The number of religion-related lobbying groups in Washington has grown five-fold in the past 40 years, with their spending reaching almost $400 million annually…

The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life study identified 212 groups, up from 158 a decade ago and 40 in 1970. Their collective budgets for lobbying efforts in Washington were estimated at $390 million a year…

Forty groups accounted for the bulk of the spending, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which spent nearly $88 million in 2008, the last year for which data was provided.

Also in 2008, the Family Research Council spent $14 million and the American Jewish Committee $13 million.

In 2009, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spent $27 million, Concerned Women for America $13 million, Bread for the World $11 million, the National Right to Life Committee $11 million and the Home School Legal Defense Association $11 million.

Issues the various groups lobbied on included support of Israel, church-state issues, and religious rights.

The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life said other topics were bioethics, abortion, capital punishment, and end-of-life and family-marriage issues. Many of the groups also addressed international issues such as poverty.

The holier-than-thou-and-everyone-else crowd can afford to buy as many politicians as any corporation. They get the biggest tax break of all.

  1. LibertyLover says:

    The holier-than-thou-and-everyone-else crowd can afford to buy as many politicians as any corporation. They get the biggest tax break of all.

    If you want to see our churches become indoctrination centers for the government, start taxing them.

    • bernardino says:

      At best, that’s a non sequitur.

      • LibertyLover says:

        Not really. The government will pick winners and losers just as they do now (think Solyndra) — only the church people attend on Sunday will now be attending a State Sponsored Church. I can just see tax breaks for people who attend Church X.

        When that happens, we’re all losers.

        I know a lot of us don’t like the way they influence the government but a lot of us don’t like the way unions and other big corporations influence the government either.

    • getintouch says:

      they already are indoctrination centers for the government, first, the Roman Empire, and now, the government of those who would “christianize” the world. F’ religion…

    • IMHO says:

      I can’t imagine that attempting to tax churches would lead to anything other than the razing of DC by righteously indignant Jesus-sheep.
      As for becoming indoctrination centers for guv’ment, that’s a chicken-or-the-egg thing: raised in organized religion=no questioning/critical thinking; raised in a country that believes its own hype (i.e. the U.S.)=no questioning/critical thinking. Since most sheeple are brought up in organized religion, they’re primed to recite the Pledge each day and not actually think about the words, much like what happens when reading from the Bible.

      What’s the difference between Jesus and Santa? We stop believing crazy stories and old legends about Santa when we grow up.

    • spsffan says:

      And how, exactly, would this would differentiate them from corporations?

      Property and income of religious organizations and individuals should be taxed like everyone else. Well, more properly, taxed like the average Joe, since “everyone else” includes General Electric and Warren Buffet.

    • Shubee says:

      Most churches in the US have already become indoctrination centers for the Republican party.

  2. deowll says:

    Actually I’ve seen no evidence what so ever that religious principles such as though shalt not steal or even though shalt not commit adultery have had any impact what so ever in Washington.

    On the other hand the secular principle of ME First seems to be alive and doing very well.

    • tcc3 says:

      You mean the Objectivist principle. Conservative hero Ayn Rand would be proud of such selfishness and lack of religious impact.

      Secular does not equal immoral. Religious does not equal moral.

  3. Dallas says:

    All religious influences need to be purged from our government regardless who funds it. Be it Muslim, Christian or Island Voodoo Taliban they all need to be kept from infiltrating.
    This is our biggest threat to our nation.

    • Drive by Poster says:

      ‘Hate to break it to you, but Progressive Ideology is also a Religion. In most Progressives, it occupies the same mental space in the human psyche that I call the “religious space” that religion usually does. It’s a belief system believed by Progressives with the same unshakable faith as a devout christian fundamentalist believes in God and Creationism.

      ANYTHING IN THAT MENTAL SPACE is nigh impervious to logic, reality, common sense, long experience, etc. You know, like religious fundamentalism and Progressive Ideology.

      Just because there are no gods and no afterlife in your religion doesn’t make it any less a religion once it’s in the “religious space”. Why do you think Communist regimes tried to beat religion out of their population? It’s so that Communism could fill the “religious space” in their people’s psyche.

      Certainly you and many other Progressives react to belief systems other than your own with the very same “BLASPHEMY! DESTROY IT!!” reflex that you see between different aggressive/belicose religions actively fighting over the beliefs of the same group of people. Why else would you so reflexively despise non-Progressives with religious fervor?

      • tcc3 says:

        You have some MRIs or psych studies to back that up I assume?

        I see a lot more hate and intolerance come from conservatives and “christians” than from the left. Rush makes good money stirring up the right hate machine. Just look at TeaDuds posts. He hasnt threatened anyone lately, but im sure its only a matter of time.

