Your Taxes Fund Religious Preaching On Marriage
The latest reason to elect a progressive President in 2008: Right wingers are using your tax dollars to support right wing fundamentalist Christian sermons about religion.
The Northwest Marriage Institute has received approximately $100,000 from the federal government. That money is being used to promote a program that instructs couples to comply with fundamentalist theology, and promotes the Christian Bible as the ultimate authority on how married couples must behave. The Northwest Marriage Institute’s program promises to seek to establish “Christian marriages, to “provide faith-based education in marriage and other related subjects”, and to “promote successful biblical principles for everyday living.” The goal of the program is to preach fundamentalist Christian religious beliefs about marriage to people who choose not to attend church - to proselytize to nonbelievers. The program’s outreach efforts include marriage retreats at which couples are lectured about “how God made you”, and seminars where couples are preached to about “God’s plan for a healthy marriage”.
Think all of this is just means to a positive end? From a right wing Christian fundamentalist attitude, it might seem positive, but many Americans would disagree strongly with the Northwest Marriage Institute’s use of government money to promote the belief that wives must allow their husbands to dominate them because “the Bible says that the wife should submit to the husband”. Many Americans would also be disturbed to discover that the American government is now funding a program that instructs people that God does “not allow couples to be involved in pre-marital sex.” That’s a faith-based belief if I’ve ever seen one. If God, supposedly the all-powerful ruler of the universe, doesn’t allow pre-marital sex, then how come so many people are doing it?
Keep in mind what the phrase “faith-based” really means. “Faith-based” means “religious”. These are religious agendas that the government is funding, and not just programs that support religion in general, but particular, narrow, religious beliefs that are not held by large numbers of Christian Americans, much less non-Christian Americans. The government is using the Office of Faith Based initiatives to promote right wing religion over other beliefs about religion, and that kind of activity is explicitly forbidden in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
The right wingers believe that your tax dollars ought to be used to help fundamentalists preach their religion’s repressive values across America. Progressives believe that it’s not the business of government to fund religious culture wars. Progressive values hold that Americans have the right to decide what they believe about religion on their own, without government interference. That’s reason #24 to vote to elect a progressive President in 2008.
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