. Learn more about Texas Property tax loans at http://www.propertytaxfunding.com/
    It’s common is many states.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Man…I got nothing to add. That’s exactly my point. This money is doled out almost exclusively to large Christian Evangelical movements…not to anyone or anything else…it is state sponsored dollars for groups that proselytize even when they say they don’t. It is criminal, unconstitutional and grossly unethical. If they want to play politics and get federal loot…they can pay taxes like anyone else.

  • Addjian
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