Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Federal money for proselytizing

A complete shocker! A stunner! A conservative abstinence-only group is using federal funds to push religion on teens! I'm flabbergasted. How could this happen?

From the Kaiser Foundation "Daily Reproductive Health Report":

National Politics & Policy | Federal Grant to Abstinence Education Program Withheld Because Group Seemingly Using Tax Money for Religious Purposes
[Aug 23, 2005]

HHS officials on Monday suspended federal grant money to the Pennsylvania-based abstinence education group Silver Ring Thing, saying the organization appears to be using tax dollars to fund religious programs, the Washington Post reports. In a letter to the program director, Harry Wilson, associate commissioner of the agency's Family and Youth Services Bureau, said the federally funded program "includes both secular and religious components that are not adequately safeguarded," the Post reports. HHS officials ordered the organization to submit a "corrective action plan" in order to receive an expected $75,000 in federal funding this year. Representatives of Silver Ring Thing said that although it is a "faith-based" group, it does not use public funding for its religious activities. "Any religious teaching that goes on is separate in time and place from what the government is funding," Joel Oster -- senior litigation counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the Silver Ring Thing...

This is going to be an increasing problem over the next several years. These "faith based" groups simply can't help themselves. They have a mission and whether it's public or private dollars, they're going to be missionaries. It's not part of what they do, it's who they are. And that's fine, that's great, but not with my tax money.

Kudos to the HHS for putting them on notice. And Kudos to the ACLU for bringing it up.


Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

But remember, Our Prez is on the record for supporting different points of view to be taught in schools....

9:38 PM  

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