Editor’s note: This is the second part of a series The Blaze is doing on George Soros’ ties to various religious groups. Part one can be found here.
Back in 2004, atheist billionaire George Soros spoke to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, saying the following:
"There's nothing wrong with religion. I think that there is something wrong with the fundamentalist view of the world, because the fact that your opponents are wrong doesn't necessarily make you right."
This quote is curious, considering that nearly every religious organization Soros funds would qualify as "fundamentalist." Each group embraces an extreme, leftist political agenda and is seems intent on dismantling or -- at the least -- working fervently against right-leaning perspective and policy.
Earlier this month, The Blaze began delving into atheist Soros' ties to religious groups. The first organization we examined, Faithful America, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soros' Open Society Institute. Today, we will delve into the leftist agenda that the National Council of Churches (NCC) embraces. It is important to note that NCC founded Faithful America, turning it over to Faith in Public Life back in 2007.
NCC was founded in 1950 and describes itself as "...the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's member faith groups [are] from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches..."
When the organization was founded, it absorbed the Federal Council of Churches, which DiscovertheNetworks.org refers to as a "communist front-group." In recent years, NCC has been accused of having cozy ties with various organizations that exist on the far edges of the American left. The group's activities and stances, without a doubt, mirror those of some of the most secular non-profit organizations in the United States.
Many accuse the NCC of spending the majority of its time confronting political and social issues, rather that preaching the Christian gospel it claims to hold as its main underpinning. According to a special report compiled by the The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) back in 2006, NCC has not lived up to its spiritual commitments nor to its intended purposes:
The reality of the NCC has always fallen short of its high ideals. Articulating a “common faith in Jesus Christ” has not been a high priority for the council, as measured by its budgets, news releases, and publications. Instead the stress has fallen upon a “prophetic” social witness (i.e., taking positions on controversial political issues).
A brief look at the group's task forces and activities expose its stances on illegal immigration, global warming and other "justice" issues. Last month, the NCC met in New York City to plan for the group's upcoming fiscal year activities. Despite its need to cut down on staff and budget, NCC pushed forward, full throttle, with its leftist agenda. IRD writes:
Several left-leaning resolutions, including those aiming to promote relaxed immigration policies, were passed and other positions, such as its largely pacifist stance on the use of American military force and opposition to federal austerity measures, were affirmed.
Watch Dr. Michael Kinnamon, head of NCC, discuss immigration:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/RgfHPY14-7M?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
IRD goes on to claim that NCC often looks to left-leaning organizations to sponsor its activities when member contributions (from its member denominations) run low. Thus, NCC is allegedly using grant money from the Soros' Open Society Institute to advance liberal policies in Washington.
Last month, IRD reported that NCC will receive new monies from Soros to work on a criminal justice program:
The NCC’s Faith and Action Criminal Justice Working Group was awarded a grant from leftist billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute to advocate on behalf of a bill that would seek to restructure the current U.S. criminal justice system. The money would specifically be used to cover all expenses, including air travel, for faith activists to promote the legislation on Capitol Hill...
The working group also advocated for tighter control laws to cut down on domestic gun violence.
Watch Kinnamon discuss global warming as a "justice issue":
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/I2mZUHe425w?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
According to IRD, this isn't the first time the group has had interest in partnering with Soros:
The 2003-2004 NCC foundation highlights document referred to seeking an unspecified amount of money from “OSI” for “Poverty and Voter Registration.” Similarly, the 2004-2005 foundation plans document indicated an intention of seeking a $75,000 grant from “OSI (Soros)” via the Connect US Network for purposes of “Multilateralism and Peace.” It is not known for certain whether these grants ever came through in any form.
In November 2010, the NCC posted a press release on its site claiming that "top U.S. Christian leaders" had met with President Obama to "speak for Americans who are struggling." The release, curiously written by Faith in Public Life, was devoted to praising the president:
Leaders with both the National Council of Churches and the global humanitarian agency Church World Service thanked President Obama for passage of historic health reform legislation and robust engagement with the faith community, while also pressing him to take a strong stance on behalf of families facing poverty and hunger...
Leaders of major Christian denominations joined NCC and CWS leaders to thank the President for his leadership and to urge him to prioritize a number of issues, including strengthening our fraying safety net, extending unemployment benefits as the economy continues to falter, and lifting people out of poverty with a focus on job creation for those in poverty, job training, and education.
Below, Kinnamon speaks at a rally against U.S.-perpetuated torture:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/tYjDPtITMsQ?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
In the past, the NCC has also stood firmly against both Iraq wars, has pushed for "due-process rights" for Guantanamo Bay detainees and has claimed the global warming is human-induced.
In the end, NCC has every right to engage in these activities. That said, the interconnections that organizations like NCC have with ultra-liberal non-profits showcase a pervasive, policy-driven use of religious cohesion. Furthermore, the interconnectedness of organizations like NCC, Faithful America, Faith in Public Life and others indicates a one-mindedness that seems more rooted in political gain than it is spiritual sustainability.
Part three of this series will focus on Jim Wallis and his Soros-funded faith-based initiatives.