A fool hath said in his heart, 'God is not;' They have done corruptly, They have done abominable actions, There is not a doer of good. - Psalm 14:1

18 June 2009

The Cost of Hate

Not really some deep meaning here. I could wax poetic about the hidden costs of hatred and how people damage the very fabric of a democracy by spreading ignorance-fueled, odious diatribes against our fellow citizens.

I could, but I don't need to. Hate is apparently not cheap on a monetary level either.

A Roman Catholic adoption agency which lost a battle to defend its pro-marriage ethos from new ‘equality’ regulations says it has been left with “a big dent” in its reserves.

The Leeds-based charity, Catholic Care, was recently told it must consider gay couples as potential adopters under the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs), despite its belief that children need a mother and a father.

Chief Executive Mark Wiggin said the charity had needed two barristers and five solicitors to help wade through the detail of the case.

Things became even more complicated when the Equality and Human Rights Commission was allowed to intervene against the group.

The case was one of the first to be heard by the new Charity Tribunal appeal system, which promised to make the process quicker and cheaper for groups to challenge decisions made by the Charity Commission.

But Mr Wiggin said: “The costs are prohibitive for most people; it has made a big dent in our reserves.”

Poor bastards. According to this source, Catholic Care spent £150,000 on this little project, or almost $250,000 American (per today's conversion rate).

In a similar effort, Arkansas added Act One to their state constitution in 2008, a measure which not only stops gay couples from adopting children, but actually prohibits any unmarried couple from doing the same. Support costs? Around $50,000 from one end (addition to ballot) to the other (passage). In retrospect this sounds like a fairly low amount of money for such a sweeping law, but this is Arkansas we're talking about.

Over here we have Proposition 8 proponents who raised $28.2 million nation-wide. (Sadly the opposition raised even more and still lost.) In 2006 Colorado voters passed a ban on gay marriage, along with rejecting a separate proposal to offer "spousal benefits for same-sex couples," which only cost supporting organizations $1.2 million, give or take. Once again pro-gay groups outspent the support campaign by millions and somehow managed to lose anyway, which makes a person wonder if the disparity here is one of public opinion or organizational leadership.

And finally this profile shows another $13 million spent on 2004 marriage amendment contests across the country.

Now I could detail the number of meals these dozens of millions of dollars could buy for the homeless; or maybe project the number of lives which could be saved through public health campaigns in places like South Africa. I could, but I won't waste my time. The truth is we all know the alternatives. Instead of putting a "big dent" in Catholic Care's budget, they could have used money to encourage adoption and put a "big dent" in the troubled lives of local foster children.

Unfortunately I don't see that kind of about-face happening, especially not here in the States. Groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council - both as ironically anti-family as a group can get - are simply wastes of money and space. What they do is nothing short of buying the ballot and there is very little in this process which doesn't violate restrictions on direct political support in spirit, if not the letter, of the law. (And isn't the spirit what these people supposedly worry about most?)

As far as I'm concerned these groups can inject as much money into the political process as they can raise, but a secondary cost for doing so should be removal of their tax exempt status. If they want to fund campaigns of bigotry every election season, I see no reason why part of the money raised shouldn't also go for worthwhile projects. At least then something good could come out of the process.

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