Bush Ties Faith-Based Scheme
To Anti-Abortion Effort
by Cliff Walker
February 4, 2001
Some interesting news is floating around about another incident with poor ol' President Bush being once again unaware that his microphone was on. While speaking privately to Roman Catholic supporters of his scheme to funnel tax dollars into religious programs which allege to solve such problems as poverty, drug addiction, and teenage sex, Bush is reported to have said:
"Take the life issue. This issue requires a president and an administration leading our nation to understand the importance of life. This whole faith-based initiative really ties into a larger cultural issue that we're working on ... because when you're talking about welcoming people of faith to help people who are disadvantaged and are unable to defend themselves, the logical step is also those babies."
He said that the "pro-life movement" has been "losing a war of words to the opposing side," reports the Washington Times. Bush explained, "there is a kind of a built-in prejudice against a particular position on both sides of both issues. And the language of the issues is never for life, it's always anti-somebody's right." All this was caught by reporters listening to a feed that Bush had thought was turned off.
Senator Tim Hutchinson (Republican-Arkansas) said that the "federal government should not endorse faith" although "it should not be hostile to it either" (Washington Times, February 1). Some religious leaders have wisely expressed concern that "government money creates dependency, requires submission to government audits and could compromise their spiritual mission," says the Republican Senator.
African American Bishop Charles E. Blake, Pastor of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, typifies the sentiments of those who are not in a position to argue with the Almighty Dollar: "It would be a horrible mistake for black people to say, as some have said, 'We don't recognize him,'" said Blake at Bush's recent Prayer Breakfast, an annual event which was begun during the McCarthy Era. "If you refuse to deal with him (Bush), the resources at his disposal will be given to others," Blake said.
Expressing no shame or reservation was Rev. Gary Ham, executive director of the Newport News, Virginia.-based ministry Operation Breakingthrough, said, "The opportunity for churches to serve as providers using government money as a service to people in need ... is wonderful. You can provide services as a church without denying you are a church" (Washington Post, February 1).
In other words, we pay them to be churches. We cannot tell a Presbyterian church that she cannot discriminate against a Muslim seeking work, and we cannot really tell a Jesus-Only (non-Trinitarian) group not to use our money to propagate views that many of us find abhorrent and that others of us consider too sacred to be tainted by government money.
But, the cat's out of the bag -- and it's not something that I would have predicted: the anti-abortion movement!
Visit our newly updated Big Scary List of George W. Bush Quotations.
Sources for this story are:
"Bush 'Ties' Faith-Based Plan to Antiabortion Effort" (February 1, 2001) KaiserNetwork.org (You'll have to paste this URL back together yourself. Sorry. We send out only text format to ease readers' fears of virus attacks.)
"Bush Caught on Tape -- Again: Says he'll use tax dollars to help religious groups oppose abortion" (February 1, 2001) Margaret Sykes, About.com Pro-Choice Views
Thanks to long-time PAM correspondent Kevin Courcey, of California, for this tip.
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