The Foundation was set up by Sir John Templeton (now in his mid-90s), who made his money in the financial markets. Though supposedly set up “to pursue new insights at the boundary between theology and science”, it funds many activities that are entirely religious. These include the Epiphany prizefor the, “most inspiring movie and the most inspiring television program of the year… presented by the Christian Film & Television Commission.” There is a similar film prize for Europe, plus three prizes for religious journalism. Though not traditionally creationist, the Templeton Foundation Press publishes many books that suggest that the universe was ‘designed’.
The Foundation president is John Templeton Jr. MD, son of the founder and chairman of an organization called Let Freedom Ring (LFR), set up to raise money to help Bush in the 2000 election and beyond. LFR describes itself as “supporting the Conservative agenda and countering the efforts of Democrat 527 organizations like MoveOn.org…” Among the issues it specifically lists as of concern is “the sanctity of life,” which America-watchers will know is code for a position that is anti-abortion and against many types of experimentation including stem-cell research.
The younger Templeton’s personal links to the Bush administration run deeper than this, however. He and his wife personally donated more than half a million dollars to the campaign in 1998, and is reported in the press to have donated $1 million towards Bush’s 2000 win. (See Mother Jones article about Templeton Jr.’s relationship to the Bush administration). He also developed a statistical construct called the Templeton curve that forms part of the basis for the President’s new pension privatization strategy: a strategy that many economic models suggest is unnecessary.
Of course, the Templetons earned their money and have the right to give it to whomever they want, and for whatever purpose. But in the same way that we would want to know about Philip-Morris-backed smoking studies or MacDonald’s funded research that says fast food is good for you, we should all be aware of the agenda of this organization: especially now that it is starting to fund science.
Next: Documentary about Templeton Foundation: funded by the Templeton Foundation.
Originally posted on Sunny Bains unedited.