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A Faith-Based Boondoggle

Posted on Nov 15, 2007

WASHINGTON—In the ugly budget battles beginning to unfold between President Bush and a Congress now led by Democrats, it is a piddling sum, barely worth mentioning. So no one does.

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    Not the White House, which claimed in vetoing the $150.7 billion spending bill for health, labor and education programs that it refuses to approve measures financing “duplicative or ineffective” programs. Not the Democrats, who harrumph that Bush continues to place blind faith and billions of taxpayer dollars in his own failed policies.

    No one really wants to address the odd saga of how abstinence-only sex education programs, which have been shown by government and other studies to be wholly ineffective in changing sexual behavior among teenagers, are still getting federal money—more, in fact, than ever before. Those who tend to get mad about “runaway spending” for wasteful programs should be downright incensed.

    Since 1996, federal allocations for abstinence-only sex education programs grew from $4 million to $176 million. In this year’s budget, Bush asked for a boost of $28 million, a sum congressional Democrats agreed to as a way to encourage Republicans to vote for the spending bill. “The abstinence money is very important to Republicans,” says a congressional aide when asked about the issue. 

    But not so important that enough Republicans will vote to override Bush’s veto of the larger spending measure that funds so many health and education programs dear to Democrats.


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    Whenever the budget impasse ends, abstinence-only programs are likely to get a total of $204 million. That’s about as much as the infamous and now-abandoned “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska, an excess considered so extreme that its exposure sparked a backlash against congressional earmarking. At least the bridge was meant to perform an easily identifiable function—it was to link one sparsely populated island town with an airport on a neighboring island.

    Abstinence-only programs don’t even meet this thin test. “This is kids’ health and lives,” says James Wagoner of Advocates for Youth, an organization that promotes comprehensive sex education. Why are we more agitated over pork-barrel bridges than poor information that is getting drummed into impressionable young heads?

    In 1997, Congress mandated an independent study of the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education programs promoted by Republicans and religious conservatives as an alternative to sex education that includes information about birth control. The study concluded that they aren’t. Youths in these programs were no more likely than other teenagers to delay the start of sexual activity, or to have fewer sex partners.

    More recently, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reached the same conclusion. Abstinence-only programs, the campaign says in a new report, “did not delay the initiation of sex, increase the return to abstinence or decrease the number of sexual partners.” Nor did they make any difference in whether or not teenagers used condoms or other contraceptives. By contrast, two-thirds of the programs that included abstinence education along with instruction about contraceptives “had positive behavioral effects,’’ including delays in initiating sex, less frequent sex and a significant reduction in unprotected sex.

    The documented failure of abstinence-only programs has prompted 14 states—including such conservative redoubts as Wyoming—to stop using state funds to match federal abstinence dollars. The latest is Virginia, where Gov. Timothy M. Kaine just eliminated about $275,000 the state was spending to match federal funds. The deletion was made as Kaine struggles to close a budget shortfall and asked his department heads to identify cuts to programs that aren’t “effective and efficient,” according to his communications director, Delacey Skinner. Health officials, she said, concluded that “this was not an evidence-based program.”

    It is what it always has been: A faith-based boondoggle.

    It also is a reliable stream of money to community activists, many of them with ties to conservative religious groups who run the programs for the federal government and turn out for Republicans on Election Day. Politically speaking, the generosity Bush and his fellow Republicans have shown to these groups is roughly akin to that of Democratic machine politicians of yore who gave out holiday turkeys to loyalists.

    Of the deep disappointments the public has with this new Congress, wrangling over a few million tucked here or there into a huge budget bill is perhaps a petty annoyance. But one of the things Democrats vowed to do when they took over Capitol Hill was to end the triumph of ideology over evidence. So far they haven’t.   

    Marie Cocco’s e-mail address is mariecocco(at)

    © 2007, Washington Post Writers Group

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By helga, September 29, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was sure, that abstinence program would fail, cause prohibition and abstinence was always bad educational method, and not a method at all when out television is full of sex, sexual celebs and their sexual life, sex-shows, sex, sex and sex… The main key word of our life….

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By John Borowski, November 20, 2007 at 4:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Cleveland, a church preacher moonlighted as a broker and put his sheep into houses they could not afford. One sheep was a seventy eight year old woman that is probably sleeping on cardboard on a sidewalk somewhere. This tells me that the preacher is more of an atheist than I am. What he would have to pay if he believed there was an after life would be far more than the dirty money that he stole. That most likely was money the sheep used for life’s necessities. One thing that is so futile to prove to the sheep is that a god would not allow an evil to proclaim he is his ambassador. So too the 9/11 criminality by the Bush Republicans (Aka Conservatives right wingers) will never be brought to justice for the killing of thousands of Americans. The right wing cabal could tell the ocean of ignorance that 1+1 = 3 and no matter how many intelligent people bring proof to the table that 1+1 = 2 the sheep will believe that 1+1 = 3. 5 years will pass. 10 years will pass. Twenty years will pass. One hundred years will pass and still the sheep will believe that 1+1=3. The right wing have control of all forms of the media (As seen on TV) and have the ability to get the ocean of ignorance to believe anything they want them to believe.

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By ocjim, November 19, 2007 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

The simple fact is that Shrub has done more to promote agnosticism and/or atheism than any true agnostic or atheist could ever do. How? Through his obvious hypocrisy, through his messianic complex, through his exploitation of religion and everything else sacred, and through his obvious self-deception, he has so soured even the formerly marginal believer against organized religion or even disorganized religion, that many are in a faith crisis.

If God were in the form that Shrub describes, one who personally saved Shrub, He would have struck him dead long ago for Shrub’s extreme exploitation of everything holy.

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By purplewolf, November 19, 2007 at 1:57 am Link to this comment

#114099 dominick:

  Take a chill pill dude. Don’t you know what being facetious is ?
  According to what “church people” like to say, yes, their God does gives signs. How about that star over Bethlehem, wasn’t that a sign ?
  And by the way I know what 69 is besides a number. It is a sign giving the go-ahead that it is okay for the HEAD of the church to do the “nasty” thing with those under them….......Don’t let this “blow” your mind. You just don’t get it!

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By Nancy, November 18, 2007 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the issue is muddied when you speak of ‘religion’ per se…as a matter of fact, too many of these churches are covers for the corrupt rich to evade taxes and rape and plunder the American people with their ‘personal’ opinions which they blame on GOD. It’s nothing less than domestic terrorism. A coup… A person who knows the bible well can kick their cans everytime they step over the line. But, those people would have to really believe in GOD in order to do it.

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By johnofportland, November 17, 2007 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment
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People like god for the same reason they like Superman.  They’re looking for a he-man hero savior who will kill all the bad guys and make the world safe for puny mortals.  People like a quick fix and gods and super heroes can, at least imaginatively, give them one.

A child may dream, “If I was god/superman, oh, the changes I would make!”  An adult knows this will never happen, and if it did, they probably couldn’t handle it.  However, adults can and do choose to believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing god/superhero who will (eventually) “make everything better.”  The child says, “Close your eyes real tight and make believe with all your might.”  Adults pray for deliverance.

People apparently don’t want to work for deliverance.  They want it delivered, in fact, expect to receive it by hand from their imagined, and of course invisible, giant god/superhero in the sky (by and by).  It requires ignorance and superstition to resist reason and responsibility.  Science has to be suppressed so that it won’t threaten the house of cards.  Regular, preferably daily instruction in ignorance and superstition is mandatory.

People may wean from Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to embrace an even grander imaginary friend and benefactor with whom they may never share a single real word or thought.  They accept the secondhand word of a person declaring him/herself to be expert in a book of largely anonymous secondhand anecdotes.  The book was gathered from a multitude of completely unverified sources over several thousand years of political, social and philosophic revolution, weeded and edited, and reissued as a certified collection of largely anonymous secondhand anecdotes directly inspired by the imagined invisible god/superhero.

