Illinois Church Will Not Be Getting $1,000,000 From Government

Recently, a capital bill was signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (i.e. the guy who replaced Blagojevich) which would give more than $11,000,000 to various religious projects.

$1,000,000 of that was going to go to Pilgrim Baptist Church — this was something that had been in the works for over a year.

When atheist Rob Sherman filed a lawsuit against our state last year over this illegal earmark, it resulted in an infamous exchange with State Representative Monique Davis during which she stated, “it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists,” referring to Sherman’s atheism.

Sherman now has good news to report:

Pilgrim Baptist Church won’t be getting any of that money.

The excuse that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity used for cancelling the Grant was that there was insufficient money to fund the grant, but we know what the real reason was.

Shame on the Christians of Pilgrim Baptist for trying to steal our tax dollars from us. It’s not like they didn’t know that they can’t do that. I spent many hours on the phone with leaders of that church, last year, explaining that what they were trying to do was illegal, but they didn’t care. They decided to go for the money, anyway.

I’m not surprised by their decision to try to perpetrate this crime against us. After all, they’re Christians. They don’t have the same high ethical standards that we atheists have.

Next time, I’ll stop holding back and tell you how I really feel.

I don’t know if Sherman was the sole reason the church isn’t getting the money — he’s certainly patting himself on the back about it — but no doubt that without complaints like his, these illegal marriages between church and state would happen far more often.

So hats off to you, Rob Sherman. Nice work being persistent about this issue, keeping it in the minds of the politicians, and ultimately getting something positive to show for it.

  • DDDDD

    “it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists,”

    What philosophy, reality? Our children must be brainwashed into fairytales and fear and hate instead, right? That’s not dangerous at all…

    Nice to see this happening though. Slowly but surely, organized religion may be finally fading away.

  • Erik

    What about the rest of the $11million earmarked for religious uses? Is the whole program scrapped or just this single grant?

  • http://krissthesexyatheist.blogspot.com krissthesexyatheist

    “H” excellent work yet again. i come here any way, everyday, and i do believe it is a good idea to tweet blog posts. Have a great day bro.

    KTSA

  • Heidi

    @Erik: That’s exactly what I was just wondering. Is religion still stealing $10 million off the backs of Illinois citizens?

  • muggle

    Yay! Good for him!

    I’m wondering the same thing about the other $10 mil but I’ll take this small victory for beginners.

  • Valdyr

    What exactly is the money for? Any specific purpose (renovation of buildings, etc.) or just “Here’s eleven million dollars, go nuts”?

  • Brian Westley

    I’ve been following this issue, and Rob Sherman really does deserve the credit for stopping this. He’s also going after those other grants.

    The reason for the grant to Pilgrim’s Baptist Church was extensive fire damage in 2006.

  • Jen

    I, for one, am thrilled my taxes are going to religious projects, rather than the roads, schools, or public safety.

    Wait, no, not thrilled, angry, so very angry.

  • anothermike

    Brian — would you mind finding out if god caused the fire?

  • Brian Westley

    The cause of the fire was eventually determined to be due to workers doing restoration work on the roof.

    Here’s a youtube video of the fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2R9V7LiHYI

  • gmcfly

    What is this, socialism?? I’d like to see Glenn Beck ranting about this.

    I say, if we’re giving public money to churches, they should be subject to inspection and regulation, and we get to vote on laws regulating church activities. That’s what you get for not separating church and state.


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