Government suspends CIDA funding to Crossroads Christian Communications

The minister responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency which has been giving funding to an evangelical organization that describes homosexuality as a “perversion” and a “sin,” said Sunday no further payments will be made until officials review the organization.

“I have asked officials to review this organization before further payments are made,” tweeted Julian Fantino, International Cooperation Minister.

The group was receiving funding from the government of Canada for its work in Uganda, where gays and lesbians face severe threats.

Crossroads had received 544 thousand dollars to dig wells and promote hygiene awareness in Uganda. Crossroads also works in Cambodia, Kenya, Zambia, Calcutta, Sudan, Ukraine and Haiti, and has received 2.6 million dollars from CIDA since 1999.
When the Canadian Press asked about Crossroads position on sexuality, the webpage was yanked.

In the past few years KIAROS,  the Mennonite Central Committee and the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace have all seen CIDA funding cut:

CIDA’s shift away from working with long-time and often church-based development partners to financing private sector projects such as those of the mining companies has been in the works for several years.

In November 2009, CIDA cut off funding to the ecumenical social justice group KAIROS, which had been a long-time partner in development. Neither CIDA nor its minister Bev Oda would provide any explanation beyond saying that CIDA’s priorities had changed and KAIROS did not meet them.

Then in February 2012, CIDA turned down a proposal by the well-respected Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for $2.9 million for each of three years to provide food, water and income generation assistance for people in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Haiti, Bolivia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.

In March 2012, it became apparent that CIDA had also cut off the Catholic organization Development and Peace (D&P). CIDA, which had provided the organization with $44.6 million in the years 2006-11, chopped that amount by two-thirds, to a total of $14.5 million over the next five years.

Crossroads founder David Mainse was known  for his lobbying against same sex marriage. CBC archives 1979

While Crossroads has gotten away from political involvement, the recent hiring of  Jerry Johnston as Executive Director of Crossroads US and host of 100 Huntley Street is cause for concern. Johnston is a Southern Baptist minister from Kansas who was known in his state for his opposition to same sex marriage and other religious right politicking. I’ve covered the Crossroads hiring of Jerry Johnston here.

The debate about tax payer money going to religious organizations will continue as will debate about tax payer money going to religious organizations which are diametrically opposed to government policy. The Canadian government has said it does not support Crossroads view that homosexuality is a perversion.  ”Canada’s views are clear — we have been strongly opposed to the criminalization of homosexuality or violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

Crossroads spokesperson Carolyn Innis told the Canadian Press that “”It has not been a practice of Crossroads to influence matters of policy in countries in which we are completing relief or development projects.”

The Uganda ‘kill the gays’ bill is opposed by the Canadian government and most Canadian churches.  Crossroads  sexual sins position is standard Pentecostal fare, the organization leans PAOC, but includes employees from other denominations. To be fair,  Crossroads Television System yanked Charles McVety off air when he refused to tone down his anti-gay rhetoric and abide by CRTC rules. Many Canadian evangelicals do not hold the position Crossroads currently holds, and do not believe being gay is a perversion, nor are they opposed to same sex marriage. It is flat out offensive to list sexual orientation in with pedophilia and bestiality, and is a common tactic of the religious right. Nor do many evangelicals believe being gay is a sexual sin, nor do we support reparative therapy.

I see the larger issue as tax-payer funding currently going to a religious group to fund aid in a country currently at odds with Canadian policy.  In 2011 Canada supplied 350 million dollars in aid to Uganda. The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (kill the gays bill) was introduced in 2009. Along with the criminalization of homosexuality, those providing medical assistance or assistance of any kind to GLBT, those who know GLBT could face severe penalities. GLBT would face life  imprisonment or the death penalty.

Crossroads Relief & Development Facebook
Crossroads Missions

Crossroads yanked webpage on sexual sins

Update: Crossroads Christian Communications Inc response - the webpage in question was archival and should have been gone a long time ago, Crossroads welcomes the review by CIDA, Crossroads has put 35 million dollars into relief and development work in 41 countries,  Crossroads supports the Canadian government’s position that strongly opposes the criminalization of homosexuality and violence on the basis of sexual orientation, Crossroads has put 3.2 million into Uganda, Crossroads is not anti-gay….

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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19 Responses to Government suspends CIDA funding to Crossroads Christian Communications

  1. Karl says:

    I am digging a well for unfortunate souls. I am asked what side of the sexual spectrum I reside on, I give my opinion and then the funding stops. What does sexuality have to do with digging a well?

    Uganda is not the only place on earth that homosexuality is not tolerated. Saudi Arabia where we get our precious oil from hardly makes it into the news media, but lowly Uganda does because it’s trying to stand on the truth of Gods word. Though I 100% disagree with their methods of hurting homosexuals, there has to be a better solution.

