We can do it, but you can’t

The religious right is good at two things. Mainly, they’re really good at twisting reality. They can make you believe almost anything as long as whatever they’re saying includes the words “God,” “Jesus,” “Christ” or “Bible.”

Secondly, they’re really good at bending the rules, applying them to everyone else or simply saying, “Rules? What rules? Oh, they don’t apply to us!”

Perhaps those are just two of many reasons why the U.S. Senate saw fit to investigate the financial goings-on of the Right’s largest big business televangelists. (And let’s not forget how the radical theocratic arm of the religious right punished one of its darling Republican senators for taking that stand.)

The American Family Association’s OneNewsNow.com reported on a Minnesota conservative who wants to take away Planned Parenthood’s tax exempt status:

According to Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report, the organization received more than $1 billion from revenues — nearly one-third of that figure came from “government grants and contracts.” In light of that report, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) became outraged when she learned of Planned Parenthood’s new branding effort in her Minnesota district. She says the new strategy is a move away from helping poor women with family planning, and instead involves targeting latte-drinking, affluent women across America. But Bachmann claims Planned Parenthood has always been about big business.

“When Planned Parenthood brings in over a billion dollars in revenues, pays no taxes, and sits at the end of the year fat and happy with $115 million in the bank and brazenly works to go after affluent women rather than helping out poor women, as their original mission statement said, I agree with the executive director of Illinois Planned Parenthood, who said ‘Planned Parenthood wants to be the LensCrafters of family planning,'” said Bachmann. “In other words,” she notes, “they want to be the big-box retailer.”

What about those multi-million (if not hundred million) dollar church and ministry buildings? Hundreds of religious complexes across the country include some of the most luxurious amenities imaginable.

Religious right non-profits aren’t going to be as big as Planned Parenthood. For one, they don’t exist to offer free or nearly free medical services and they don’t have to pay salaries to nurses and doctors. They don’t have to buy medical supplies and they don’t have to maintain medical equipment or facilities. No matter how you look it at, it’s easy to see that a medical organization as large as Planned Parenthood is going to spend lots of money.

That $1 billion Bachmann balks over is actually nothing. Most of that was spent. “Bachmann claims Planned Parenthood has always been about big business,” the article reads.

Maybe she should pick up a mirror and look at her membership in the religious right.

American Family Association (AFA)
REVENUE: $22,547,087
NET ASSETS: $37,071,086

Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)
REVENUE: $246,986,289
NET ASSETS: $196,238,411

Focus on the Family
REVENUE: $142,279,843
NET ASSETS: $79,316,290

And… Get this. Here’s some laughable information from Baylor University, the largest Baptist -affiliated university in the world (yes, that means Southern Baptist).

REVENUE: $463,963,929
NET ASSETS: $1,230,180,215

Head football coach salary: $1,148,289
as compared to President’s salary: $167,531

It would be nice if someone could explain to me why Christian organizations need so much money. Jesus never operated with this much cash. In fact, he abhorred earthly riches and wealth. Gosh, I haven’t even mentioned Pat Robertson’s gold and diamond mine investments.

(All financial records from Charity Navigator)

2 Responses to “We can do it, but you can’t”
  1. KipEsquire says:

    So is Bachmann saying that there should be no such thing as public (i.e., tax-exempt) hospitals or medical clinics?

  2. juanito says:

    I see this kind of one way mirror act too often. The Mormon church just about ALWAYS refuses to disclose what it brings in and what goes out of their coffers. It usually takes a lawsuit of some kind to have them turn a page in their ledgers. This is one of the rishest churches in America! The religious right spends too much of their time and energy and money fighting good causes. I’d have Congress start an invistigation into whether these churches and organizations really do deserve tax-exempt status.

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