Part 2 — EPF Report on International Funding of Religious Bodies
Part 3 — EPF Report on Agenda Europe Discussion Document
Part 4 — Protecting Democracy from Big Money Between Elections
Part 1 — Funding of Political Campaigns of Religious Bodies
Millions of euros in international funding, including from America and Russia, are spent within European countries to campaign politically against sexual and reproductive rights. Some of this money is used for political purposes in Ireland. The Irish SIPO laws should be strengthened to prevent this from happening here, and not weakened to allow an unregulated free-for-all of political donations between elections.
In Ireland, churches and religious charities can take unlimited donations, from Ireland or internationally, and use that money for political purposes. Secular NGOs can also take donations to use for political purposes, but we have to get a lot of small donations rather than a small number of large donations. This is good for democracy, because it helps to make politics a battle of ideas not a battle of bank accounts.
Atheist Ireland is lobbying to strengthen the SIPO laws so that churches and religious charities have to comply with these requirements. Unfortunately other groups, including ICCL and Amnesty, are lobbying to weaken the SIPO laws, to allow anybody to take any political donations in between elections. That would be bad for secularism, and bad for democracy, as most political influence is sought and granted between elections, not during election campaigns.
Continue reading @ Atheist Ireland.