Ignorance and superstition are supported by the bland, if fanatic, reassurance that “all’s right in god’s world, or will be made so” (sometime).  The self-interested and often greedy people who deliver this message may actually believe the claptrap that they preach.  However, they cannot deny their venal interest in resisting any and all freethinking, diversity, or dissent.

A venal leadership inevitably yields vengeance and oppression.  Throughout history, such leaders have been the instigators of hatred, prejudice, bigotry and violence on a worldwide scale.  And as for dead, dead’s dead – even a dog knows it when he sees it - and you can’t get much more empirical than that.

Thomas Paine taught us that reason, no matter how resisted or reviled, is the only path to truth.

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By cann4ing, November 17, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for your kind words, Louise.  Unfortunately, my posts, though informative, sometimes amount to preaching to the choir here at Truthdig, except for that distinct minority whose minds are so filled with politico-religious indoctrination they seem to have lost all receptiveness to reality-based evidence, as appears to be the case with Jude and has certainly been the case on numerous occasions every time a Truthdig article appears that touches upon the topic of religion.  It would be great if someone could have grounded these people in a reality-based way of thinking before charletons like Pat Robertson corrupted their minds.

You are absolutely correct in your assessment that the desire to procreate is built in.  It is a part of the evolutionary format of each species’ DNA to perpetuate itself.  One of the principle reasons that “abstinence only” is doomed to failure flows directly from its failure to recognize both the power of this evolutionary drive and the normality of sexual desires, which science-rejecting religion seeks to cast into its superficial (and often hypocritical) concepts of morality.

While the desire cannot be eliminated by pseudo-morality, education can provide a solid tool for teaching the ramifications of irresponsible promiscuity and unprotected sexual contact just as education can serve to eliminate gender-based discrimination at the same time young adult males are taught that they should admire rather than feel threatened by female intelligence. 

I have no problem with teaching children that abstinence is a choice that should be considered, so long as we don’t ram it down their throats by suggesting if they take a different path, they become immoral or bad.

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By Louise, November 17, 2007 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Built into our being is the need to procreate. Were it not so, we would have ceased to exist long before anybody figured out how to scratch a stick figure into a rock.

Sex education, is absolutely vital to the healthy development of a child into an adult. Understanding feelings that everyone experiences, why they have them, and that they are normal, keeps kids from experimenting. If they engage in sex, they are fully informed and take appropriate precautions. If they have had responsible sex education, they fully understand the consequence of casual sex.

Abstinence only on the other hand teaches nothing. And because it doesn’t bother to recognize the “normalcy” of sex drives, and educate accordingly, the child/adolescent/adult is left feeling they are abnormal, or sinful.

In fact, those who push this philosophy really don’t care whether or not abstinence is practiced. As Dominick J. (#114142) so eloquently pointed out, where they’re concerned ... it isn’t.

This all goes back to mans inability to treat women as anything but property. When they buy a new cow, they want to be sure they are the first to use the cow. The same can be said of their views on abortion. If these men cared one bit about human life they would make sure those victims of the lack of sex education had a safe haven to go to, the care they needed and a good home waiting to adopt their unwanted “consequence.”

Many Churches do. But they are the silent majority. Not that noisy, greedy, pushy, bunch of lunatics Bush hangs around with.

Those whacko’s don’t really care enough about the unwanted child to see they get a good start in life. They just have a thing about a women’s womb, and their seed. Once the mans seed is safely delivered, they couldn’t care less. If that weren’t true, there would not be one hungry, homeless child in this world!

Those fruitcakes are, believe it or not, the minority. Thanks to multi-million dollar mega churches [who paid to build them anyway?] and an unwillingness on the part of honest church goers to speak out, [judge not lest ye be judged] this group of phonies who daily take the name of God in vain have far too much power. An unholy power that threatens to destroy, no actually WANTS to destroy the world.

They are so completely insane they think God needs THEM to bring about Armageddon. They think that’s going to be real neat, that lake and river of blood, with Billions of burning bodies. They cant wait to see it!

That should shed a little light on how really crazy they are! It doesn’t seem to have occurred to any of them that if they happen to be anywhere in the vicinity, they’ll fry too!

