A h/t to erv for telling me about this (see her post here): the 2008 tax returns of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), listing all their donors (a list that’s confidential), were leaked to the Huffington Post. The NOM accuses the Internal Revenue Service itself for the leak.
Established in 2007, the NOM is dedicated to preserving marriage in America as a union only between a male and female. It works tirelessly to quash state bills that allow same-sex marriage and to support initiatives (like California’s Proposition 8) that prohibit it. NOM also fights against adoption by same-sex couples. It’s an odious organization that has engaged in many questionable tactics. Here’s one tactic, taken from the Wikipedia article on NOM:
In March 2012, NOM documents showing their strategies of pitting the African-American and homosexual communities against each other, of discouraging Latino assimilation, and of painting Obama as a “social radical” were released by a federal judge in Maine and published by the Human Rights Campaign. The revealed tactics were described as “one of the most cynical things I’ve ever heard” and “scary” by Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP. The National Black Justice Coalition said that the “documents expose N.O.M. for what it really is – a hate group determined to use African American faith leaders as pawns to push their damaging agenda.”
You can download a pdf of the donors list here. The most interesting donor is one we know well; he’s also the biggest donor by far:
This appears to be the John Templeton Jr., the son of the founder of the John Templeton Foundation, its current president and chairman, and a notorious supporter of right-wing causes. His wife also gave $100,000, making a family total of over half a million dollars!
The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, put in their dollop:
And, finally, Mitt Romney’s political action committee (PAC), Free and Strong America. Romney, of course, will be the Republican candidate in the next Presidential race:
Who knows what other nefarious organizations are supported by the Templetons?
I think we’re all familiar with the political agenda of both Templeton and his Foundation (right wing, supportive of untrammeled capitalism and free enterprise), as well as the Foundation’s aim to show a consilience between science and religion. A lot of scientists who take Templeton money, and are hence paraded on the Templeton website as their pet scientists, assert that so long as Templeton gives them money to do pure science, untainted by religion, it’s okay. I disagree. And I agree with what Abbie says:
I recognize that John Templeton the person and The Templeton Foundation as a foundation are different entities. However considering the personal financial and political causes taken up by Johnny boy, its hard to take the mission statement of the organization he heads seriously.
“The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. We support research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will.”
(It’s worth noting that the Dalai Lama, who recently won the £1,000,000 Templeton Prize, considers gay sex to be “sexual misconduct.”)
Indeed. As the political and religious agenda of Templeton becomes more evident, the pocketing of Templeton funds by money-hungry scientists becomes more embarrassing. Really, are the political views and activities of the president and chairman completely irrelevant to whether its money constitutes honorable funds? After all, that money comes from the same source: the mutual-fund empire of John Templeton senior.
I ask those who take Templeton money if they’d still take it were the Templeton Foundation headed by someone like David Duke, a politicial and former member of the Ku Klux Klan who continues his racist activities. Suppose Duke were to continue to agitate against blacks and immigration on his own time, donating his own money for those causes, while running the “Duke Foundation” that gave money to scientists with the aim of finding a consilience between science and ethnic diversity. Suppose that some of that money were go to pure science alone, without any racial connotations or strings attached. Would it then be okay to take that money? If not, why not?
How right-wing and pro-religion does an organization have to be before scientists will no longer accept its money? The sad thing is that most scientists who pocket the funds don’t even consider this question.