A few weeks ago, I wrote for The Week that the GOP push for “religious liberties” is a con — because it doesn’t really apply to religious people so much as it does conservative Christians. It’s a “liberties for me, not for thee” approach that I find hypocritical and off-putting.
Turns out, the word “con” might be more appropriate than I realized. The Guardian on Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, also know for his work for the righty American Center for Law & Justice:
Documents obtained by the Guardian show Sekulow that month approved plans to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses.
Telemarketers for the nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case), were instructed in contracts signed by Sekulow to urge people who pleaded poverty or said they were out of work to dig deep for a “sacrificial gift”.
“I can certainly understand how that would make it difficult for you to share a gift like that right now,” they told retirees who said they were on fixed incomes and had “no extra money” – before asking if they could spare “even $20 within the next three weeks”.
In addition to using tens of millions of dollars in donations to pay Sekulow, his wife, his sons, his brother, his sister-in-law, his niece and nephew and their firms, Case has also been used to provide a series of unusual loans and property deals to the Sekulow family.
It’s a long story, but worth reading. It’s weird how often evangelical leaders turn out to be ripping off and abusing the people they’re supposed to lead and represent. It’s a tragedy.