Focus on the Family continues to shrink, laying off people and seeing its budget go down significantly.
Focus on the Family on Friday announced the layoff of 49 more employees due to decreased donations, bringing down the number of employees to less than half it had in 2002.
This new 7 percent staff reduction in the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based pro-family group brought the employee number to 650, down from a 2002 peak of 1,400 people, according to The Denver Post…
Focus on the Family’s budget for fiscal year 2008-2009 was $160 million, which came down to $138 million in 2009-2010. For the fiscal year 2010-2011 ending Sept. 30, it further shrunk to $105 million, and now officials project it will receive donations of only $90 million to $95 million.
That’s still almost as much as the ACLU’s total budget for last year, and it’s one of many similar organizations, like the Family Research Council, with huge budgets.
Walter Russell Mead uses that fact to make this absurd argument:
In any case, if anybody in America ever establishes a theocracy, it is unlikely to be evangelicals. Almost all American evangelicals come out of religious traditions that were persecuted in either Europe or the US or both by “established” churches tied to the government. It became an article of faith for the persecuted evangelicals that church and state should be kept at arms length. Even in apocalyptic fiction like the Left Behind series, the merger of church and state is one of the signs of the approach of Antichrist and signals the start of a great persecution. For the most part, American evangelicals viscerally loathe the idea that church and state should act together to enforce religious orthodoxy.
And good luck finding a conservative evangelical leader who embraces the separation of church and state. Baptists at the time of our founding were staunch advocates of separation, but the Southern Baptist Convention today takes the opposite stance. The most influential religious right leaders, like Pat Robertson and David Barton, claim that separation of church and state is a myth and that America is supposed to be an officially Christian nation. They still advocate that the government force schoolchildren to pray, for crying out loud.