I first covered Yale's promotion of anti-LGBT fast food provider Chick-Fil-A, as an alleged exemplar of positive spiritual values in the workplace, in a March 7, 2011 post titled Yale Faith Institute Puffs Virulently Antigay Chick-Fil-A and I revisited the subject in a February 3, 2012 story titled More On Yale's Templeton-Funded "Spiritual Capital" Initiative in which I asked,
Should Chick-Fil-A be known for its extensive ties to, and funding of, some of the most aggressively anti-gay groups in America, as well as its role in catalyzing the national "Protect Marriage" (by fighting same-sex marriage) movement -- or should the fast food chicken chain be regarded as an exemplar of the spiritual value of "gratitude"?So far, such dubious uses of rightwing foundation money in academia have received comparatively little attention. But major funding entities such as the Templeton Foundation are underwriting efforts that paint giant, predatory corporations as upholding spiritual and moral values in society.
According to a project under the aegis of the Yale Center For Faith and Culture called the Spiritual Capital Initiative, that's funded with almost $1.9 million dollars from the John Templeton Foundation, it's the latter: gratitude.
Tempeton Foundation money has also backed an academic effort, spearheaded by American sociologist Margaret Poloma, that depicts major figures in the New Apostolic Reformation, such as C. Peter Wagner and Che, as "exemplars of godly love".
The NAR, perhaps the most aggressive and extreme element of the contemporary Christian right, is closely tied to Uganda's so-called "Kill the gays" bill and its leaders call for NAR followers to burn or destroy objects, scripture, and books associated with competing belief systems.
Co-architect of the religious right Colonel V. Doner, in a new book titled Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America, has warned that the movement he helped create, inspire, and organize, now risks becoming a Christian analog to parallel militant, violent Islamic movements such as the Taliban.
Doner identifies Sarah Palin, and the NAR movement from which she emerged, as the vanguard of the increasingly militant tendency within politicized Christianity.