Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"I Want My F.B.I."

Thanks to Joe Larson at Daily Kos for a post that called attention to an interview that mentioned Faith-based Initiatives (F.B.I.) that I missed when it was current.

As Faith-based Liaisons were teaching people of all faiths to sing I want my F.B.I., it looks like there was money for Moonies and Christians but no one else was getting dollars for free.

Ester Kaplan, author of With God on Their Side: How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush's White House, in an October interview with Buzz Flash said:

Bush's faith-based initiative also privileges Christianity above all other religions. After sifting through every grant announcement I could get my hands on from Bush's faith-based offices, I couldn't find a single grant issued to a religious charity that wasn't Christian -- no Jewish charities, no Muslim charities, nothing. And when I spoke with Jim Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, he confirmed that no direct federal grants from his program had gone to a non-Christian religious group. This kind of religious favoritism is exactly what the Constitution's establishment clause was put in place to prevent.

Towey and Kaplan must view Sun Myung Moon as a Christian, because I've seen reports that an organization affiliated with Moon received a sizeable grant.

There is a tacit establishment of Christianity in the White House that is being made explicit in the distribution of federal dollars.

The same thing is going on with state money in states that have set up offices of faith-based liaison. Here's a link to a story about what happened in Oklahoma as the faith-based program was being set up. Here's a link to some eggregious examples of the faith-based office's endorsement of the Christian religion.

Since we printed these stories and publicized what was happening, the faith-based office has worked to get money for an initiative at a Jewish Synagogue. I don't believe money has been granted to any other minority faith group in Oklahoma.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, as a religious minority, that story gave me the chills. Should I go out and get a false certificate of Baptism for my child and myself like the Jews did to escape Nazi Germany? How will they handle the special needs of children who are from families who are religious minorities? Especially non-Abrahamic ones? There is nothing like a child telling the parent that the parent is going straight to hell and meaning it in the nicest way. I guess families are sacred only if they adhere to a certain religious paradigm.