        Liberals may not suffer your stupidity, but generally wont burn you at the stake.

  4. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    Just one Obama crony got billions, Jeffery Imelt of GE:

    Although a registered Republican, he said “we’re all Democrats now!”

    I’ve been waiting for the trickle down effect, from all the billions in stimulus cash that went to Obama’s “hated 1%” on Wall Street etc…but I can’t find that big government urinal where the 99% live.

    Any suggestions?

    • Dallas says:

      Quit changing the subject or you’ll be banned for the third time and you’ll have to change your name again

      • jpfitz says:

        Taxed love of Squirrels.

      • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

        Its pathetic you loving liberals hate the groups laboring to feed the poor, because they aren’t Obama/Progressive statists robbing the taxpayer and giving almost nothing to the poor.

        Every sin, perversion and crime is ok for democrats to do, but let a religious person try to help the poor and they must be stopped…hated…

        Left loons are lunatics and everyone but the lunatic fringe knows it…

        I love pointing it out with real examples…

        And like a typical leftist, you want to silence me…because the only free speech you leftists want…is elitist progressive statism.

  5. Animby says:

    “Bread for the World $11 million”

    Gee … I wonder what else they could have done with eleven million dollars…

  6. jpfitz says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
    It’s in the G’dam Constitution. So why is the PTB accepting money from the believers? What is their motivation? What medieval laws are going to make a comeback. Witch dunking, the rack, what what?

    • ReadyKilowatt says:

      Simple, there’s a lot of sinning going on out there. They tried making you feel guilty about it, but now they need to make you actually guilty and lock you up in jail, just to make sure you get the message.

      Actually it all has to do with the Book of Revelation. As long as Israel keeps getting money from the US government, God will continue to shower his blessings on us as a people and we’ll be saved in the rapture.

      At least that’s the idea.

      • spsffan says:

        Yes. All the while living in a “restricted” neighborhood!

        Oh, I forgot, we actually put a stop to that a while back.

      • Gazbo says:

        I remember something about the Whore of Babylon riding on the back of the beast – supposedly interpreted as the church joining with the government. I seem to recall that it doesn’t end well for either. Don’t know why the fundies ignore their own teachings.

      • jpfitz says:

        @ReadyKilowatt, Have you been watching Dexter also.

  7. Drive by Poster says:

    Only a 5 fold growth???

    What was the growth for lobbyists in general in DC over the last 40 years? I bet it was a lot more than 5 fold.

  8. t0llyb0ng says:

    no need for a hyphen in fivefold
    whatsoever is one word

    Religion is a crippling problem but our greatest threat is the unmanaged e-printing of e-dollars. How many are in e-circulation? They’re not worth the e-air they’re made of.

    You’ll never get rid of religion without self-knowledge. Psychological self-awareness shows that humankind needs medieval religion because the psyche is inherently medieval & cannot evolve beyond its need to believe.

  9. Kent says:

    Is AIPAC considered a religious group because they’re certainly one, if not the, most influential organizations on US govt decision making.

    • steven says:

      Nope, not a religious org. AIPAC as a political organisation is not interested in judaism as a religion, only the expression of unconditional support for zionism from the evangelical churches. Atheism among Jews is very common, almost half of self identified Jews consider themselves Atheist.

  10. #26- bobbo, OCCUPY DVORAK: what if "we-all" number our own posts and post seriatim ourselves? says:

    Its VERY TELLING: churches should be preaching politics with every sermon. What else is morals? What else affects leading a good christian life?

    But they DONT. Its not illegal to do so==you just can’t be tax exempt and do so.

    They fail every day in their stated Mission because they have ALL SOLD OUT for money.

    Imagine that. Surely this is an “unintended consequence?” Knowing all this, as anti-theist as I am, I think I would keep the non-profit monkey on their backs. Ssssspt—want to make more money?===Just don’t talk politics.

    Ha, ha. Same as it ever was. Its hypocrisy all the way down!

  11. NewFormatSux says:

    Five-fold in 40 years? How does that compare to the other lobbyists?

    I would think this is low, considering how much government had tried to interfere with religion in the interim.

  12. orchidcup says:

    I figured out how to get representation in Congress.

    I will form a religion and a non-profit organization and start raking in the dough.

    Somebody help me think of a name for my religion.

    L. Ron Hubbard has already taken Scientology, that would have been a cool name.

    The First Church of the Second Coming of the Modern-Day Saints? Sounds too Mormon-ish.

    I give up.

  13. NewFormatSux says:

    Can we get those black churches to stop letting Democratic politicians campaign from the pulpit?


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