Oh, looky here. A Vermont “pregnancy help center” wants to siphon off some federal funds to support its anti-scientific, “Christ-centered” counseling services*. Care Net Pregnancy Center of Windham County (deceiving women daily at their office in Brattleboro) was turned down for a USDA building loan when the Department ruled that the group’s programming was “inherently religious.” So, Care Net is taking the government to court.
*No abortions for YOU!
Care Net’s most troubling offering, as far as USDA officials were concerned, was a rewards-based learning program called “Learn to Earn,” wherein expectant parents had to take a certain number of parenting and Bible study classes in order to receive free baby supplies. (Care Net’s executive director has said the center has since suspended the Bible study requirement.) The center also offers, according to a brochure, a “bible centered program” called “Post Abortive Teaching and Healing” that “enables women to process their abortion-related experiences and emotions with the goal of healing and recovery.” In addition, Care Net conducts an abstinence-only sex-education class called “Why Am I Tempted?” or WAIT.
The USDA also noted that, as an affiliate of the national Care Net organization, the local Care Net must certify that its primary mission “is to share the truth and love of Jesus Christ in conjunction with a ministry to those facing pregnancy related issues.”
Yeah, I can see how some people might interpret that as “religious.” But you would be wrong to think so, according to the great public thinker Bill O’Reilly, who actually said this on his show:
“It is a fact that Christianity is NOT a religion. It is a philosophy.”
Er, yeah, Bill, sure thing. But back to our story.
Care Net Windham County currently rents its offices; it sought federal help in buying a facility of its own under a USDA program aimed at helping “develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.” And heck, lying to young women about birth control and pregnancy is the very definition of “essential” services, don’t you think?
The Brattleboro Care Net has the backing of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group. And the Alliance hopes this case will “pave the way for more religious organizations to receive government funding.”