Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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Government funding of religion


This Americans United article talks about the crumbling wall between church and state:

President George W. Bush strayed not far from the White House today to rehash one of his favorite themes: Why we should all have to pay for someone else’s religion.

Speaking before the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast at a Washington, D.C. hotel, Bush extolled the “faith-based” initiative, which entails directing millions of federal dollars to religious groups allegedly so they can provide social services.

“One of the reasons that I am such a strong believer in the power of our faith-based institutions is that they add something the government never can, and that is love,” the president told the religious gathering.

He then said that Catholic groups all over the land are “leading America’s armies of compassion. You are changing America one heart, one soul at a time, and I thank you.”

The president’s push for state-funded faith didn’t stop there. He then launched into a tired promotion of welfare for Catholic schools. He backed requiring all taxpayers to prop up these church-run institutions.

OK, did he just say that taxpayers have to dip into their depleted pockets to fund love? What was that Beatle's song: "Can't Buy Me Love"?

It gets worse- Bush is going directly against Thomas Jefferson's wishes:

In the Virginia religious freedom act’s preamble, Jefferson condemned public financing of religion.

Jefferson wrote that compelling people “to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions” they don’t believe “is sinful and tyrannical” and that even forcing a citizen to “support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he make his pattern ….”

Jefferson’s words in favor of religious freedom and the right to support only the religions you choose (if any) remain powerfully passionate and eloquent. His words are cited today be individuals worldwide who yearn for freedom of conscience. Bush has offered no defense of religious liberty to be remembered. He instead has ignobly led a drive to trample the First Amendment and meld government and religion.

I do not want one penny of my taxes going into any church's pocket. Period. Yet, it is, against my wishes. We need to stop funding religious institutions of any sort. Let them grub for their own money.

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