Try though I might, I cant find anything in the New Testament that says the followers of Christ MUST instigate Armageddon. In fact the teaching is that the destruction will be ushered in by the anti-Christ. So maybe these people who want so badly to meddle in the affairs of everybody and hasten the destruction of the world actually are the anti-Christ!

Regardless, I think it’s high time we start taxing the beegeebies out of these so-called religions. That might shut them up a little. Maybe even put them out of business. At least send a powerful message ... put your own house in order before you come after mine, you foul hypocrits!

By the way, great comments Ernest Canning.

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By cann4ing, November 17, 2007 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Hard-right, tax cutting guru, Grover Norquist, once stated that his goal was to reduce the federal government to the point that it could be “drown in a bathtub.”  His goal was realized when Katrina struck.

The scope of the disaster and plight of Louisian’s poor was not the result of an act of God.  Since 2001, billions of dollars slotted for the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project were diverted to homeland security and the war in Iraq while FEMA experienced both a brain drain and a loss of its ability to respond due to a preference for privatization of disaster relief.  W’s first FEMA director, Joe Albaugh, took the position that FEMA was simply an overblown entitlement program whose disaster relief function should be delegated to “faith-based” charities.

Among the three private organizations promoted by FEMA on its website in the wake of the Katrina disaster was Operation Blessing, a supposed non-profit entity that is wholly controlled by Pat Robertson, the former GOP presidential candidate and televangelist whose net worth is somewhere between $200 million and $1 billion.  Robertson heads the Christian Broadcasting Network (“CBN”), a media empire that employs over a thousand people and which is part of a broader number of right-wing Christian networks that include six national television networks and 2000 religious radio stations.

As noted by Democracy Now’s Juan Gonzales, an examination of Operation Blessing’s 990 for the fiscal year ending March 2004 revealed that while Operation Blessing grants a few thousand dollars each to various churches around the US, Robertson’s CBN was the so-called charity’s principle recipient, to the tune of $885,000.  In 1994, Operation Blessing, with a $190 million budget, solicited funds ostensibly to fly humanitarian relief during the Rwandan genocide and then used the funds to transport equipment to a for-profit diamond mine operated jointly by Robertson and dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.  Max Blumenthal of The Nation disclosed that the VA Dept. of Consumer Affairs found that Robertson “willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements…”, but then VA Attorney Gen. Mark Early, who received a $35,000 campaign contribution from Robertson, overruled the Office of Consumer Affairs.  As revealed by Esther Kaplan in “With God on Our Side,” “Mark Early is [now] the head of Prison fellowship Ministries.  He was appointed by former Richard Nixon dirty trickster, Chuck Colson, and Prison Fellowship Ministries is very similar to Operation Blessing.”  Prison Fellowship Ministries was chosen by the Department of Labor’s faith-based office to be one of four ‘national nonprofit partners’ for a $22.5 million workplace re-entry program for ex-offenders.”

What Katrina reveals is that these “faith-based” scams do more than simply harm.  They kill people.

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By cann4ing, November 17, 2007 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Right-wing true believers like Jude would do well to expand their knowledge of our constitutional system and history beyond the “in God We trust” on our coinage, the “One nation under God” which was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1953 or the pseudo-religous propaganda available at the Richard Mellon Scaife-funded Heritage Foundation.

“The Government of the United States,” George Washington noted in the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli, “is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”  Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, stated, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my legs.” 

However, when religion intrudes into the public sphere, as it has with “faith-based” abstinence-only sex education, as touched upon by this article, it can cause a great deal of harm, a point aptly underscored in the links provided by Dominick, and, to an even greater extent in Africa, where the Christo-fascist Bush administration’s efforts to replace condom distribution with abstinence only sex education is wreaking havoc in the face of the AIDS epidemic. 

Despite what the pseudo-religious Christo-fascist propagandists may have told you, Jude, the constitution contains explicit provisions that belie there assertion that there is no separation of church and state.  While the first amendment guarantees your personal freedom to worship as you see fit under the free exercise clause, it also bars government from seeking to establish any religion—the establishment clause which forms the underlying basis for separation of church and state, a separation that is enhanced by another section of the constitution which forbids any religious test as the basis for holding federal office.

