GW Bush's Compassionate Fascism
"As President, I will lead the federal government to take bold steps to rally America's armies of compassion."
GW Bush January 30, 2001 from his introduction to the agenda for his faith-based initiative, "Rally the Armies of Compassion."
On the surface it sounds like a good idea. Let faith-based religious organizations compete with government programs for funds to service the homeless, the hungry, drug addicts, welfare recipients, children and prisoners.
The notion of a Federally-funded "army" making war on social evils is not new. We've had the war against drugs and the war against poverty, programs which have consumed trillions of dollars in a failed attempt to eradicate poverty and drug use. Their main success? The creation of a huge Federal beauracracy.
Making religious groups compete with government agencies for Federal funds also sounds good - until you really think about it. Since many of these groups use non-salaried volunteers or psychologically-coerced recruits as employees,they will have no trouble delivering services less expensively than a government program which provides relatively qualified employees with a salary and health benefits.
As President of an artists' rights group which rejects funding and government interference of any kind I've observed the creativity and freedom of millions of American artists compromised through a similar system of competition for government money.
Art and religion have much in common. You can make art without First Amendment freedom - Nazi Germany, the USSR and Communist China had vast art programs involving millions of exceptional artists. You can also have religion without religious freedom. All history will remember about such religious or artistic efforts is how spiritually dead they were.
Millions of contemporary American artists now divide their time between applying for government grants and making art. Their ideas are conditioned by the grant requirements.
Rather than helping America's artists, the NEA created a vast beauracracy of art lawyers, program administrators, curators and museum directors who serve as the gateway to government money. These administrators are the high priests of the art world. American museums, art galleries, television stations and theatrical companies must modify and self-censor their works every day thanks to this dependency on Federal funds.
It's ironic to see the conservatives who led the fight against the NEA leading the fight to enslave religious institutions in this same money trap. Art and religion are the conscience of humankind, the voice which stands up to tyranny at great risk when all others have been silenced and compromised.
America is a religious nation with thousands of sects and denominations that are substantially free of government control or regulation. Do we want our religious institutions to modify their messages as American artists have been forced to do? Do we want official religion the way we now have official art?
It's worth noting how official art came about in the US. Most Americans have a dismissive attitude towards so-called modern art imagining that its abstract imagery is due to artistic preferences. In fact, it has far more to do with the CIA and America's ruling elite - in particular the Rockefeller family. 
In the nineteen thirties and forties American artists were heavily involved in protests against poverty, racism and corporate control. They used figurative art, murals and realism not only to express their feeling about these social problems but to rally the public to do something about them.
Then the State Department, the CIA and the Rockefellers stepped in and began promoting abstract art, beginning with the Rockefellers' Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Ever wonder why America's wealthiest families spend billions on giant paintings and sculptures that represent nothing and why the government erects huge museums to display these non-wonders? In the fifties and sixties the government created public school programs to brainwash American children about art. Millions of these children then grew up to become artists specializing in abstraction and non-figurative art.
The CIA and these same ruling families are also behind President Bush's Army of Compassion which hopes to make religious organizations as dependent on government funding as arts institutions now are. Announced as a compassionate effort to promote charitable activity, the real intent is exactly the opposite - to control, compromise and co-opt it.
The men Bush has put in charge of his faith-based initiative, John J. Dilulio Jr. and Stephen Goldsmith, are senior fellows of the CIA's Manhattan Institute, a right wing think tank co-funded by the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank, pharmaceutical companies and right wing foundations with ties to the military-industrial complex. Goldsmith is President Bushs' chief domestic policy advisor. 
The Manhattan Institute was founded by Reagan's CIA director, William Casey. Like much that is connected to Bush whose family spent a decade financing Hitler, the Manhattan Institute has a Nazi connection. Casey spent the years following WWII bringing top Nazis to the US. Chase Bank helped Hitler liquidate the gold reserves of conquered European nations, voluntarily turned over Jewish bank accounts to the Nazis and continued to do business with Hitler after the US entered WWII. The Rockefeller family were half-owners of IG Farben, the chemical cartel that built and operated Auschwitz and forty other slave labor/death camps in Nazi Germany. President Bush claims that next to the bible the single most influential books contributing to his policy ideas were written at the Manhattan Institute.
America's religious institutions share a common belief in God but that's as far as their commonality goes. Of the hundreds of Christian denominations in America many consider each other impostors, charlatans or worse, agents of the anti-Christ.
Some Christian denominations - and the President himself - consider Jews to be people who cannot enter heaven. White supremacist churches which idolize Hitler teach that Blacks, Jews and gays must be expelled from the US or exterminated. The Nation of Islam, Scientology, Jews for Jesus, Alamo Ministries and a thousand other non-traditional groups will be competing for and entitled to these same Federal funds and will inevitably, and rightly, sue if they are denied them in favor of more traditional groups. Rather than being outsiders in this faith-based plan, some of these non-traditional groups (a number of which are known to have a direct CIA connection) are central to it.
