I’ve almost given up wasting my time writing about the crackpot pseudo-ecclesiastics of America, who make fortunes from the simplistic and easily led. Suffice to say, like much in this country, Christianity is no more than another business venture, to be exploited for the purpose of acquiring wealth and power. The only difference between it and any other business, is that the majority of capitalist ventures don’t set out to fool the customer into believing they are something they’re not.
It comes, then, as no great surprise to learn that one such pseudo-ecclesiastic yesterday performed a function that must surely rank as one of the greatest ironies in our history. On December 1st 2008, self-appointed pastor Rick Warren presented the incumbent president of the United States, George W Bush, with the “International Medal of Peace”.
This so-called “international medal” is nothing more than a cock-eyed idea formulated by a group of high-powered pseudo-ecclesiastics who have formed themselves into something called the “Global PEACE Coalition”.
At first glance, it may appear the aims of this coalition are admirable.
In their own words:
The Coalition is a network of churches, businesses and individuals cooperating together to solve humanitarian issues through the PEACE Plan, an effort to mobilize 1 billion Christians to Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation.”
Sadly, it all appears to be some figment of pastor Warren’s over-fertile imagination. Or, perhaps, a darned good way of hijacking US foreign aid policy – with the blessing of George W Bush.
If you Google, “Global Peace Coalition”, you’ll come up with THIS WEBSITE that is devoted to just what it says – global peace, but I doubt its methodology would inspire Rick Warren & Co, except perhaps to apoplexy. You might like to bookmark the page and return for a more in-depth view. It’s a breath of fresh air after the foetid hypocrisy spewed forth by the Warrens of this world.
There is a website for the Warren venture. You’ll find it under “PEACE plan”, or HERE if you want to chance your arm. It’s filled with the usual images of dark-skinned kids holding posies of flowers and looking grateful, or just staring wistfully at the camera. You know the sort of thing, designed by professional marketeers to make you want to reach in your pocket for any loose change.
Then there’s the wonderful work they do in third world countries – using your tax money that George W Bush and his Congress have kindly donated to Warren & Co (Ecclesiastics) Inc., to do with as they please.
At least 50% of that money – and back in April 2008, Congress voted to spend $50billion on AIDS and orphans in third world countries – is being used to promote abstinence programs through recruitment of Christians by missionary workers; programs that are simply not working, but are recruiting lots of people, desperate for help, into the Christian fold, as future customers for Warren & Co (Ecclesiastics) Inc..
Don’t take my word for it, though. Back in April 2008, in response to an article on the subject in the Guardian newspaper, Nina O’Farrell, who is an HIV and Aids policy adviser for VSO, said this:
While “channelling funds to help those with Aids and children left orphaned by the disease” is laudable, the effectiveness of this money is undermined by clauses that are based on American conservative moral considerations rather than hard facts about how to prevent HIV infections…….
……VSO staff around the world report that this [abstinence programs] simply does not work. Our partners have found it more effective to deliver comprehensive sexuality and life-skills education alongside the provision of condoms and family planning services. In Zambia we have had considerable success in communicating HIV prevention and behaviour-change messages to young people, encouraging them to access voluntary counselling, testing and comprehensive sexual and reproductive-health services. Such interventions are not favoured by US policy, despite research from the US itself which shows that young people who have received abstinence-only education are actually more likely to experience unwanted pregnancies and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases…….
……..The President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) requires family planning services to comply with the infamous Mexico City Policy, which stipulates that US family planning assistance cannot be provided to foreign NGOs that use funding from any other source to perform abortions or to lobby to make abortion more accessible. Furthermore, those that receive funds must sign a clause opposing sex work. Yet our work in China, Mozambique and Vietnam has shown that working with people who sell sex is essential to halting HIV transmission.
It is true that Pepfar “has paid for Aids testing, counselling and treatment with [anti-retroviral] drugs for more than 1.4 million people”. VSO does not accept Pepfar funding, however, because we believe the full range of HIV prevention options must be provided. But the desperate need for funds to save lives, and huge scale of the epidemic, mean that some cash-strapped NGOs are forced to compromise. George Bush might yet be able to legitimately claim that Pepfar is “the most successful foreign aid programme since the Marshall plan” – but only if he removes the illogical restrictions upon it.”
In short, if you have AIDs, Warren & Co (Ecclesiastics) Inc., has the means to keep you alive – funded by the American taxpayer – but only if you live your life in the way Warren & Co (Ecclesiastics) Inc., tell you.
As pastor Rick Warren handed George W Bush the “International Medal of Peace” in the Newseum in Washington, D.C yesterday, it marked a new low point of Christian hypocrisy in this country.
A somewhat surprising occurrence, for those of us who’d thought it couldn’t possibly sink any lower.
 “Warren to award President Bush for HIV/AIDS fight” Christianity Today, Novemner 30th 2008
 “George Bush’s Aids relief plan is undermined by morality clauses” Guardian, April 16th 2008
Filed under: Defying belief