  2. highrpm says:

    what does sexuality have to do w/true christianity? isaiah 58 reiterates the true fast–nothing about sexuality as a qualifier in taking the homeless into one’s house. mt 25 says nothing about sexuality in separating the sheep from the goats–oh, jesus restates taking the homeless in again, though. but wait, jesus, let’s talk about “compassion fatigue”: i took a homeless couple and their 3 small daughters in; for 2 months they did nothing; i was not going to continue to fund them for not being responsible parents. so i ordered them out–gave them $200 one evening and sent them on their way; i knew $200 would not provide more than 2 nights in a motel but what else could i do? jesus, your discussion of caring for the poor is simplistic. the hell with what you say. it is more fun to talk about morals. and as far as my talents, well, i did not think about throwing my lot in with a community that helps the poor. i was too hurt and damaged by my lame attempt at the true fast.

  3. Judy James says:

    Their funding should have been pulled when the Mennonite and Catholic charities was pulled. But because they prosaletize on belhalf of the Harper Government misinformation (I am sure they MUST be creationists as well as homophobes) they qualify for funding. I hope CIDA was pressured by someone with a lick of sense to pull the funding.

  4. Bene Diction says:

    John Baird to Foreign Affairs Committee:

    “The suggestion that anyone politically or in the public service level at CIDA, at [the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade], would share or endorse the kind of offensive and mean-spirited statements that appeared on a website, I want to categorically on behalf of the government say that we completely reject those sentiments,” Baird said.

    “And I can say that if there’s, you know, any evidence that anyone receiving a grant from the government of Canada is using that money to spread hateful or mean-spirited or offensive practices, it will be put to an end immediately. And those [sentiments] are not the views of the government.”

    Crossroads doesn’t get it – if they take taxpayer money they abide by Canadian policy. Period. There are plenty of worthy agencies capable of doing the work, who do not broadcast offensive and inaccurate beliefs. If you as a charity set foot in a foreign country, you are not only representing your faith, you are representing your country.

    It’s Your Call (a CTS program) violated Canadian Broadcast Standards last year. via: Big City Lib

  5. Jane says:

    maybe this would help you with your perspective on this issue http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/holy-hypocrites/2160761671001

  6. Bene D says:

    Jane:

    His delivery is awful, he’s all over the place.
    Levant bashing media isn’t worth watching, I lasted about 5 minutes.
    Classic Levant red herring argument – CIDA doesn’t need Crossroads and evangelicals don’t need CIDA.
    Canadian evangelicals raised over 500 million for charity (don’t know how much of that was development)

    PS: If he is going to throw bible verses around, it would help if he had the correct chapter.

    Crossroads gets to keep digging wells in Uganda – but don’t expect happy taxpayers when calling Canadians perverted.

    This is from the Chief Corporate Services Officer at Crossroads:

    …they had intended to remove the webpage on “sexual sins” several months ago and have now done so, but insisted that their commitment to Biblical doctrine on sexuality remains firm.

    “Our particular views on Biblically the treatment of sexuality has not changed and will not change, but we believe that it was outdated in tone and message,” she explained. “Culturally in the last five to ten years we’ve seen a very different dialogue shaped around same-sex attraction and many other things in culture and we always want to make sure that those resources are not hurtful.”

    Well, they were not only hurtful, they were wrong. If Christians want wells dug in Uganda, there are healthier Christian parachurch, charities and denominations to fund and assist.

  7. FCJ says:

    I think that the Goverment did the right thing in pulling funding from this organization.

    They should have one it sooner.

  8. Hopesome says:

    I hope that somewhere in all this rhetoric of subterfuge and ‘sexual focusing’ of ‘matters’ that someone is asking …………. who spent the ‘dollars’, where and how ………….. or would that offend the delicacy of christian ‘s ‘short fuses when challenged.

  9. Julian says:

    Putting aside the sexual gender issue, Crossroads should not get any king of government funding in any way or form. As a former employee of Crossroads I have knowledge of money misused on expenditures that were totally unwarranted. The extensive chicanery and convoluted standards of how public money and corporate money is utilized is shameful. When Crossroads wants to be acknowledged as a ministry that assists and cares for the needs of people in impoverished countries and yet the senior staff at Crossroads seriously has mistreated staff in years past is hypocritical. The Canadian government must stop all funding to Crossroads in every way or form. Lets be bold and state: Crossroads and its ministry should be totally shut down and a full investigation of Crossroads should be conducted by the Canadian government. Its way overdue and the Canadian people should know the truth!!

  10. Hopesome says:

    Sadly manipulation of funds and the practices thereof are common practice in some quarters and have gone unchecked for years assuming that ‘one deal or another won’t make much difference’! Some are covered up by using a language appropriate to only them that totally baffles us, while others seem brazenly open and ride on the wave of a wheeler dealer mentalty hidden n a smart suit and articulated pomp. It seems even the Vatican has been ‘taken from a path of life that is supposed to edify into one that certainly does not ………….

