KAIROS wanted $1.8 million a year from the government -- that's basically a fully-staffed political war room, dedicated to their radical point of view. If KAIROS really is, as its website boasts, the political voice of the Anglicans, Catholics, Mennonites, United Church, etc., that money should be a snap to replace -- not much more than a dime per member of its constituent churches, really. Because KAIROS really is speaking for its members, isn't it?
If you remain unpersuaded of the case to let KAIROS's members support it, rather than taxpayers, perhaps I can draw your attention to their last annual report. Here are some of the things they spend your money on:
Fundraising and overhead: $800K
"Energy justice": $500K
"Public engagement": $400K
That's all pure politics -- and it just happens to equal the amount of dough they're demanding from the government. By contrast, "anti-poverty grants" only account for $148K, or just 3.7% of their budget.
It's pretty grotesque when a so-called Christian organization is so busy beating up on Alberta, Israel and Colombia that it only has 3.7% of its money left over for Jesus-y things like helping the poor. But then again, according to KAIROS's honcho, Bill Phipps, Jesus wasn't God anyways.
If just 20% of a televangelist’s expenditures went toward administration and fundraising, he’d be accused of ripping people off, and there would be calls for an official investigation. Contrast KAIROS’ expenditures to those of HOPE International Development Agency, a Christian relief agency from Canada whose theology is less liberal. From HOPE International’s 2008 Financial Summary:
In and for overseas programs: 84.6%
Information and education in Canada: 2.3%
Administration and fundraising: 1.9%
By the way, the fact that KAIROS has been funded by the government of Canada for 35 years is more evidence that, contrary to the secular image of the country that's so popular now, strict separation of church and state is not (and never has been) a traditional Canadian value or practice.
*Whenever I hear the phrase "social justice" or equivalent words, I'm reminded of Malcolm Muggeridge's comment on John 12:3-7, when Jesus was anointed with expensive perfume, and Judas Iscariot protested that the perfume could have been sold, and the proceeds given to the poor. Mr. Muggeridge observed that it was the disciple with the strongest commitment to social justice who ended up betraying Jesus.
January 4, 2010 update: Ezra Levant has new posts here and here regarding attempts by KAIROS to delete incriminating web pages.
June 6, 2010 update: From HOPE International's 2009 Financial Summary:
In & For Overseas Programs: 84.4%
Info & Education in Canada: 2.2%
Administration & Fundraising: 2.1%