Feds Cut Rehab Center Funding Because of Bible Reading

Two Colorado Women’s shelters lost government funding for their successful substance abuse programs because part of the process of turning the lives around of these women was reading the Bible. In addition to dealing with substance abuse problems, the shelters “provide transitional housing for the homeless and those struggling with addiction.”

Everything the government says it likes to see happen in these types of shelters the directors were doing and doing well. But it was that Bible reading thing that got in the way. So no more funding. It was OK to support organizations like Acorn and other needless and politically motivated organizations but not these rehab centers.

“They wanted me to get some of the Christianity out of the program,” an article on “The Blaze” reports,” and we just couldn’t do that,” said Marilyn Vyzourek, the founder and executive director of Liza’s Place. “The meat of what we do here is the Bible studies.”

Bob Holmes, the executive director of Homeward Pikes Peak, the agency that helps disseminate the $1.88 million in HUD money that is allocated each year said that “HUD is very, very, very strict, very unequivocal, about programs have to be of a secular nature.”

The Federal and State governments spend tens of millions of dollars each year on rehab facilities. Most of these are drug and alcohol related. The intention is a good one: to help people who are addicted to substances that make them dependent, unproductive, and self-destructive. But if we are after results, there is clear evidence that facilities that include a spiritual dimension are more successful than those of a “secular nature.”

There is a side to drug and alcohol addiction that goes beyond the physical. We have deep spiritual needs. We’re not animals. The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous knew about the spiritual dimension of humans when they founded the organization in 1935. Below are the original 12 steps published by AA. Notice the emphasis on God, spirituality, restitution, personal responsibility:

  1. The spiritual aspect of Alcoholics Anonymous is identified in the core AA literature to be central for achieving and sustaining sobriety. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

AA is one of the most successful rehabilitation organizations in the world. The program works. For a splendid commentary on the religious aspects of AA, see chapter 5 — “This Way Out: AA and Religion Look at Human Redemption” — in G. Aiken Taylor’s A Sober Faith (1953).

“Vyzourek, who claims to have a 60 percent success rate among the 700 women who have gone through her program, doesn’t regret the decision to choose faith over state funding. ‘The reason that I’m holding fast to this is because it is the best thing for the ladies,’ she said.”

Glenn Beck deserves credit for donating $55,000 to the centers.

There are centers like this all around the country. Wouldn’t it be great if a church or group of churches adopted centers like these? People get excited about funding missionaries thousands of miles away while there is a mission field in their backyard. We don’t need no stinkin’ government telling us what we can and can’t do to help people. To do this, we need to get serious about voting for smaller government. Stories like this are wake-up calls.