A women's shelter in Colorado Springs lost federal funding recently after the executive director there refused to halt mandatory Bible studies for its patrons.
Rev. Marilyn Vyzourek, the executive director of Gospel Shelters for Women, runs Liza's Place, a six-month residential program aimed at rehabilitating women. Among other elements, the program's website explains residents are expected to attend:
12 classes and Bible Studies a week, 12-Step meetings, Spiritual Counseling & Mentoring, Church Attendance, Apartment Hunting, Case Management, Organized Bible Study, Job Placement, and Living Skills Classes
The center received between $50,000 and $55,000 of federal funding each year because officials believed the Bible studies were optional. "They wanted me to get some of the Christianity out of the program, and we just can't do that," Vyzourek told Fox21. "The meat of what we do here is the Bible studies."
Bob Holmes, the man charged with distributing $1.88 million in federal funding to El Paso County housing nonprofits explains: "HUD is very, very, very strict, very unequivocal, about programs have to be of a secular nature," he told the Gazette in early November. "[Vyzourek] made a well-informed decision that she needed to stand up for what she believed in, and we respect that... But to continue to fund her knowing what we know would have jeopardized our entire HUD funding."
In a video from Beck's radio program (below), Beck interviews Vyzourek in front of his infamous chalkboard -- scrawled with the date "November 14th" and two contrasting options: "Rape, Drugs, Death, Hate" OR "Faith, Hope, Charity."
Speaking of Beck's $55,000 pledge to Vyzourek, Stu Burguiere, Beck's producer: "Wow, what government program just mandated that you did that?"
Beck: "There's not. And you know what? You know when this government becomes completely irrelevant? Is when we then look at each other and they say, 'we're going to cut your funding,' and we say, 'oh, are you? Oh, ok -- GET OUT. We're not changing what we believe in, we will NOT be slaves. You don't want us to talk about Jesus? Oh jeez. What are they afraid of? You talk about Jesus, what are we going to have a cattle prod? You go in for a bowl of soup, what are they going to do? What's it going to be like, what are you afraid of?"
The program then jumps to an imagined conversation between an impoverished person asking for food and someone with a cattle prod forcing them to say "Jesus." (6:34 into the video)
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