Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blagojevich and the Two Million Dollar Church Donation

Here is a link to the Possummomma Book Group blog. If you expressed interest in the last post here, then mosey over there so we can come up with a desired reading list.

In other news, I saw this news story and was intrigued. You can find the original article here.

Atheist objects to $1 million for burned-out church
Associated Press - March 11, 2008 12:54 PM ET
CHICAGO (AP) - Atheist activist Rob Sherman says it's unconstitutional for Governor Rod Blagojevich to give $1 million to a burned-out church.

Blagojevich has said Pilgrim Baptist Church would use the money for
administrative offices and educational purposes so not to violate the separation
of church and state.
But Sherman says it would. He appeared at a morning
meeting of the Illinois Capital Development Board even though the governor's
proposal wasn't on the agenda.
Sherman says the governor can give away money
but only for secular services.
Blagojevich pledged the money because the
initial $1 million he promised after a 2006 fire at the church mistakenly went
to an unaffiliated school.

There's another article on the matter here. In this article, the following is said...
In 2006, Blagojevich pledged to give a historic Chicago church $1 million to
help rebuild after it was gutted by fire.The first problem: The church never got
the money. Instead, the money went to an unaffiliated private preschool that was
leasing space from the church.On Tuesday, Blagojevich declared the money went to
“the wrong place” and now promises to give the church the grand total of $2
million to help rebuild.Of course, the governor did not admit the mistake was
his fault.“I’m as frustrated as you are. I’m angry about those who work for me
who allowed this to happen,” Blagojevich said in the Chicago Sun-Times.

How does that much money go to "the wrong place"? If it were $100, then maybe you could see a clerical error in which the money is mistakenly put into an account and goes unnoticed. But, a million dollars? How do you not see that on your balance sheet and think, "Um...this isn't right!"? And, why the hell is an elected, public official giving THAT much money to rebuilding a church? This wasn't his own private monies that he's being so generous with - it's tax payer money. Furthermore,...let me see if I get this straight: you lose a million dollars (which goes to a private, Christian preschool), but then you pledge another TWO million to the Church because your office, allegedly screwed up? That's $3Million in public monies. That makes no sense what-so-ever.


Carla said...

Unfortunately, different rules in regards to separation of church/state may apply depending on the state. I have not read the Illinois constitution, but here is a link that talks about some of the absurdities of laws at the state level.

Carla said...

At least the 14th amendment of US constitution really muddies the waters on such things....

Matthew said...

I don't have a problem with help rebuilding the church if perhaps it's a historical building or such. What irks me most is the apparent wasted money.

Really though, I know a million isn't much in the grand scheme, but let those that attend the church pay to rebuild it. Let charity pay to rebuild it. Stop wasting tax money.

Poodles said...

What a slap in the face to all non memebers of that church in that state.

Happy Bird said...

I hate to post and say "what he said", but... what Matthew said. Once the money was wasted in "the wrong place", they needed to figure out something to do about it that didn't involve spending more taxpayer money.

Hound Doggy said...

Why doesn't God rebuild it?


just another atheist mom said...

What isn't getting enough attention, is that the "school" that actually received the funding is not even "open for business".

They used the money to buy office space in a high rise building within the Loop. It is interesting that the guy who sold them the space (the entire second floor of this 18 story building) has a pretty shady past. You can read the story on the Chicago Tribune's site (I found it on March 4th).

Seems like there is PLENTY of corruption to go around....

Kripes! Can't trust the schools or churches, what next? Our leaders?