Boosting Atheism!

US tax payers’ money is going abroad to “boost atheism”! Why?

Any chance that a few members or visitors might like to comment on this news item?


The article is behind a “create an account” wall, which I refuse to do, so I’ll have to comment only on the headline. I wouldn’t be surprised if the headline was inaccurate or at least incomplete.

Although I am a staunch and unwavering atheist, I do not prosthelytize and I certainly don’t want my tax dollars going towards some sort of atheist missionary work, if this is in fact what’s going on. Can someone who has read the article provide a brief synopsis?


Here’s the whole thing by Mark Tapscott - it’s not very long:

House Republican Study Committee (RSC) chairman Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and 15 GOP colleagues are challenging the legality of State Department grants—of as much as $500,000 each—to international “organizations committed to the practice and spread of atheism and humanism.”

Their challenge is contained in a June 30 letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken concerning the department’s competitive grant process issued in [April 2021] for “Promoting and Defending Religious Freedom Inclusive of Atheist, Humanist, Non-Practicing and Non-Affiliated Individuals” in South Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

“To be clear, atheism and ‘humanism’ are official belief systems.

“As an initial matter, therefore, we would like to know what other United States government programs supported with appropriated funds are being used either to encourage, inculcate, or to disparage any official belief system—atheist, humanist, Christian, Muslim, or otherwise,” Banks and the other signers told Blinken.

“It is one thing for the department to be tolerant and respectful of a wide range of belief systems, and to encourage governments to respect the religious freedom interests of their citizens. It is quite another for the United States government to work actively to empower atheists, humanists, non-practicing, and non-affiliated in public decision-making,” the signers continued.

“Any such program—for any religiously-identifiable group—in the United States would be unconstitutional.

“In addition to its constitutionally dubious legal foundation, we also question how such a grant or cooperative agreement program advances the foreign policy interests of the United States,” the signers wrote.

A State Department spokesman could not be reached for comment.

In addition to Banks, the signers include Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.), Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Rep. Tim Burchett (R- Tenn.), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

In countries with a dominate religious culture such as the Middle East and parts of North Africa where Islam dominates, the signers warned Blinken that providing U.S. tax dollars to groups promoting non-Islamic faiths is likely to be perceived by local populations as “subversive funding from a foreign power designed to shatter local religious and cultural relationships.”

In addition, the signers told Blinken they have reviewed other similar official State Department Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) documents that “violate both the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses, but also the No Religious Test Clause of Article VI of our nation’s constitution.”

The funding provided to the organizations selected by the department would be used to support building “networks and advocacy groups” for atheists, according to the official notice.

“This would be analogous to official State Department promotion of religious freedom ‘particularly for Christians’ in China, with the express goal being to build a corresponding missionary network,” the signers told Blinken.

“Obviously, this goal that would never pass constitutional muster and would be derided by radical Leftist bureaucrats in your agency as completely out-of-bounds.

“So why is this atheist NOFO not viewed with similar objection,” the signers asked.

“Americans rightly discern this as a part of the broader effort on the part of your administration to promote radical, progressive orthodoxy abroad. Atheism is an integral part of the belief system of Marxism and Communism,” the signers said.

The letter to Biden and Blinken regarding State Department grants to support atheism and other religious belief systems follows [revelations] last week that officials are preparing to appoint a Special Representative for Equity and Justice.

The appointment is part of Biden’s government-wide “Equity Action Plan” that mandates all federal departments and agencies to appoint such officials.

Congressional Republicans criticize the plan as a thinly disguised effort to use the federal government to promote Critical Race Theory (CRT), the controversial view that the color of an individual’s skin determines their values and how they perceive people of other ethnicities.

In addition to the U.S. Embassy in Germany flying a Black Lives Matter flag, the Republicans pointed to the U.S. Vatican City Embassy flying an LGBT pride flag, which they describe as “a transparent provocation at tenets of Christianity,” and the State Department’s creation of a new gender classification for use on passports for individuals of “unspecified or another gender identity.”


“A thinly disguised effort to use the Federal government to promote CRT” - I think that hits the nail on the head.


Thank you jbecker for posting the text! :slight_smile:

I am very critical of almost all foreign aid, almost all Federal grants, and nearly any use of our tax dollars for any purpose not directly related to core Federal responsibilities, even when I agree with the purpose and goal of the expenditure. We are not the world’s piggy bank, and we need to stop trying to be. That doesn’t mean I’m opposed to all aid and assistance, but we should ensure that any project which receives our tax dollars will clearly and directly benefit our nation. Money to allies who support the US and our policies and help us in our time of need? Who are valuable partners in trade that benefits us? Maybe, in certain circumstances. Money to rogue states which openly hate us? To NGOs which advance policy contrary to our Constitution and the values of individual liberty? No.

