State Department Makes Shocking Admission On ‘Atheism’ Grant

(Republican Senate News) – House Republicans want to see the State Department be more diligent in determining what is proper usage of taxpayer dollars after conducting a two-year long investigation into the agency’s $500,000 grant given to an organization that pushes atheism and humanism after they admitted this may have been a misuse of public funds. Gee, I’m glad they finally opened their eyes and used a little common sense. Of course this is a waste of money. As it is with most projects the federal government gets involved with.

Heck, most of the time these “projects” are just covers for slipping some cash in the pockets of politicians. How else do you think they go into public service as middle class and come out millionaires?

“Rep. Mike McCaul, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who heads the panel’s human rights subcommittee, have accused the State Department of trying to promote atheism overseas under the guise of advancing religious pluralism, a longtime U.S. foreign policy priority. Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican who chairs the panel’s oversight and accountability subcommittee, has also helped spearhead inquiries into the grant,” RealClearPolitics reported.

“For more than a year, the trio has been investigating the decision-making behind the State Department’s April 2021 solicitation bid for a $500,000 grant titled “Promoting and Defending Religious Freedom Inclusive of Atheist, Humanist, Non-Practicing and Non-Affiliated Individuals.” The agency awarded the grant to Humanists International, or HI, an organization aimed at promoting humanism, an outlook and system of thought attaching prime importance to human effort rather than divine or supernatural powers,” the article divulged.

McCall, Smith, and Mast sent out a letter to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma on Wednesday where they accused the State Department of participating in what they called a “pattern of obfuscation and denial” during the investigation as a means of helping to “expand atheism networks” that exist overseas. The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which is located in the Constitution for all of those liberals who are wondering where in the world we keep getting this information from, prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to push or promote a theocracy, a specific religion, or a system of belief.

And yes, atheism is indeed a system of belief, contrary to what its adherents want you to think.

“It was not until Foreign Affairs Committee staff contacted the HI to schedule a transcribed interview, and the organization retained legal counsel, that the “true scope” of the grant’s programming was revealed, the GOP House members asserted. HI’s attorneys contacted the State Department and admitted it had provided the wrong slides presented during its training session in Nepal,” the report added.

“Legal counsel for the grantee uncovered in a matter of weeks what the Department obfuscated, misrepresented and denied for years,” the three lawmakers declared, going on to express skepticism concerning the the agency’s commitment to recoup any misused funds and take action to bar HI from further State Department grants.

“We do, however, appreciate your statements, and we expect to be informed fully and without delay of all developments in this matter,” they said in the letter. “The Department can reasonably expect congressional oversight of grant funding to continue since the need for it is all the more pressing in light of the recent revelations.”

If you take a look at the HI website, you’ll see that the organization promotes “human-rights priorities based on humanist values at international organizations,” which includes the United Nations.

“A statement on HI’s website praises a Nigerian court for upholding the appeal of Mubarak Bala and reducing his prison sentence from 24 years to five years for violating the country’s blasphemy laws. In 2020, Bala was arrested in northern Nigeria, where Islam is the government’s dominant religion and thousands of Christians are killed each year, for a series of Facebook posts expressing his humanist beliefs,” RCP reveals to readers.

The newest verbal brawl comes shortly after the State Department finally acknowledged toward the end of April that the agency had given the GOP the wrong PowerPoint slides concerning what HI was utilizing the funds to do.

Naz Durakoglu, who is the assistant secretary for the State Department’s bureau of legislative affairs, pointed out that McCaul had been notified about a recent contact with the department made by HI in which they informed them that it had given the wrong slides about the information at training sessions which were funded by the grant. The agency then passed those slides to the committee in their response to the probe.

“This new information directly contradicts Humanists International’s previous representation to the Department that the slides it had earlier provided were the ones used at the training,” Durakoglu penned to McCaul in an April 29 letter, noting that the “department is deeply concerned about this development,” RCP disclosed in the article.

The State Department emphasized that it was taking “immediate action” to request more information from HI to make sure the work is in compliance with federal laws.

“’Should the Department determine that any such charges were not in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, including activities outside the grant agreement, it will take all necessary actions to recoup misused funds’ and take steps to bar HI from being eligible to receive federal funds in the future, Durakoglu wrote. He also noted that it would refer any misrepresentations HI made to the State Department Office of Inspector General for further investigation,” the article continued.

It then read, “But McCaul, Smith, and Mast aren’t convinced the State Department is acting in good faith, considering that the agency had pushed back against their concerns for more than a year. The House Foreign Affairs Committee obtained the PowerPoint slides from the actual HI training sessions and argued they show that only humanists or atheists attended the sessions, instead of members of several faith traditions. They also complained that the slides appeared to show that HI was using the grant to advance the humanist cause and its influence on government policy and touted the benefits of setting annual numerical goals for recruiting new humanist or atheist members.”

Officials working for the U.S. government have commented on numerous occasions that the grant’s work is not aimed at increasing the number of atheists and their influence abroad, but was simply just a routine award designed to promote the bigger goal of “religious tolerance” in both South and Central Asia, the Middle East, and even North Africa.

“The State Department’s stated aim for the grant was to prevent discrimination against individuals who do not adhere to the predominant religious tradition. In several countries across those regions, blasphemy and anti-conversion laws, such as those in Nigeria, prohibit insults to the prevailing religion and are often used to enact harsh penalties against religious minorities, atheists, and other nonbelievers,” RCP added. “The State Department provided another grant opportunity in 2021 to help ‘expand’ religious freedom and tolerance in Mozambique, where Christians face horrific levels of persecution despite making up roughly 50% of the population.”

A senior department official who works for the Office of Religious Freedom within the State Department gave a statement to RCP, saying that the vast majority of Islamists in Saudi Arabia don’t actually want to practice their religion according to the dictates of the government, thus part of the purpose of the grant was to showcase how some folks who don’t stick to the approved religious beliefs of the powers that be often end up becoming victims of religious persecution.

“The idea behind the request for proposal was not to make a program for atheists or for members of a particular group,” he remarked during his talk with the RCP. “It was to make sure that when we think about promoting religious freedom for everyone, we’re doing things that are inclusive and [including] members of those communities who often get left out because they don’t have an obvious spokesperson.”

“I will stand proudly behind the [rationale], but as soon as there’s the potential whiff of fraud or misrepresentation, that’s a very different matter entirely,” he explained. “We take that very seriously and want to ensure that, as stewards of taxpayer dollars, that not one penny of taxpayer money is being misappropriated or misused.”

Look, if this grant had been given to Christian groups, the backlash would be more fast and furious than Vin Diesel in a muscle car. It’s hilarious how hypocritical the left is on stuff like this and how they expect us to just ignore it or not notice at all. That’s not how this works, my friends.

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