Churches Getting Government Money, Give It Back.

The current flap over a requirement that faith-based organizations be required to offer birth control as other organizations are required to do should be a wake up call for all of us.

I am a taxpayer who helps pay religious organizations to perform public services.  I support the Federal Government’s policies on insurance coverage to employees.  I’m one of those who wants religious organizations to either reject the federal money or conform to its requirements.

Military service might be an example of how things work.  When there was a draft, it was possible for someone who had a religious aversion to war, to opt out of certain kinds of service.  When serving in the military became voluntary, that option was mostly gone.

I heard the Catholic Church takes in something like 2 billion dollars in government money.  There is a way it can receive federal money and none of its employees using birth control.  Just persuade them not to use it.  Good luck with that.

Some of us think over populating our planet is a moral issue.  It takes away opportunities for future citizens.  Withholding birth control from health benefits violates this moral principle.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.  Everyone can worship at the church of their choice.  It does not require every public contract include religious accommodation.

Religious organizations that push their own view of morality at the expense of the views of others should not be accommodated.

 

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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19 Responses to Churches Getting Government Money, Give It Back.

  1. entech says:

    It is true that religious organisations want Government subsidies and funds as if by right with no strings attached. There would be other organisations that are not faith based that have a similar attitude of entitlement, amateur sporting organisations are another example. I do think that you accept the money and the conditions if you reject the conditions you should also reject the money. Sporting groups in Australia are often especially bad, I don’t expect to see 18 years thrashing 12 year old in competition, that kind of regulation age, weight even gender divisions are OK, but they should not have the right to deny membership to some members of the public without explanation – as the underlying reason is often racial, ethnic or social.

    In Australia the government gives a lot of money to private schools in some cases more than is spent per head on public education – perhaps 5% of children with some form of disadvantage manage to get into private schools and as entry is by selection they can and do choose the best. The stats are then used to show that private is better than public – it may be so but it is heavily weighted on their side.

    I have a regular donation to the Salvation Army, I am not religious and don’t agree with their doctrines, but I do know that they are one of the few that are really non-discriminatory.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 2:20 “but I do know they (Salvation Army) are one of the few that is really non-discrimintory.”

      In the U. S., the Salvation Army will not hire any gays and will teminate any found. They do claim to provide aid on a nondiscriminary basis.

      • entech says:

        Their web site says that no one should be discriminated against etc. because of what they called a sexual disposition, however this only seems to apply if you are not active. But I was really thinking of who and how they try to help anyone in need.

      • Joan Callaghan says:

        Joan Callaghan
        Today here in New Jersey I caught a small piece of information on only one station. That the finance dept. is giving millions of dollars to two churchs. A synagogue in Lakewood, NJ and a Catholic church. What happened to separation of church and state?? What if I was a church? The finance head of her Dept refused to answer the committee. Again, I did not get all of the info.

  2. Avatar of S. L. S. L. says:

    Becoming pregnant is a CHOICE, and is NOT an illness or a disease. Low cost birth control is available to any person who so desires it [regardless of race, religion, or sex]. As a tax paying legal citizen, I object to the government providing or mandating that birth control be given, free of charge, to any person, male or female, who may so desire it.

    Did you ever stop and think that this might well be the current administration’s means of reducing the number of low income people in this country?? Or perhaps it is nothing more than “buying votes”?

  3. Jessie says:

    If this happens with the Catholic Church then a whole new set of rules are in play. That mean Scientology (which is an accepted religion) who doesn’t like psychiatry and decline mental health as part of their insurance as well as anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depression drugs. The Catholic Church once banned organ transplant … what if your boss still has a ‘religious belief’ about that and bans that from your insurance policy? What if he bans (on his or her religious belief) pap smears and breast exams for women because another man (male Dr.) would be touching a woman who is not his wife or if it was a female Dr. it could be considered a lesbian thing …. all this on moral grounds … take this times ten thousand and this is a very slippery slope people … any employer can object to almost everything on their own moral beliefs then … is that what we want!