    Some people live a seemingly spotless life in a corrupt and filthy house ………….

    Where then do we go for absolution from our ‘sins’ when those who are supposed to ease our burden and show us the way are ripping us off left, right and centre ……

    Governments should be under scrutiny yet seem along with cooperate business, so called, intent on putting us under the watchful eye of those that want to proove their prowess and make millions out of ‘data information’ we have been given to believe is ‘ the way to go’ and exudes freedom to ‘share and speak out’.

    Ministry is fast becomng a corrupt and souless venture.

  11. Marina says:

    Christian ministry (the organized sort) has deviated so far from its origins, it is hardly recognizable as the same ministry which Christ appointed and equipped his followers to do.

    Did Jesus, thus, does almighty God need the government’s money, money being the lowest of all things in the kingdom, to sustain an organization which he ordained? Really? Where does the big guy’s role, his time to shine, come into play here? Or is he just a bystander watching as his faithful run around, overturn every stone for sustenance? It all leads me to wonder why a ministry that follows the leading of Christ has to lobby a worldly entity to fulfill his mandate to his followers. I would think (and the bible stresses) that if he sends you, he will provide. No? If He built it, He will sustain it. No? Does a ministry built by God need to be propped up by a human life-support system? Well it seems it does, because he does not provide enough as Christian ministries feel they need to tap other sources for supply.

    See, I always thought (and I was taught) that there was a major difference between faith-based and secular organizations that give relief to impoverished countries. And I thought the operative word that distinguished the two was “faith”. Apparently the only difference is that one uses public money as a classic “carrot dangling in front of the donkey” tool to the less fortunate to propagate its own obviously hypocritical belief system. The moral these Christ-led charities convey? Have faith in Christ in all things, but if things aren’t going according to plan, look to the State for reinforcement. Faith-based ministry really is an oxymoron in the most blatant sense of the word.

  12. Brano says:

    Agreed!
    Historically the Church has no need of Gov,t

  13. Julian says:

    Televangelism has become more of a dirty business today and it has been that way since the 1970′s especially here in North America. Many of its leaders are deceitful on so many fronts that they still continue to discredit the christian faith.

  14. Hopesome says:

    When I see who not only runs church but the state – then I fear for my life and theirs

  15. Hopesome says:

    We have come so far from the truth that we are in danger of losing what it ‘all’ means – Church is distorted, its origins and mission long forgotten; transcended by lies and self protected interest – Governments have twisted and turned lies into truth and avoided that which credibility demands it ‘faces’. Trust is fast developing into a non profit means of communication and we are left to dig ever deeper to find threads of reality and reliability that we can hang onto for some kind of relevance to the meaning of hope – I am appalled at how low the system is willing to go to keep us captive in its desire for all consumming lies – Donations ( in full) rarely reach those who’s need they are supposed to serve especially where government honour is among theives! The world is turning into a twisted distortion of itself and poverty is becoming the norm. Who will tackle those governments who enjoy the fruits of others labours, who will tackle those who are creaming off the top of the milk – who will tackle greed- from what I see they daren’t really tackle anything they are held captive by centuries of wheeling and dealing you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

    Some church commentry in Britain stated we should give the contaminated meat( one scandle we are in the middle off at the moment) to the homeless and poor!! Just to compound their position is it!! God forbid what have we become. We should all be first class citizens shouldn’t we.

    Scraps from under the table – who’s running the show…………………. Certainly not a loving mentor and Father more a GOD who enjoys watching us grovel. Come Lord Jesus Come. Sweety pie honey bunny ‘Love’ has covered far too many sins if you ask me.

  16. Hopesome says:

    I long for unconditional love – to go beyond man and his limitations and filth – to transcend hate, horror, depravity and sick and to say; it hurts to love because it rips your heart out when you see those that don’t.

  17. Brano says:

    The mandate of the church is to take care of the widows and orphans…heal the broken hearted.heal the wounded,and share the love of GOD….

    Maybe too simplistic for the “Modern World”…

  18. Pingback: PMO received complaints about Crossroads Christian Communications | Bene Diction Blogs On

  19. Jeff says:

    I think it is a good idea to cut the funding. I mean I have had very negative experiences with such groups in the U.S. where the LGBT community has more protection. Even in the U.S. such religious groups continue the underhanded attacks in employment of LGBT people and other aspects of life. It would be paramount to blood money in some parts of the world to give money to such organizations. I hope secular groups can help the people of Uganda before more radical hate groups continue to flood in to support such oppressive governments. The hate, ignorance and violence must stop. I cant believe any government would support such a questionable investment. Now its time for CIDA to put its money toward a better Uganda but a different group. I hope this is a message that if you tech hate CIDA won’t support you no matter how much camouflage a group tries to paint on their hate agendas.

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