by sethco, Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 08:08:55 AM EST
The crass Republican exploitation of religion for material gain continues apace. Today's Chicago Tribune today reports that government handouts to religious groups are increasing at a phenomenal rate.
In his 2007 budget proposal, Bush is seeking $323 million for [The White House's Compassion Capital Fund], 36 percent more than the $236 million allocated this year, while the funding of many government agencies is cut.
In addition, five federal agencies--including the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services--increased their grants to faith-based groups to $1.334 billion in 2004, up 14 percent from the year before. Combined with grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of Agriculture, the overall spending for faith-based initiatives in 2004 surpassed $2 billion.
When Bush on Thursday addresses a White House Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, expected to draw 1,500 people, he will report that spending in 2005 set a new record as well.
The Republican courting of religious groups is nothing but a ploy to manipulate honest religious people so that Republicans can loot the Treasury. Republicans continue to act with no compassion when it really matters while, at the same time, they hand their friends millions of taxpayer dollars that were meant to help protect Americans.
...the federal government has become a major source of money for Operation Blessing, [Pat] Robertson's international charity, under the Bush initiative. In two years, the group's annual revenue from government grants has ballooned from $108,000 to $14.4 million.
That Republicans are manipulating evangelicals and other religious people for personal gain is no secret. Talk of it can be found even in conservative Christian magazines.
This week's executive order establishing an office to funnel taxpayer money out of the Department of Homeland Security and into the pockets of Republican supports is yet another example of how Republicans are selling out America for their personal benefit.
Democrats need to break the silence on this issue and put a stop to Republican programs that destroy our ability to protect protect ourselves in time of need. It's time to put into office people whose interests are the same as ours, not those of Jack Abramoff and George W. Bush.