Church Gets Credit, Taxpayers Get Bill (May 2000)

In freethought circles it is a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit that “the church gets the credit, and the taxpayer gets the bill.” A case in point is Catholic Charities in the hometown of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

According to a news story in the Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times (April 4, 2000), Catholic Charities in Madison has an annual budget of $4.2 million. Its major funding source is government (i.e., taxpayers), who supply almost 70% of this total. Catholic Charities’ other income comes from clients served, the United Way, donations and interest. Only 3.68% comes from the Archdiocese of Madison! “There is a tidal wave of tax money going to religious institutions,” said Anne Gaylor, Foundation president.

“The new push is to fund all social services through ‘faith-based’ entities, and it’s an ominous change. The religious institution and the service it provides become inseparable. In some areas, especially women’s health, religious dogma takes precedence over women’s needs. And proselytization is endemic. Where public money goes, public control should go, but there is little accountability.

Freedom From Religion Foundation