graphic: mockstar via Flickr

graphic: mockstar via Flickr

Is this social Darwinism? The Religious Right is feeling the economic pinch as Rick Warren begs for dough, and Focus on the Family laid off 150 more staff members, but is willing to drop $4 million on a Super Bowl ad.

I can’t help but think this is God’s way of telling Rick Warren to STFU.  The megachurch pastor, liar and pop feel-good author took the internet to plead for his congregation to dig deep and donate $900,000 within the next 48 hours. Or else the godless heathen homo-lovers win.

With 10% of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated. Still, with wise management, we’ve stayed close to our budget all year. Then… this last weekend the bottom dropped out. On the last weekend of 2009, our total offerings were less than half of what we normally receive – leaving us $900,000 in the red for the year, unless you help make up the difference today and tomorrow.

With 22,000 members, that’s about $41 per person. And $900,000 a huge deficit caused simply by a low dip in one weekend’s donations — kinda makes you wonder what the weekly take is. And why the IRS doesn’t consider taxing churches…

In other broke, morally bankrupt rightwing church news, Focus on the Family —which, citing a decrease in donations, laid off employees in 2005, 2006, 2007 twice in 2008 and in September of this year let go another 8% of their staff, a almost 500 people total – -is poised to spend approximately $4 million on a Super Bowl commercial promoting their anti-choice agenda.

A source says the new head of Focus, Jim Daly, spoke at an evangelical conference a few months ago and unveiled the Super Bowl ad plan. Then he begged for donations from like-minded organizations. According to the source, Daly was given about $3 million, and Focus dipped into its general fund for the other $1 million.

Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger said of the layoff:

The economic reality out there is recession. Faced with that, we looked at everything we could do to improve structure, strategy and efficiency while carrying out the work we’re called to do — helping families thrive.

But isn’t keeping families employed the best way to help them thrive?

The Super Bowl ad must be approved by CBS and the NFL. In the past both anti-abortion and pro-choice ads have been nixed.

Focus on the Family’s latest budget woes were due in part to spending to defeat civil marriage equality legislation which outstripped donations.

Why do I feel some prayers are being answers as these two bastions of bigotry are having trouble ends meet and are thus being exposed as money-grubbing Mammon-huggers?

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.