House Republicans are demanding answers from the Biden administration over its “unconstitutional” grant program they say will “promote atheism worldwide.”
Republican Study Committee (RSC) chairman Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.) and 14 of his colleagues penned a letter to Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding clarity about the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor’s (DRL) grant program promoting “humanism” and “atheism” abroad.
“The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was officially titled ‘DRL FY20 IRF Promoting and Defending Religious Freedom Inclusive of Atheist, Humanist, Non-Practicing and Non-Affiliated Individuals,’” Banks and the Republicans wrote on Thursday.
The Biden State Department is promoting CRT, abortion and now atheism abroad. This is not what America stands for!
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) June 30, 2022
Banks continued that it “is one thing for the Department to be tolerant and respectful of a wide range of belief systems” and “to encourage governments to respect the religious freedom interests of their citizens.”
“It is quite another for the United States government to work actively to empower atheists, humanists, non-practicing, and non-affiliated in public decision-making,” the letter read. “Any such program – for any religiously-identifiable group – in the United States would be unconstitutional.”
The letter went on to question how this grant actually “advances the foreign policy interests of the United States.”
“Were such programs known by the citizens of the target countries, we would expect that local populations, interest groups, and governments would bristle at what any ‘objective observer’ would see as ‘covert’ funding from a foreign power designed to shatter local religious and cultural relationships,” the letter read.
The grant program website states that one to two grants worth up to $500,000 will be used to “combat discrimination, harassment and abuses against atheist, humanist, non-practicing and non-affiliated individuals of all religious communities by strengthening networks among these communities and providing organizational training and resources.”
Banks noted that atheism “is an integral part of the belief system of Marxism and communism.”
“Americans rightly discern this as a part of the broader effort on the part of your administration to promote radical, progressive orthodoxy abroad,” the letter read, concluding with a series of 12 questions for Biden to answer about how the program helps U.S. foreign policy.
Given Biden’s hyper-partisan style of governing, it’s unlikely his administration will even provide answers to the House Republicans.
Read the House GOP letter: