Resolute Square

P2025 Promise 4: Secure Our God-Given Individual Rights to Live Freely

Andra Watkins connects the dots between criminalizing being unhoused and Project 2025 religious indoctrination: "Religiously-affiliated homeless shelters are the only option in hundreds of American cities. This Supreme Court ruling is a thinly-veiled attempt to fulfill Project 2025’s objective to force people into religious indoctrination for welfare assistance."
Published:July 1, 2024

*Andra Watkins is an award winning author, survivor of Christian Nationalism and an expert on Project 2025. Read and support her important work here: How Project 2025 Will Ruin Your Life

By Andra Watkins

Project 2025’s Promise 4 is all about Christian Nationalists’ definition of the good life. When they talk about taking back their right to pursue the good life, they mean the Christian life or the holy life.

There is a reason why the private economy hews to the maxim “the customer is always right” while government bureaucracies are notoriously user-unfriendly, just as there is a reason why private charities are cheerful and government welfare systems are not. It’s not because grocery store clerks and PTA moms are “good” and federal bureaucrats are “bad.” It’s because private enterprises—for-profit or nonprofit—must cooperate, to give, to succeed. So as the American people take back their sovereignty, constitutional authority, respect for their families and communities, they should also take back their right to pursue the good life.

Project 2025, page 1

Project 2025’s coupling of the good life with private charities is no accident. They are laying the groundwork for federal and state taxpayer funds to flow to religious charities. They mean to send billions of public dollars to churches and religious non-profits that don’t pay income tax.

Taking back the right to pursue the good life means forcing the destitute, the disadvantaged, the addicted, the pregnant, the unhoused, and the criminal into religious indoctrination in exchange for welfare assistance or to avoid jail time.

The Supreme Court’s recent criminalization of homelessness is yet another example of this objective. In that case, a local religious homeless shelter had multiple empty beds while the unhoused slept outside. If the unhoused cannot sleep outside without being criminalized, four of the six local options will be to submit to religious indoctrination for a meal and a bed.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what that looks like.

In “How Project 2025 Might Punish Your Hard-On,” we covered one Texas program that entraps men soliciting prostitutes and forces them to choose: Spend time in jail or enter a religious anti-prostitution program at their own expense.

Or take Montana’s Hope Center Ministries, a sober living facility in Helena and Clancy.

Hope Center Ministries, which opened its Clancy home in 2020, is one example among many of unlicensed and unregulated sober living residences operating in the country. The programs can offer housing and support to people coming out of jail, prison, or clinical treatment, but there is no state oversight of the services they provide.
Source: The Guardian

The story follows a woman named Kaitlyn, who violated her probation and was offered a stint in a sober living facility in lieu of jail.

Soon she was following the same strict rules and routines as other residents, doing house chores, studying the Bible and completing related homework assignments. One activity required residents to apply scripture to their life experience and write a prayer. Kaitlyn said that early morning practice was her favorite activity.

“It helped me every day,” Kaitlyn said in a December interview. “It built my character. It gave me more confidence than I ever had before.”

Throughout her time at Hope Center Ministries, she said, she never worked with a licensed provider on an addiction recovery treatment plan. While the program let residents schedule “counseling” sessions with volunteers who visited the house, Kaitlyn said the people facilitating those sessions weren’t licensed professionals.

“I don’t know how they’re open if they don’t have any licensed people,” she said. “They were just people who had read the Bible.

Source: The Guardian

While Kaitlyn said religious indoctrination helped with her addiction, other residents weren’t so positive. One resident was evicted when they relapsed, because the center viewed relapse as “sin,” not as an illness. Clarence Thomas has already gone on the record saying addiction should be criminalized by overturning Robinson v California, a 1962 ruling that made criminalizing drug addiction cruel and unusual punishment.

The center also forced residents to work and took their wages. If a resident applied for food assistance, they confiscated those vouchers and used them for the facility. Depending upon the jurisdiction, that practice could be prosecuted as fraud. But because these outfits operate with no oversight, we cannot put a dollar figure on the taxpayer dollars being stolen or misused.

When Christian Nationalists say we have the right to live the good life, they mean to force as many Americans as possible to live their narrow definition of the Christian life. And they will rob federal and state treasuries to pay for it.