The more intriguing comment I have seen recently on the subject involves the hypocrisy of one of the pseudo-religious con men whom our Judge no doubt admires—Pat Robertson, who openly called for the assassination of the duly elected leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.  Greg Palast notes that Robertson is having trouble “separating Church and Hate.”  But then, Palast observed, Robertson is merely doing the bidding of the Supreme Power—Dick Cheney.

The Bush regime’s “faith-based” initiatives entail more than simply a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.  It must be placed within the hard-right’s endless effort to privatize every aspect of the public domain.  Space limitations being what they are, I will address that in my next post.

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By thomas billis, November 17, 2007 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Jude.There is not one mention of God in the Constitution.Do you think they just forgot.Jefferson in his letter made it clear what they were thinking.The Constitutional ammendment that there should be no religious test to public office wake up any gray cells.The Founding Fathers so well aware of the religious wars that Europe had were determined that would not happen here.Jefferson was a Deist.Washington was far from a religious person.If you can pin Franklin as a religious zealot you go against every biographer of his life.If you wish to live in the world that this country was founded as a theocratic state I will assume that you are one of the lucky 700 who sends money to Pat Robertson.You are perverting the beginnings of this nation to justify a theocratic state.

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By Dominick J., November 17, 2007 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Abstinence ONLY Programs does not work. 
It’s a lie a sham pertpetrated by the fiendish Religious Right propoganda Ultra Conservatives, just like they claim there are truly Ex-Gay programs that work.  BOTH programs and ideas are lies, very decitful and extrmely harmful! AND a BIG waste of money and time!
People need to stop reading the propaganda hate filled Religious Right sites, like “Focus on Families,” and get some real education.




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By Dominick J., November 17, 2007 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Sorry my last statement to VillageElder was misdirected it should have gone to JUDE.  SO here Jude Separation was on the minds of our forefsthers who wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights!
They also were in favor of Freedom of Religion, and I’ll add this statement that I should have put in the one addressed to the wrong person, that NO religion would take presedence over another in this country!

Separation of Church and State:

AND this one from Jefferson on Freedom of Religion:

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By Dominick J., November 17, 2007 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

And Villagelder maybe you out to read these links.
Separtion of State was a primary when the States were being founded and so was FREEDOM of Religion.
Read these links:

Separation of Church and State:

AND this one from Jefferson on Freedom of Religion:

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By Dominick J., November 17, 2007 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Jude Your Liberal crap is outrageous. Conservatives can’t take respoinsibility for anything.  It’s the Conservatives that can’t keep it in their pants. 
The Conservatyives are the guys that are mostly caught redhanded with their pants down in Public restrooms, or in some bawdy prostitudes famous lil black book, and in their memoriers. Most of these Conservatives are Radical Right people who vote against Civil Rights at every turn because they put a religious spin on everything from color to orientation!

Besides all of the above Liberals, Conservative, Moderate, whatever, are men and women alike ALL have the same sex urges and more than likey react to them, but it’s the Pontifical Religious Right zealots that always get caught with their pants down, OR Hands in the pot, robbing the poor and gving it to the rich!
Stop coming across like only Conservatives are saints or even religious.

Abstinence ONLY can’t work, especially when nothing else is taught. NOT every one is relgious or believe in God and even the Holier than though who make these rules can’t live up to it!

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By VillageElder, November 17, 2007 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

Sex has been a problem for the “church” since the time of St. Paul.  In the Abramic traditions women are responsible for the “fall from grace” placing the otherwise god fearing fellows into this veil of tears.
Under the laws of Moses if a women was raped she should marry the man, if he was unmarried, so he would not carry the sin.  On the home page of TD

Women are constantly conspiring to move men into sin.  Rules of dress for women, imposed by the church, were designed to keep women covered that temptation might not arise.

Abstinence is not new.  That the abstinence only dogma doesn’t work is not new either.  For some reason sexual relations are seen as a great threat to the church—perhaps because it was OK with the older religions or perhaps because it’s fun.

