War on Facts: Fox & Friends Falsely Claims Stimulus Did Not Fund “Religious Facilities”

On Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson interviewed author Brad O'Leary to rebrand Fox & Friends' fake “War on Christmas” campaign as a “War on Christianity.” During the segment, on-screen text read, “The War on Religion? Stimulus: No Funds To Religious Facilities”; but in fact, faith-based groups reportedly received at least $140 million in stimulus money.

Fox & Friends: “The War On Religion? Stimulus: No Funds To Religious Facilities”

Chyron During “War on Christianity” Segment Claims, “Stimulus: No Funds to Religious Facilities.” On the December 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Carlson hosted O'Leary, author of America's War on Christianity, to discuss what Carlson called “a battle raging in America between bureaucrats and Christians.” O'Leary claimed that a “war” is going on to “not allow people to use the name Jesus or the name Christ.” As examples, he cited Tulsa rebranding its Christmas parade as a "Holiday Parade of Lights," and that “in schools, we're talking about winter parties, not Christmas parties.”

During the segment, on-screen text read: “The War On Religion? Stimulus: No Funds To Religious Facilities.”


But Stimulus Provided “At Least $140 Million” to “Faith-Based Groups,” Including Churches

Politico: "[A]n Analysis ... Found That At Least $140 Million In Stimulus Money Has Gone To Faith-Based Groups." A December 3 Politico article titled, “Obama's stimulus pours millions into faith-based groups,” noted that according to its analysis, “at least $140 million” in stimulus money went to “faith-based groups.” The article noted specific churches that had received stimulus money:

The stimulus bought Castleton United Methodist Church in Indianapolis a new heating and cooling system. In Laramie, Wyo., it bought the Church of St. Laurence O'Toole new windows for the Roman Catholic school it runs. And in Harrisburg, Pa., Christian Churches United of the Tri-County Area spent its $120,000 in stimulus funding on food and shelter for local homeless people.

“It kind of fell from the sky, and it was unbelievable that we had this much extra money,” said Jackie Rucker, executive director of the church-sponsored nonprofit in Pennsylvania's capital. [Politico, 12/03/10]

Politico also noted that the administration conducted “an aggressive attempt at outreach” to faith-based groups in directing them to apply for stimulus grants. From the article:

In an aggressive attempt at outreach, federal agencies, in conference calls and online seminars, instructed faith-based groups on how to apply for the grants, and federal officials sometimes stepped in when the state officials who distribute the money were reluctant to spend it on groups associated with churches and other religious establishments.

“Part of our job is to ensure that there's a level playing field -- we don't encourage anyone to favor faith-based groups over other organizations, but we do want to ensure that there's no discrimination against faith-based organizations,” said Joshua DuBois, who heads the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which Bush created and President Barack Obama renamed and expanded. [Politico, 12/03/10]