It’s almost always the case that when I post anything about Religion News Service (RNS), it’s because what they publish is liberal editorializing rather than religious news. David Gibson of RNS seems to go out of his way to make conservative Catholics look bad. Remember what he did recently to Cardinal Burke? Keep reading.
In a National Catholic Register/CNA piece today we read about funding to RNS from homosexual groups.
A Homosexual-Rights News Service? RNS Denies LGBT Money Influences Its Religion Coverage
WASHINGTON — The editor of Religion News Service has denied that a grant from a wealthy LGBT advocacy funder has biased its coverage of traditional religion, which includes a recent controversial story on Cardinal Raymond Burke. [This explains quite a bit.]
The Arcus Foundation [arcus is Latin “bow”, as in “rainbow”] dispenses millions of dollars in grants every year to support LGBT activism. Its 2014 grants included $120,000 to the Religion Newswriters Foundation, the owner of the widely syndicated Religion News Service. [I wonder what their $120K bought them?]
The Arcus Foundation’s grant listing said the one year of support was intended “to recruit and equip LGBT supportive leaders and advocates to counter rejection and antagonism within traditionally conservative Christian churches.” [Back in the 80’s the LGBT crowd, when they protested, just wanted to be “left alone”. Now they use mainstream media outlets to shove their advocacy in people’s faces.]
The foundation’s Sept. 23, 2014, announcement said the grant aimed at “fostering a culture of LGBT understanding through the media” by funding the production of feature stories and blog posts “about religion and LGBT peoples of color.” [And to do so by smearing the reputations of traditional Catholics such as Card. Burke and others.]
Kevin Eckstrom, RNS editor in chief, told CNA that receiving money from the advocacy group did not influence editorial choices.
“All editorial decisions about coverage of the LGBT community, or any other issue, are made independent of any foundation support, including Arcus,” he said, adding that RNS welcomes support “from any individual or foundation that supports our aim of informing and challenging our readers.” [Is that so? Would they take money from a conservative donor? QUAERITUR: Have any conservative donors wanted to give money to RNS?]
David Gibson Article
RNS coverage of some Catholic figures has drawn criticism.
On March 27, RNS distributed a story by David Gibson entitled: “Cardinal Raymond Burke: Gays, Remarried Catholics, Murderers Are All the Same.” [Which is simply a falsehood and intellectually dishonest. That’s not what the Cardinal said. On the other hand, Gibson’s RNS piece – reprinted by Fishwrap makes Card. Kasper out to be 5th apparition of Vishnu. To read him, you’d think you were reading the 2nd nocturne.]
For its part, the Arcus Foundation’s self-described social-justice program aims to cultivate “positive religious leaders and advocates” and to develop “effective faith messages and messengers” that have an impact in target communities. The foundation’s grants also oppose “the abuse of religious freedoms” through religious exemptions[?] and aim to develop “religious and legal strategies to hold exemptions in check,” while challenging “religious opponents of LGBT people in the U.S. and internationally.” [Am I wrong or does that sound like Arcus wants to prevent people such as small business – or even large business – owners from saying “No” when approached by homosexualists for work, such as baking a “gay” cake?]
The foundation’s grant application page said it considers grant applications from organizations whose work “aligns with our values, strategic priorities and EEO requirement.” [Ergo, RNS aligns with the values Arcus describes. And RNS took their money.]
Eckstrom said that the RNS grant proposal to the Arcus Foundation stressed the need to “increase and improve domestic and international coverage of how religion affects a diverse range of LGBT communities.”
“Our job is to offer readers a window into the personalities, theology and institutions that are shaping a momentous social and civic debate,” Eckstrom told CNA.
The $120,000 grant appears significant compared to the Religion Newswriters Foundation’s past revenue. Its tax forms show a total revenue of $216,000 in 2012 and $166,000 in 2011. Religion News LLC, the nonprofit corporation that operates RNS, had $1.8 million in revenue for Fiscal Year 2012-2013.
RNS Reporter Worked for Arcus
One Arcus-sponsored RNS feature story was by Jay Michaelson, a former vice president for social-justice programs at the Arcus Foundation. On March 31, RNS ran a different story by Michaelson about the controversy over Indiana’s religious-freedom bill.
Interesting. Make up your own minds about this.