The funneling of money to the “faith based” is simply a payoff for the political support.  Measurable success is not necessary for those with faith.

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By Jude, November 17, 2007 at 12:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thomas Billis is incorrect when he says that our Founding Fathers were in favor of separation of church and state. Look at the following link to see the truth:

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By Publius, November 17, 2007 at 12:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

See for some interesting facts comparing America and Europe. It seems that Chris doesn’t really have his facts straight.

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By Jude, November 17, 2007 at 12:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ms. Cocco is incorrect. Abstinence-only programs DO work. See

There’s something about the whole teen sex issue that I don’t understand, and I would appreciate some help. It seems to me that most liberals believe that humans are like animals, and that we can’t control our sexual urges. It appears to me that most liberals think that, even if we teach our children that sex should be delayed until marriage, they will go ahead and have pre-marital sex anyway. That kind of makes them like animals, doesn’t it?

I know from personal experience that, if you teach a child that they are a special and unique creation made in God’s image, and if you lovingly teach that child that pre-marital sex can hurt them, and if you teach them to pray and to have a personal relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ, then that child is less likely to engage in pre-marital sex. The success rate of that strategy is far greater than that of any secular progressive sex-ed program.

Why wouldn’t we treat our kids like children of God, instead of animals unable to control their lust?

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By Outraged, November 16, 2007 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

Truthfully, I feel this is just a way to funnel “funds” for “other purposes”.  Religion is just a guise to the powers that be.  I’m quite certain they find great entertainment in the commentary regarding these issues.  THEY, of course know what they are REALLY funneling money to.

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By Dominick J., November 16, 2007 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

purplewolf God doesn’t give signs.  69 is a number for a sex position not a religious sign!

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By Nancy, November 16, 2007 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment
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By purplewolf, November 16, 2007 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

#113769 thomas billis:

Not only can we not keep Catholic priests chaste, we cannot keep then straight either.

LOOK, the last two numbers on your comment are the number 69. It’s a sign from GOD, so it has to mean that is is okay for these priests do to unholy acts with their altar boys.

praise the Lord,
on this night,
the priest just scored.

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By Dennis, November 16, 2007 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At first I wasn’t going to even respond to this document , I mean it is so obvious. The right wing is simply taking my tax dollars and givin it to his fundamental churches to help them become more powerful, so they can do more things to me that I disagree with. 11 months 3 weeks left to this junta. Can’t end soon enough!

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By Nancy, November 16, 2007 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They are sticking the money in private individual’s pockets obviously. And it is teaching our kids to be crooks. What slimy example for our children.

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By Dominick J., November 16, 2007 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

With the Bush Administration and the Radical Right in control keeping everyone Ignorant about everything is what they aim for. Keep everyone in the dark about the truth, let alone what’s right and wrong.  Take their Creation Museum as another example of Fundamental STUPIDITY.  Everyone PLUS the Jewish folks know that the Adam and Eve story is just that a story, But these Dolts will push it to the end of times as REAL!  These bigots will tell you there really was was a lady named Rapunzel who lived in a tower and let her golden hair down so a Savior Prince could climb the tower and save her!
Any parent who would believe Abstinence was the only way to save their child from disease and/or pregnancy is as stupid as those people who came up with the idea!

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By Enemy of State, November 15, 2007 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

It really pretty simple, because it is a fell good policy. RightWingers think it sounds like they are promoting righteousness. So much of politics is about doing what makes certain interest groups feel good, very little is about actual policy analysis. Analysis is for quiche-eating intellectuals, faith is for good ol boys/girls, and we have to be authentic as seen by the uneducated masses.

  As for STDs, and pregnant teenagers, and dangerous back-alley abortions, why that is just us helping god punish the unrighteous among us. Their suffering makes us feel very righteous.

