Maybe you’ve asked yourself these questions before. I know I have. Where do all those Christian hate groups get their money? Are there really that many people donating millions to those organizations?
It tuns out groups like Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and so many more all get a substantial amount of money from a single charity. It also happened to be the eighth largest public charity in the country: the National Christian Foundation.
According to an investigation by Alex Kotch at Sludge, a website covering lobbying and money in politics, the NCF has given $56.1 million over the past three years to nearly two dozen anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim groups.
By far the biggest recipient of NCF donations is Alliance Defending Freedom, a large network of Christian extremist lawyers who have supported criminalizing homosexuality, sterilizing transgender people, and claimed that gay men are pedophiles. The group recently came out against congressional Democrats’ Equality Act, which would ban discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.
ADF received nearly $50 million of NCF’s donations over those three years — approximately a third of its total income.
But that brings us back to a different question: If all these groups receive all this funding from the NCF, where does NCF get its money?
We don’t know all of their donors, but a few prominent names jump out, like David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby. That’s just the start.
Other major NCF donors include the Maclellan Foundation (which has given over $100 million to NCF, including $4.65 million in 2017), the Bolthouse Foundation ($9.6 million in 2017), and the family foundation of GOP megadonor Foster Friess ($2.5 million, the majority of its charitable donations, in the 2017 fiscal year).
The Florida-based Free Family Foundation, which says it believes in “working together to share the love of Christ,” has given millions to NCF in recent years, including all of its nearly $1.5 million in charitable contributions in 2017. The JSC Foundation, which is run by heirs of the Coors beer fortune, took in $1.5 million in total revenue in 2015 but gave a larger amount, $2 million, to NCF. The APF Foundation, which is led by NCF-Tampa Bay board member Chris Peifer, is another NCF donor, having given most of its donations to NCF in the 2017 fiscal year ($145,000).
For all of these people and groups, the easiest way for them to fund anti-LGBTQ bigotry is to make sizable donations to the NCF and let them dole out the blood money.
In other words, there’s a reason there’s such a disconnect between American support of LGBTQ rights and the push for legislation curtailing them. When that many Christian hate groups have that much money to throw around in support of their bigotry, popular support won’t change their plans. A handful of very rich Christians are willing to spend their money to make sure other people suffer.
They could use their money to make the world a better place. Instead, they fuel hate.
Just like Jesus wanted, apparently.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to John for the link)