After acquiring a taste for government funding will legitimate religious leaders who come to depend on it for their rapidly-expanding social programs dare to criticize the government and risk losing that money? On the other hand can we seriously expect religious groups to be impartially doling out food, education, housing, drug treatment, psychological help and job counseling to their clients without proselytizing?
It won't be just the Federal government that gets its' hands on religion through this initiative. Corporations will obtain huge new tax write-offs as a result of donating goods and services. In this way, Religious groups can also be made dependent on corporations which will demand and get the same kind of visibility they now have on public television.
Remember when public television was commercial free? You can see almost as many ads there now as on the commercial networks and a similarly compromised content.
Will a Monsanto logo hang next to the crucifix in the new federally-funded drug programs, and welfare centers? Will corporations obtain low-paid employees through these programs, thereby further diminishing the role of unions? Will drug companies recruit their experimental subjects from the inner city recipients of their faith-based charity or use food programs they sponsor inside a church in order to test genetically-modified foods?
Soon we will see hundreds of ads about how Dow, Monsanto or Exxon helped homeless folks in the inner city by financing a faith-based program. Now they will be able to deduct as much 15% of the corporation's entire taxable income by being involved in these programs. 
We are told any misuse of funds by these faith-based groups will be prevented by requiring accountability. Anyone who has ever applied for a government grant knows how coercive and controlling this accountability will be.
Do religious institutions want government peeking into every aspect of their activities? If civil rights laws are to be upheld how will churches and other religious groups who oppose homosexuality, abortion, contraceptives or like US Attorney General John Ashcrofts' church - dancing - manage to keep their beliefs intact while qualifying for funding?
Religious groups which go along with the program will grow dramatically as a result of being able to offer social services. Those which stubbornly hold onto their beliefs will diminish.
Bushs' faith-based initiative may be the single most sinister effort ever undertaken in the US concerning religion. History shows that when religion and government work together the result is always bad for religion and for the people of a nation.
In Nazi Germany religious leaders were intimately involved in creating public acceptance for Hitler's agenda. Like Reverend Martin Niemoeller, who became an outspoken opponent of Nazism after initially supporting it, Germany's religious leaders discovered too late that Hitler's religious initiatives were something very different from what was promised.
America was founded by people who sought religious freedom and economic opportunity. Now Bush wants to turn religion itself into an economic opportunity.
This entire program is unnecessary. American individuals and corporations are already free to donate as much as they like to religious groups which can use the money to feed the hungry and house the homeless while freely promoting whatever ideology they choose.
While non-religious groups have taken the lead in opposing Bush's Army of Compassion, it is religious leaders and their congregations who have the most to lose. Today they can practice any religious belief that doesn't violate basic criminal law. For God's sake, let's hope they wake up in time to keep it that way.
 CIA art connection
(a) From Encyclopedia Britannica
"During the height of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency did a remarkable thing: It bankrolled the American avant-garde...The championing of American abstract expressionism represented one of the most dramatic campaigns, exemplified in the paintings of Jackson Pollock."
(b) "Moma has even been outed as a front for the CIA in the 50s, when its international touring shows of American art were supposedly little more than Cold War propaganda exercises."
UK Guardianunlimited 8/29/2000
(c) The Nation June 12, 2000 When the CIA Was the NEA
 Manhattan Institute/Chase Bank Bush, CIA and Nazis
(a) NY Times January 29, 2001 New Bush Office Seeks Closer Ties to Church Groups
(b) NY Times Monday, May 12, 1997 Manhattan Institute Has Nudged New York Rightward
"...the institute was founded as a free-market education and research organization by William Casey, who then went off to head the Central Intelligence Agency in the Reagan Administration."
(c) NY Times June 12, 2000 Bush Culls Campaign Theme From Conservative Thinkers
"Gov. George W. Bush has said his political views have been shaped by the work of Myron Magnet of the Manhattan Institute."
(d) for many articles on this subject see
(e) Daily News 12/7/98 Chase Banked On Nazis - Report
"The New York-based bank controlled by the Rockefeller family closed Jewish accounts even before the Germans ordered them to do so and did business with the Nazis while they were sending Jews to the gas chambers, Newsweek magazine reports in this week's edition. And while the U.S. was at war with the Nazis, Chase also apparently helped German banks do business with their overseas branches, the magazine reported...The relationship between Chase and the Nazis apparently was so cozy that Carlos Niedermann, the Chase branch chief in Paris, wrote his supervisor in Manhattan that the bank enjoyed "very special esteem" with top German officials and "a rapid expansion of deposits." Niedermann's letter was written in May 1942 - five months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the U.S. also went to war with Germany...And subsidiaries of Ford and General Motors have been accused of forcing thousands of Jews, Poles and others to work as slave laborers."
(f) "The Bush family fortune came from the Third Reich," - Sarasota Herald-Tribune 11/11/2000
Former US Justice Dept. Nazi War Crimes prosecutor John Loftus - who is today the director of the Florida Holocaust Museum.
 Details of Bush faith-based plan
"Corporations would be permitted to deduct charitable donations until their value exceeds 15 percent of the company's taxable income, instead of the 10 percent limit under current law."
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