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By bigjimbo, November 15, 2007 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

Related to this topic, a recent study published in the respected British medical journal, Lancet, demonstrated that making abortion illegal does not cut down on the rate of abortions, it merely makes abortions more hazardous, by driving them to the back alley. What did cut the rate of abortion is the ready availability of cheap, effective birth control. It also cuts down on the spread of sexually transmitted disease.  One of the truly weird aspects of religion is its fixation on the crotch, as opposed to comforting the afflicted.

As a mental exercise, try substituting “wishful thinking” every time you hear the word faith. I think there is something positive to be said for spirituality, but not by organized religion. Sharing eternity surrounded by born again fundamentalists is not my definition of Heaven.

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By thomas billis, November 15, 2007 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Looks like those damn Founding Fathers had it right agian.Separation between Church and State.The state works on evidence and logic.The church works on myths and fairy tales.Abstinence for teenagers is a myth ,and for anyone who has been a teen, a fairy tale.You cannot keep Catholic priests abstinate how are you going to do that with a teen ager.Give them all the facts raise them with a lot of love and hope they make the right decisions.

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By Chris, November 15, 2007 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All anyone needs to do is to look at the sex education curricula in, for example, different countries in Europe, where sex education is taught from elementary school through high school. They have information, know where they can avail themselves of condoms and other forms of birth control. They also discuss homosexuality, so gay kids are included in the discussion as well, and don’t feel left out.

No danger in American politics and ignorance in sex education finding it’s way onto foreign shores. They know their methods work, and they can see how ineffective what we unload on our kids here is. Our kids are getting pregnant at the rate approaching third world countries.

Yet we still insist that condoms “don’t work”, that our American kids stay celibate until marriage, and offer nothing to gay kids, apparently, other than implying to them that they “become straight”, and wait until they are married.

And, of course, piling government funding into such program. And our kids are paying the price.

We look like fools to the rest of the world, but at least we are consistent.

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By xypher, November 15, 2007 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Why does Mr. Bush hate the Constitution and the founding principles of the United States (because they don’t allow him to be Dictator-in-Chief)?!

Why is this poor excuse of an impostor allowed any power whatsoever?

When are our legislators going to fulfill their Constitutional Obligations and put a stop to the continued debacle of the Bush Regime?

How many lives have to be lost before anyone with an iota of sanity stop this madness?

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By Logician, November 15, 2007 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Of course this is going to get funded.  If there is any question as to why, study the title: Faith Based, (say it again, now, slowly) not reality based.

Religion, nay ALL spiritual thinking, by its very nature, DENIES reality, in absolutely every aspect.  NO amount of evidence will change the direction of these drooling inbreeds. 

You could show these morons evidence every second of every hour of every day for the next trillion years and at the end of it they will drool, “God said it, that settles it.”

And they wonder why people like me consider them beneath contempt.  It’s the same old refrain, those too stupid to understand reality have faith, those of us who are superior to them must endure their stupidity.  And people wonder why I’m so cynical…

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By KISS, November 15, 2007 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

My mistake, and before you hammer me. It is Charles Grassley leading the investigation on the hucksters of religion. Sorry to have credited Hagel on this.

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By KISS, November 15, 2007 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Once more fictitious Faith overcomes reasoning and facts. Hooray for slow-minded Wyoming to wake-up to reality.
Corruption lies in Religion as well as in politics. Just maybe Iowa’s Charles Hagel’s investigation in religion practices will unveil the hypocrisy that exists. When even repugs can’t stand the smell of tainted ideology you know it must be deep.

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By John Borowski, November 15, 2007 at 6:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m “soak - en” to my skin because of all the rain recently. The Governor of Georgia has told his sheep in that state to pray for rain. In my opinion he can have it both ways. If it does rain he will declare a miracle and make the day it rained a state holiday. If it doesn’t rain he will simply keep quite about it. I am worried that god is not that good at geography and thinks my state is Georgia. If that is true Alabama will not be his only problem.

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By Tom Doff, November 15, 2007 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Worse, much worse, than the waste of money, is the policy of lying to our kids. In itself, that is a disgrace, but some day these kids will realize they have been lied to, and realize that much of what they have been taught is just BS propaganda.

That is the only good result that can come from these programs.

That the ‘old farts’ who preach to them are FOS.

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