In the text above, I see two different descriptions of the proposed expenditure. The first states that it is to “organizations committed to the practice and spread of atheism and humanism.” I would certainly be opposed to such a grant. The second states that it is for “promoting and defending religious freedom inclusive of atheist, humanist, non-practicing and non-affiliated individuals in South Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa." I would probably still oppose that as an expenditure which doesn’t directly benefit the United States, but I would possibly applaud its aims depending on how it is implemented. If the unnamed NGO (and I would really like to know which NGO(s) the grant would be funding) seeks to protect atheists et. al. from persecution including arrest and execution by theocratic states, that’s great. Islamists hate atheists even more than they hate Christians and Jews; they at least consider the latter to be “Peoples of the Book”, while atheists do not receive that consideration and are subject to torture and murder.

But, as I said, how does this benefit the US? No matter how laudable the goal, if it doesn’t benefit our Republic it shouldn’t be funded by our tax dollars.


I too am against foreign aid.

But to come to this weird proposal: I wonder how the money will be spent promoting atheism?

Could you or I, for instance, be offered a generous grant to go and “preach” atheism to “ignorant believers”? I’m not suggesting I want to, or would, or I think it worth doing. I don’t, wouldn’t, and don’t.

But who would? Or how else can one imagine the money being spent to that end?


Who would? The same leftist idiots who think our children should be controlled by the State, and be sexualized in pre-school, that’s who!
They think they have the right to dictate and manipulate what everyone thinks, not only at home but abroad. With the usual disastrous results.


The idea of pushing others to become atheists is just plain silly. The idea of encouraging others to please not arrest and execute atheists, though, does have merit.


Yes. But how can it be done? Who will be paid to do it? Where will the money go?


I expressed the same reservations in my post. I would want to know what NGO(s) would be getting this money, and specifically what it will be used for. And even then, I would likely oppose it on the grounds that it doesn’t directly benefit the US.


Yes, pushing others to become atheists is exactly what the Communists of the USSR did, and knowing this bunch of commies we have in charge now, there’s no reason to doubt that’s what they have in mind, too.


Billy, see this letter to Biden and Blinken from congress members Banks and Duncan, which is llnked in the Epoch Times article. It begins, “Dear President Biden and Secretary Blinken, We are writing to express our grave concern that the State Department is using appropriated funds to support atheism and radical, progressive orthodoxy across the world.”


The letter from Banks and Duncan to Biden and Blinken has “To be clear, atheism and “humanism” are official belief systems” and “In the NOFO, the State Department characterizes atheists as a unique religious group”. I support the congressmen’s objections, but I’m dismayed to see atheism characterized as an ‘official belief system’ and ‘as a unique religious group’. If atheism is a belief system or religion, then bald is a hair color, and not collecting stamps is a hobby.

I think the promotion of LGBT stuff and other things most Americans find transgressive, like this support for overseas atheism, are all symbolic choker chains that they can jerk to show us how thoroughly they have mastered institutional capture across the board of American culture. It’s especially alarming that those institutions under leftist occupation include the U.S. armed services.


Jeez. Reading the comments (I am a subscriber) I am reminded of the old saw that: No matter what you believe there will be someone who believes the same but whom you fervently wish was on the other side.


Perhaps Jim Banks wouldn’t mind so much if conservatism was being spread at the same time. A terrific opening for us if that were to be the case. Should we put your name forward as a candidate for appointment as Ambassador at Large for Promoting Atheist Conservatism?


“If atheism is a belief system or religion, then bald is a hair color, and not collecting stamps is a hobby.”

Perfect analogies!

The US armed services? Ah yes, I remember them well.


Who’s your unwanted like-thinker here?

Most openly self-declaring atheists ARE on the other side. Leftists.

Unfortunately most humanists are Leftists. Will they ever notice how inhumane Leftism is, do you think?


“how inhumane leftism is”
True - but I’ve always thought that a large part of the trouble with professed “humanists” is that they confuse the tradition of Humanism going back to the Renaissance [do many of them know anything about that?] with being a “humanitarian” which is something entirely different and unrelated. (And then they draw the unwarranted inference that being leftist is being humanitarian.) Some were and are able to separate the two, like the late Paul Kurtz who broke away from the American Humanist Association to create the alternative institutions associated with the magazine Free Inquiry – not necessarily conservative, but not programmatically leftist. Various conservative atheists have been contributors, like Antony Flew. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Council for Secular Humanism and Prometheus Books were also his work. I think he may have even coined the term ‘Secular Humanism’ that Jerry Falwell was so fond of repeating.


Thank you for that.

By the way, in case you might find it interesting, here’s an essay I wrote about the great Antony Flew:

(The horrible picture that heads it is not my choice.)


Thanks for the great article. I just finished it.