HOW THE LGBTQ IS EMPOWERED BY

 FAITH-BASED PARTNERSHIPS

 

 

“I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Rev. 2:13-14

 

How the Human Rights Campaign and Gay Lobby Have Been Empowered by White House Faith-Based Partnerships

Rev Tom Littleton

March 25, 2017

Most people have heard the terminology of The White House Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships (FBP) at least in the recent change in language when referring to churches and ministries who participate in social programs.

These organizations have almost universally come to be known as faith-based groups. A lesser known fact is that religious and Christian groups are participating in government funding program grants to provide social services to their community.

The concept is nothing new. Today’s programs actually date back to the George H Bush Charitable Choice program and the Clinton era welfare reforms. In early 2001 Bush W actually instituted the current White House program by executive order allowing access to public funds for churches and ministries/ religious groups who had a proven track record of helping their communities. However very little funding was budgeted toward it.

As the Obama administration took office, LGBTQ groups like the Human Rights Campaign called for an end to the FBP as funding discriminatory groups. Instead the focus changed and HRC and other influential group were invited to serve on the Presidents Inaugural Advisory Board to reform the program as soon vast amounts of tax money were about to be infused into it.

See: LGBT Leaders Weigh Obama's Faith-Based Initiative

A Faith Based department was formed within every federal agency to oversee the granting process and track, among other things, “the equitable distribution” of the programs and funding. As the advisory board took shape and reforms began Fred Davies of the ARCUS Foundation and Harry Knox, founding director of Human Rights Campaign Religion and Faith Program, became key players. According to the conservative CBN news the advisory board was primarily a liberal composition but some very conservative leaders chose to participate.

Breaking Down Obama's Faith Council

The board also began to reflect President Obama’s interfaith outreach and liberal ecumenical religious taste. As was true in all federal agencies the FBP program began to resemble the activist culture of the administration and those ministries participating in them would soon realize not only the impact of the inclusion their new partners but also the obligations they now had as “government contractors.”

The HRC and ARCUS were able use their place on the Obama reforms board to focus on LGBTQ anti-discrimination. These efforts included the establishment of the programs guidelines and direct engagement of developing the philosophy driving the funding. Being part of the board allowed HRC and ARCUS to represent pro LGBTQ outreaches but also to be on the front lines of forcing out or lobbing against anything deemed as a “license to discriminate.” As a result of these partnerships activist gained significant advantage as the battle over redefining marriage heated up. The yoking together of conservatives, liberals and activists allowed leverage against Religious Freedom Restoration Acts as they became a renewed focus in each state.

“Religious Exemptions” were quickly weakened or being done away with entirely becoming a relic of the “racist religious past.” Given the pro gay posture of the Obama administration, the LGBTQ lobby was being assured great success in advancing their goals while weakening opposition.

One example of their major victories came in July 2014 with the Obama executive action amending EO 11478 and EO 11246 to include LGBTQ non-discrimination for Federal Agencies and Contractors.

President Obama Signs a New Executive Order to Protect LGBT Workers

Some conservative Christian groups did write a letter to the President prior to the signing of this executive order calling for a “robust religious exemption” to protect the religious freedoms of those conservatives involved. This letter outlines clearly the dangers posed by these rules for LGBTQ hiring and non-discrimination. No exemptions were included leaving the clear and present danger to religious freedoms in force.

Letter to Obama Requesting Religious Exemption from Anti-Discrimination Order

It is also to be noted that NONE of those ministers or groups calling for the exemptions began seeking an exit strategy once they failed to achieve the protections. Instead, the words of participant Harry Knox of the HRC Religion and Faith Program leave a haunting echo for anyone paying attention: “The (FBP advisory) council’s makeup was reminiscent of the president’s continuing approach to creating dialog.” It has yet to fully surface what kind of compromises by conservative evangelical and religious groups resulted from this ”dialog.”

For those hoping that the new administration might make provisions to restore and protect religious freedoms for conservative religious groups involved in Faith Based Partnerships the news of January 31st 2017 was gravely disappointing.

Trump continues Obama order protecting LGBTQ federal workers

All that really remains at this point is to see how much funding will go into the new administrations FBP and how far the compromise of conservative participants will go. The future of Religious Freedom in America to live out the convictions of conservative faith in the public square, even in our care of the poor and needy might not be a very bright after all.

 

Faith-Based Healthcare Clinics Prove a Slippery Slope
20 October, 2016

Healthcare in the US remains in flux since the passing of the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA). One primary area of need still unanswered and lacking in adequate infrastructure is the area of indigent care. Historically, the uninsured and those who find health insurance unaffordable have flooded and overwhelmed hospital emergency rooms by utilizing the ER as a walk-in clinic. This vacuum of unanswered delivery for this level of care has created a flurry of would be participants in the provision of services and for the funding allocated for it.

Among the hopefuls for this indigent care funding are churches and faith based non-profits who possibly view meeting this need as a ministry opportunity. Historically, denominations and religious groups have, at times, been involved unencumbered in operating hospitals and even church based clinics. However, new guidelines suck as LGBT non-discrimination are proving to faith based and church participants in healthcare that we have entered a danger zone of hidden agendas and progressive politics driving healthcare decision making and policy.

Health Care the Golden Opportunity for Progressives

Progressive organizations have not been snoozing through the opportunity to infuse their goals into the guideline for providers in faith based partnerships as shown in this celebratory Todd article: According to the CAP article, implementation of the AHA would “not be possible without Faith Based partners.” The additional mention of Faith Based Partnership involvement in Health and Human Services (HHS) and School Based Health Clinics (SBHC) is even more disturbing due to the close partnerships between HHS and Planned Parenthood and affiliated organizations who aspire to provide “School Based Primary Care” for both students and families in poor communities.

The Obama administration overhauled the Faith Based Partnerships in 2009/2010 and poured billions of tax dollars into them. The Whitehouse Toolkit for grant hopefuls outlines the establishment of a faith based office within EVERY federal agency in order to oversee the partners receiving federal funding.  Oversight is the key principle to understanding the dangers for conservative Christian providers.  A quick look at the advisory board assembled is a major red flag since LGBT groups, Human Rights Campaign, and ARCUS Foundation were included.  In health care, a plethora of non-discrimination policies are firmly in place and include the pro LGBT activist HHS interpretations of best practices for both physical and mental health and well-being.

A Bloody Discrimination?

A disturbing insight into the outcome of such activism would be a recent push for “Blood Equality.” Since the Orlando gay nightclub attack, the Huffington Post and others have been mainstreaming a cry to “stop the ban on queer blood.”  AIDS was first identified in 1981 and by 1985 testing was firmly in place to prevent tainted blood from entering the general public’s blood supply.  The concept of restricting those who engage in “at risk behavior” has not been one of discrimination but of best practice for the public welfare and fully supported by the CDC and the CID.  The Red Cross and blood banks across the country have supported this policy in the face of some inadequate responses of the FDA in whose oversight these concerns remained.

The main concern today in our activist’s health care is such policies are seen as discriminatory and offensive to some. The future may look grim for those who require blood transfusions or emergency surgery as we pave the way for an international repeat of the UK Tainted Blood Scandal.

Strategic Error

Churches, ministries and denominational organizations are rushing into the indigent health care windfall with little consideration of the long term outcomes.  Indigent focus and funding then broadens to become the underserved community, then encompasses the working poor who abandon the care of private practice for “Cheaper Care.” Once the private practices disappear then the cycle of underserved community begins all over again and the Walmart Effect has moved from small town America into healthcare until no other options are left but government run public clinics with private partners like faith based organizations. Young graduates leaving medical universities are caught in the trap of diminishing private options, profit driven corporate models and the faith based non-profits. Often the newly graduated professionals work for low pay with more grant funded reductions in student loans as enticement for long hours and low wages.

Large churches are now openly using our offerings and pledges to obtain matching funds or seed money for more government and private grants. Curriculum is admittedly designed as training for our families and children to be mobilized to man the “ministries.” It’s as if to say, “Give me your money to use as seed funds for your taxes and then volunteer in my clinic where your church is competing with you.” And who else is in the room? Every progressive activist on the dream list of the current administration and possibly the next.

Is There an Exit Strategy?

The greater concerns beyond co-mingling missions with the Obama administration are the dangers to religious freedom, church autonomy, and silencing the conservative voice in the cultural debate, thus causing political correctness to rule ending in Doctors being fired for giving honest health advice. No doubt the church could do a better job than government in providing care but the guidelines restricting “religious activities” within grant funded programs takes the “faith” out of faith based on this slippery slope. If ministry is not allowed then the church is left being nothing more than a conduit for social programs and one more government Health and Human Services contractor.

Ask your local pastor and denominational leader if they are involved and if they know the dangers posed by Faith Based Partnerships to health care. Look up the 990 reports of your favorite parachurch ministry and see whose funding is on the annual reports. You may be shocked.  Search the CDC's LGBT health pages and understand why honesty in treating real life medical issues is important even to the LGBT community.  What will the future “look like” if healthcare is politically and profit driven with evangelicals as well funded enablers of a failing system?  Let’s consider if the church becomes one more hated layer in the frustrating chain of socialized medicine.  If the money is the only incentive left, then buyer beware.  The government (tax) money goes away and the churches resources are exploited.  It was in the fine print.

 

Protecting Sexual Minority Youth Or Promoting LGBT?