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Meditation 1203
Abuse in the Faith

by: Secular Policy Institute

Text from the Secular Policy Institute website. The Apathetic Agnostic Church is a supporter of this institute

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The Secular Policy Institute has just released a major report about abuse in America’s faith-based initiative system. Abuse in America’s Faith-Based Initiative System: A Report by the Secular Policy Institute is a comprehensive report providing strong evidence that FBOs discriminate, proselytize, and provide false information that contradicts scientific facts, all while receiving government funding with lax oversight.

Faith-based organizations are often trumpeted with the assertion that they are morally superior, have more caring staff, and are better at addressing any issues that individuals may have. However, there is no evidence for this claim. Research indicates that FBOs do not perform these tasks any better than secular organizations. Catholic schools, for example, are lauded as providing superior moral instruction, better discipline, and producing students who score higher on standardized tests. However, when controlling for poverty, disability, and not being a native English-speaker — variables that are more common in public schools — Catholic schools were found to not excel in said areas. Moreover, many religious schools — Catholic and otherwise — teach false information in order to fit a faith-based agenda. Such “facts” include that the universe is only 6,000 years old, Adam and Eve existed, and that intelligent design is supported by science.

Outside the school system, the report covers abuse with all other services that FBOs provide, highlighting problems with adoption agencies, AIDS services, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and drug treatment facilities. The whistleblowing report is also a call to action for further investigation into faith-based organizations benefiting from the system.

A great deal of damning information about other faith-based organizations is also revealed in this report. Crisis Pregnancy Centers tell pregnant women that abortion causes breast cancer. FBOs set up to help illegal immigrants do not provide emergency contraception to women who have been raped, let alone refer these women to family planning services. Sex education for teenagers continues to have an abstinence-only bias. Faith-based adoption agencies are allowed to refuse adoption services to same-sex couples.

Despite the existence of hundreds of thousands of secular non-profit organizations in the United States, and more that would be created by funding, American faith-based organizations (FBOs) receive $210 billion each year from federal and states sources to provide services with the assumption that they will not proselytize or discriminate. However, this assumption is naïve and misplaced. Asking churches not to act churchy just doesn’t work. FBOs have every motivation to proselytize and discriminate, and do.

Beyond the unknown amount of proselytization and discrimination, FBOs are demonstrably ineffective and even harmful in providing services, because religions make religiously-based choices that serve their own interests and ignore science.

This original and comprehensive report by Johnny Monsarrat of the Secular Policy Institute may be the most exhaustive analysis of abuse ever collected about the Faith Based Initiative system.

Read the full report (pdf file)


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