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Thread: Trinity Church got $15 mil in federal grant money

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Trinity Church got $15 mil in federal grant money

    Across America seven days a week, parents drop their kids at day care centers, which are supported by funding from the federal government.

    But what makes one facility noteworthy in inner city Chicago is that it’s run by Trinity United Church of Christ. It’s the same church whose former head pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, drew widespread scrutiny after he cursed the U.S. government for its treatment of African-Americans.

    FOX News has learned that over the last 15 years, Trinity has received at least $15 million in grants from the federal government — in other words, taxpayer money.

    Records show this money supported a variety of outreach: everything from low income housing to nutritional programs for needy kids to money for HIV/AIDS education. Wright blames the government for intentionally infecting the African-American community with that deadly virus.

    DePaul University journalism professor Laura Washington, who specializes in race and politics, said Wright is a hypocrite for taking money from the government.

    “On the one hand, he says, ‘God damn America’ and he says America is responsible for all the ills in the black community. On the other hand, he’s taking money from the same community he’s crucifying,” Washington said.

    But another scholar who specializes in religion and politics says Wright never swore off government funding like ultra-nationalist Black Muslims have.

    Andrew Walsh, associate director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life with Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., said Wright’s practices fall in line with his preaching.

    “Wright believes things like the government-funded programs are a necessary compensation for the legacy of white racism, part of what’s necessary to heal the wounds inflicted over four centuries on blacks. His niche is even more specialized– he does this sort of work in the context of white denominational mainline Protestantism, which, on the whole has welcomed both him and his message.”

    So, how did Trinity, given Wright’s controversial criticism of the government, get millions of dollars in handouts from Washington over the years?

    Democratic presidential candidate and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama says the grants didn’t come with any of his help, despite 20 years of membership at Trinity.

    In fact, after the Obama campaign learned FOX News was working on this report, it released a statement saying, “Barack Obama did not work to secure grant money for Trinity United Church of Christ while serving in the Illinois state Legislature or Congress.”

    But Jay Shafritz, an author and professor emeritus of public administration from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, says at some level, politics invariably influences how government grant money is awarded.
    “This is very much a sophisticated operation of convincing the people in government that you are the most deserving person, because these grants are very often competitive,” he said.

    “It’s very much like good old fashioned patronage. In the old days, political machines had jobs to give their constituents. Nowadays, they offer them grants,” Shafritz continued.

    Shafritz examined the grant documents provided by FOX News and found no wrongdoing.

    Yet, he said there’s no way to know exactly how Trinity spent its millions in taxpayer money, since grant awards usually afford some latitude for discretionary use. He stressed that it’s clear the grants have helped Wright grow his once tiny ministry into a massive empire.

    “Before he embarrassed himself on national television with his rantings, he was a very, very sophisticated guy in terms of growing organizations. He knew how the game was played and he played it very well. But he’s not unique,” he said.

    Nationwide, African-American churches have used this kind of funding to pump investment into inner-city neighborhoods as a means of growing support — religious scholars say largely so under the Bush administration, when faith based grants increased significantly.

    “For these organizations, federal funding for things like senior centers or drug treatment programs or affordable housing helps them get where they want to go,” Walsh said.

    Trinity United refused comment on this story. But Wright, who officially retired on Monday, has long defended the legacy of community outreach provided by Trinity, which he founded 36 years ago.

    But Washington says if Wright felt it was OK to get resources from the government, the church shouldn’t preach against it.

    “It’s a dangerous thing to do because there’s a reason that the government gives that kind of support to the church. If the church bites the hand that feeds them, maybe that support is going to end.”
    Obama’s Ex-Church Has Won $15M in Federal Grant Money - America\’s Election HQ
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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Why is this even freaking news? Do you know how many churches receive grants?

    I think people will post any damn thing about him at this point. I mean if you don't like him, fine! If you aren't going to vote for him, more power to you, but to post garbage like this repeatedly really shows your true, none independent agenda!
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    You don't like it, then post what you like. 1st Ammendment and all that.....

    This is news because Trinity made itself news.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    You don't like it, then post what you like. 1st Ammendment and all that.....

    This is news because Trinity made itself news.
    I tend to agree. Numerous church get scrutiny after being put into the public eye. And Wright and his church brought this all on themselves.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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