Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Condoms, No. Abstinence, Prayers and Cold Showers
Thomas Edsall writes in Washington Post that "Millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have flowed to groups that support President Bush's agenda on abortion and other social issues." The president and his administration make no secret of their support of "faith-based" organizations, so the news that funding for them has taken a quantum leap should cause no surprise. It is part of a pattern. The goal is to politicize religious organizations. It paid dividends for the Republicans during the election of 2004 when pulpits were used to sermonize against candidates who supported women's right to choose. They are continuing to pursue the theme, empowered by money pouring in from our taxes.
Payola or Patronage by Federal Government ?
- 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.
An example is Heritage Community Services in Charleston, S.C. A decade ago, Heritage was a tiny organization with deeply conservative social philosophy but not much muscle to promote it. An offshoot of an antiabortion pregnancy crisis center, Heritage promoted abstinence education at the county fair, local schools and the local Navy base. The budget was $51,288.
- By 2004, Heritage Community Services had become a major player in the booming business of abstinence education. Its budget passed $3 million -- much of it in federal grants distributed by Bush's Department of Health and Human Services -- supporting programs for students in middle school and high school in South Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky.