Well heeled foundation spends millions to thwart religious freedom, push LGBT agenda

New York based Arcus Foundation gives millions for projects aimed at restricting legal protections for religious freedom, promote LGBT advocacy

Jon Stryker is heir to the Stryker Corporation fortune. The medical-products company was founded by his grandfather, Homer Stryker, a surgeon who invented the mobile hospital bed. (image: Jurek Wajdowicz/EWS)

One wealthy activist is continuing to fund coordinated efforts to limit religious freedom and to foster dissent on abortion and LGBT issues within American Christianity and other religious groups.
The New York-based Arcus Foundation was founded by billionaire heir Jon Stryker in 2000. Arcus is a partner of the U.S. State Department’s Global Equality Fund, which engages in LGBT advocacy around the world. One of its board members is Darren Walker, the president of the deeply influential Ford Foundation, which gives out about $500 million in grants each year.
Since CNA’s February 2015 report on a multi-million dollar campaign against religious freedom protections, the Arcus Foundation has given an additional $2.8 million in grants earmarked for projects aimed at restricting legal protections for religious freedom, especially religious and conscience exemptions in state and federal law.  

Among its recent donations is an ACLU grant designed to “beat back” laws protecting freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

In fact, a CNA examination of grant listings and other documents has shown that the Arcus Foundation has funded a variety of coordinated projects, focused on limiting religious freedom, redefining religious liberty, and perhaps even shaping religious doctrine itself.

Redefining Religious Liberty

On June 30, 2016, the Arcus Foundation said that “countering religious exemptions to anti-discrimination law in the United States is the aim of grants to the American Civil Liberties Union, Catholics for Choice, and the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia University, all of which are working to reframe religious liberty in inclusive terms, whether through the courts, religious bodies, or policy-making bodies.”

Since 2016, $450,000 in Arcus grants went to the Center for American Progress, which was founded by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s last presidential campaign manager.

The grants funded projects like promoting religious liberty “as a core progressive American value that includes LGBT equality and women’s reproductive health and rights.” The Center for American Progress sponsors a self-described “Religious Exemptions Public Literacy Project” that will oppose “religious exemptions policies that have a negative impact on women, LGBT, and POC (person of color) communities.”

Funding Dissent

Since June 2016, the Arcus Foundation appears to be focusing on controversies at Catholic institutions and schools where staff who publicly support or contract a “gay marriage” have been fired for contradicting Catholic doctrine. Some Catholic institutions have faced lawsuits over such employment decisions and invoke religious freedom protections as a defense.

In an apparent complement to its work on religious freedom limits, the foundation has also been funding some self-described Catholic groups that reject Church teaching on marriage and sexual morality, among them Dignity USA, the Equally Blessed Coalition, New Ways Ministry, and Catholics for Choice.

The Arcus Foundation outlines its strategy in a section on its website. It aims to mobilize “moderate and progressive faith leaders” and to leverage “strategic opportunities in historically resistant faith communities,” including Roman Catholic churches. It said that some resistant communities “still afford opportunities for making limited but significant progress.”
“In keeping with the focus on religious exemptions, Dignity USA and the Equally Blessed Coalition are working to combat the firing of LGBT staff and allies, who support marriage equality, at Catholic Institutions,” the foundation’s June 2016 announcement continues.

The Arcus Foundation gave a $250,000, two-year grant to Dignity USA to fund the Equally Blessed Coalition, in order to “ support and give voice to the growing majority of Roman Catholics who support full acceptance and equality for LGBT people.”

A 2017 grant gave $35,000 to New Ways Ministry to help develop the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics and its work “to connect the work of pro-LGBT Catholic organizations in every region of the world.” The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics had engaged in advocacy related to the Church’s Synod on the Family.

In October 2016 New Ways Ministries gave its Bridge Building Award to Father James Martin, S.J., editor-at-large of the Society of Jesus’ America Magazine. The priest’s lecture at the award ceremony was the basis for his book “Building a Bridge,” on Catholic-LGBT relations.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

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  1. The Watchman says:

    All the money spent in the world is not going to ever change the word of Almighty God that has stood the test of time. Without religious freedom there is no democracy. All there is without no religious freedom is a totalitarian tyranny that has no room for anyone that has a dissenting view on serious moral issues of the day. There is no such thing as marriage equality. The only marriage that is equal and valid in the eyes of God is the marriage instituted by God between husband and wife or man and woman. In the not too distant future Jesus Christ King of Kings Lord of Lords True God and True Man is going to come back like a thief in the night. Brothers and sisters in Christ proclaim the Gospel message for our redemption draws near.

  2. Linda Maria says:

    The Catholic Church should strongly make it clear, worldwide, that all Catholic LGBT’s should go to the group, “Courage,” for spiritual help, as it is truly Catholic! And the Pope should strongly, publicly encourage and support “Courage,” help “Courage” chapters start worldwide– and advise all Catholic LGBTs to go to that group, for help! Maybe there is also a Saint whose intercession could help the LGBTs, and perhaps Masses and Novenas could be held regularly, for the needs of the struggling LGBTs!

  3. Michael McDermott says:

    Pander or Perish = the ‘gpspel’ of the GILBERT Gaystapo

    The Price of Prop 8
    Abstract: Supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry
    Arguments for same-sex marriage are based fundamentally on the idea that limiting marriage to the union of husband and wife is a form of bigotry, irrational prejudice, and even hatred against homosexual persons
    As this ideology seeps into the culture more generally, individuals and institutions that…

  4. Linda Maria says:

    I think our Church needs to get busy, and preach and teach Christ’s Truth– and make sure that all priests and nuns who are out there, working for our Church, doing Christ’s holy work for Him– are truly, HONESTLY CATHOLIC– and fully committed to Him! The Vatican ought to help the struggling Catholic LGBTs, by strongly promoting the group “Courage” worldwide, as it is a faithful Catholic group, that serves the spiritual needs of the LGBTs. A suffering LGBT needs to be brought to only Christ– and to no other, to no counterfeit fraudulently standing in His place. Christ alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! He alone can heal the suffering, and have victory over sin!

  5. Homosexuals are the tip of the spear of the destroyers of Western Civilization.

    • Are you kidding? homosexuals built Western Civilization. Who do you think painted the Sistine Chapel?

      • TheVeiledThreat says:

        Gratias might have clarified by using “Activists living the gay lifestyle” instead of “homosexuals”.

        From you, Anonymous, it would be interesting to see your list of homosexuals who built Western Civilization, along with your proof.

      • Well, Pope Julius did want some of the figures in the paintings covered up more, and they were for a time. Most of the Eastern Church members, including Eastern Rite Catholic Church members, think that some Latin Rite art is too risque or too effeminate. I would say in some cases they have a point — lipstick (red lips) on Jesus, a carpenter, is laughable. I paint the lips in with a pencil before I hand any such pamphlets out, if I buy them at all.

        • I was referring to the pamphlet sold in this country where the Sacred Heart has curly blonde hair and red, red lips. I have no problem with men with curly hair of any color. I have seen plenty of masculine looking men with curly hair, but pleeese take the lipstick off of the Lord Jesus.

  6. Read in the most accurate and Roman Catholic Holy Bible (Douay – Rheims ) St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 1, the last 10 verses. Now some LBGT sympathizers may think they are doing the “christian thing”, but according to St Paul they are actually offending God by siding with those LGBTQrs who are offending God Himself. God does not create or tempt evil behavior in people to offend Himself; but Satan does. Wake up if you wish to live with God in Heaven for eternity.

  7. Read and Heed. Know thine enemies. Follow the money and you will find and see Satan’s lieutenants and followers out to draw hundreds od millions of souls into hell for eternity.

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