Feminism

The Koch Brothers Fund Religious Groups That Are Eliminating Women’s Rights

There is an idiom, “politics make strange bedfellows,” that generally means people who would normally despise and avoid one another will work together if they think it is politically advantageous. The so-called proverb is particularly prescient when considering that libertarians, noted for championing the abolishment of government they claim interferes in Americans’ private lives, are heavily funding extremist Christians intent on forcing biblical principles on Americans by government fiat.

It is beyond refute that the libertarian Koch brothers spend hundreds-of-millions of dollars to abolish government to eliminate taxation and regulatory agencies they claim interferes with their crusade for power and wealth. However, to accomplish their goal of controlling the government, they have had to climb in bed with fundamentalist Christians intent on using the government to control and subvert women’s rights and force adherence to biblical values on all Americans. The Kochs have claimed, on several occasions, that their interest in social and cultural issues, particularly religious attacks on women and gays is non-existent, but through their “Secret Bank” (Freedom Partners) they are heavily-funding Christian women’s groups whose stated mission is to eliminate women’s reproductive health choices and push “biblical values on all citizens;” not exactly a libertarian agenda.

In their drive to control the U.S. Congress, and soon the federal government, the Kochs left no stone unturned in backing organizations that challenge America’s so-called equality in issues of race, gender, and freedom from religious imposition, and whose stated goal is enforcing Christian moralistic teachings on all Americans. The Kochs’ funding vehicles, such as the Freedom Partners, is not forthcoming on where or how it allocates its untold millions to control Congress, but according to its most recent tax filing it is flush with anonymous money and doled out more than $40-million in just the past 12 months to bible-based groups intent on electing candidates who oppose women’s rights from abortion to private and personal healthcare choices to contraception use among many, many other control mechanisms.

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Over the past two years to better influence Senate races, control Congress, and eliminate the government, the Kochs funneled tens-of-millions of anonymous dollars to groups such as Concerned Women for America, the Susan B. Anthony List, the Independent Women’s Forum, and untold other, less-prominent, Christian groups. All groups whose intent is dominating and controlling women, gays, and eventually the entire population by empowering a biblical government to police key areas of personal conduct that a traditional libertarian, and free people, would find intolerable. One group in particular, Concerned Women of America (CWA), makes no secret that besides outlawing abortion, it is fighting ferociously to criminalize same-sex marriage, pornography, and force mandatory Christian prayers in public schools as a prelude to a Christian theocracy.

The support of the Koch’s Freedom Partners for CWA is important because like most blatantly anti-women’s rights organizations, it does not garner much support from foundations according to data from the Foundation Center. In fact, CWA has only received support from a handful of foundations since 2003, and most grants are quite modest in size which is why, as is typical of extremist religious groups, it relies heavily on support from major individual donors with a specific agenda. As a so-called “non-profit religious organization,” it is virtually impossible to say who those donors are because CWA is not required to list its funders or publish an annual report. If not for the requirement for the Koch’s Freedom Partners to file tax documents, the Koch’s support for CWA and other anti-women’s rights groups would be hidden from the public.

Concerned Women for America is so entrenched in keeping women in biblically-subservient roles, it has made blocking the proposed National Women’s History Museum a major crusade on par with criminalizing abortion, gay marriage, and contraceptives. The CWA president and CEO, Penny Nance, wrote a patriarchal op-ed expressing her vehement opposition to the proposed museum to be situated on the National Mall. Nance did her best Republican, biblical patriarch, impersonation and warned that the National Women’s History Museum “baldly favors a liberal jaundiced view of history,” and would “disproportionately feature and elevate the histories of women who embrace such policies as the whiny ‘banbossy’ campaign and other phony feminist ‘battles’ of the American left.” Battles like fighting for equal pay for equal work, maternity leave, the right to vote, the right to use contraceptives, and to make reproductive healthcare choices the religious right opposes.

One prime example of the Kochs funding extreme anti-women candidates to win control of the Senate is Iowa fanatic Joni Ernst. At the Koch not-so-secret gathering last June, Ernst won wild plaudits for “exceeding the Kochs’ wildest expectations;” not because of her extreme position on abolishing women’s rights, but because her extremist anti-women’s rights stance would incite the religious right voting bloc to flock to the polls to elect a theocratic candidate. Ernst, like most Republicans in Congress, supports a federal personhood law to effectively ban abortion and criminalize all forms of “unnatural birth control” as defined by the Vatican’s Humanae Vitae.

This column has reported, ad nauseum, that for the past three years Republicans in the House overwhelmingly passed a personhood bill only to be thwarted by the Democratic Senate. It also reported that in each of those three years, the same House personhood bill was introduced in the Senate but failed to make it out of committee. Now that the Kochs bought control of the Senate by funding anti-women’s rights candidates, the anti-women’s rights Senate will, like the religious anti-women’s rights House, easily pass a personhood law and libertarians will get precisely what they claim to hate; a theocratic government interfering and controlling their wives’, daughters’, mothers’, and sisters’ personal life decisions. And the Kochs could not possibly care less because they will have leverage to begin eliminating the two agencies “economic libertarians” hate most; the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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