None of it came from Obama; he was too busy getting earmarks for Pfleger. Look, the parishioners pay their taxes, however damned by God they might think the Treasury Department is, and the church does appear to be putting the money towards charitable programs — although given Wright’s beliefs about AIDS, I’m mighty curious to see the lesson plan for the HIV “education” program. Unless someone can show it’s being spent on improper ends, like, hypothetically, a mansion for the ex-pastor, I’m not sure what the beef is.
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…
[A] 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.”
Another professor looked at the grant documents and found things to be in order. Seriously, if feeding from the federal trough while coming up for air occasionally to spout anti-government invective (which is distinct from anti-American invective, but close enough for these purposes) is some mortal sin, then there are a lot of Republicans in red congressional districts that had better be repenting on Sunday.
Update (Ed): After AP posted this, I tooled around through the FedSpending.org database to see how these grants got allocated. The database covers all grants and contracts for fiscal years 2000-2007 and is a great resource. According to the search, TUCC received its last grant in FY2001, for $150,000 under a program to “Improve the Health Status of Minority Populations”.
After 2001, the grants apparently stopped, which might also explain some of the hostility Wright felt for the federal government. It also absolves Obama from the accusation of finagling pork for his church, as he didn’t enter the Senate until 2005. Unless, of course, one applies the Selma rule to this situation ….