  4. Bob says:

    This will be inflammatory, and it is not meant to be, I apologize ahead of time if it is offense of anyone, but the overpopulation problem, is not a problem of the West. Its a problem in areas of the world not developed, like India, China, Bangladesh, Afganistan, parts of South and Central America.
    It is NOT a white person’s problem. I don’t mean that in anyway offensive, its just statistically the truth.
    If it were not for Amerindian immigration legal and illegal, the U.S. population would be declining, just Europe, instead of holding steady.
    I think its important to keep this in mind. I don’t personally hold it against my catholic friends for having lots of kids, because there just isn’t that many white people compared to the rest of the world.
    What’s more important to me, is, that government (with powerful men pulling the strings) should absolutely stay out of it.
    It should be up to women and the free market. Period. Because that is freedom. I challenge you to tell me that is not the American way.

  5. Bob says:

    Bob, 3:27 I meant, just like in Europe, which their indigenous white people population is declining rapidly. People from the West have something to offer to the world too. :)

  6. Bob says:

    No religious institutions should be getting tax payers money, not ever, for no reason. Its inherently currupt to do so because not everyone who is forced to give up their money is religious, or of the same beliefs etc. And even if they are of that faith that’s getting that money, they still might not want to fund through their tax dollars what the money is used for.
    I think the same about most government programs too, like education, and the military.

    It’s just wrong and I wish it would stop.

  7. Bob says:

    I don’t believe that “freethinkers” who believe government can replace religion in charity and education and military and most government programs, are truly freethinkers. They might be godless, but they are not freethinkers. They are under the dogma, doctrine, beliefs, of their governments, which is their dogma, their higher power that they surrender to.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Bob– I certainly agree with your posts that the birth rate is higher just now in some parts of the world than it is in the West. These trends, or course, may change. You are also correct that it would be far better if governments did not get involved in how many children people have.

      The thing is, people do choose, or don’t object strongly enough, to having their governments involved in such things. In the best of all worlds, people would focus on the resources available for future generations and not on a passing fad as to what represents a god’s desire for them.

  8. Bob says:

    You might be right Jon. I just think what’s missing is thinking about this with what we know today. And what we know today, certainly is NOT going to hold true in our species tomorrows. Science is, has been, will change EVERYTHING.

    I don’t believe population is going to be a problem. I think that will be the least of our worries as a species. The problems of the near future are going to be ones we can’t forsee. THAT I think is true, and we will have to change with them, and fast.

  9. Danny says:

    It is an established doctrine of the Catholic Church that contraception is not accepted. It has been that way for years and coming from one of the oldest institutions in the world, surpassing most every religion and every ruling power in terms of years, that is saying something. In this country we are given religious freedom. The Catholic Church is excercising their religious freedom by choosing not to partake in acts that it deems as going against its basic doctrine. If you wish to be provided with contraception, then that is your choice and you are free to excercise it. There are plenty of other jobs out there, take those. If you choose to work for the Catholic Church, then respect some basic doctrine. This is not just any employer refusing to cover whatever they do not wish to. This stems from ancient doctrine and practices that have been around far longer than any government and especially far longer than the one attempting to regulate it now. In addition, check your numbers, the Catholic Church gives back in charity far more than it recieves from any government.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Danny 2:40 Thanks for coming on to comment for the first time. You certainly are correct the Catholic church has preached against birth control for quite a while. The controversy brings up the question of whether or not it is good to have the Catholic church in business with the U. S. Government.

  10. CD says:

    I am so disgusted with the mega churches in the south. On the one hand they have out taking money from the government, state and federal and then on the other want to force their beliefs on everyone. Some say, if we do not get the money we will closed hospitals, clinics etc. I say close them and then maybe the government will have real health care reform.

    As a nurse with 30 years of experience, I am sick of the holier than thou attitude that many of these “faith based” institutions have!

    Enjoyed your article!

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      CD 1:29 Thanks for coming on to post a comment. I apologize for the hours that have passed since you posted. I have to approve individually news people that post comments and have not been able to be at my computer for 24 hours.

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