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• 491 of the 535 members of Congress say they’re Christian.

• A majority of Americans approve of “faith-based” initiatives, but only 38% would allow tax money to go to mosques or Buddhist temples.

• Since 2003, the number of Americans who feel that President Bush “mentions faith and prayer too much” has doubled.

• In 1999, then-governor of Texas George W. Bush protested Wiccan soldiers worshipping at Fort Hood, saying, “I don’t think witchcraft is a religion.”

• After a Hindu priest offered an invocation in the House of Representatives in 2000, the Family Research Council protested that religious freedom “was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country’s heritage.”

• Somali taxicab drivers were fined $219 when they stepped out of their cars to pray toward Mecca at the Cleveland airport.

• Earlier this year, residents of Southampton, New York, sued a Hasidic family living next to a Catholic church for violating zoning laws with their religious gatherings.

• In 2003, then-secretary of education Rod Paige said that “[A]ll things being equal, I would prefer to have a child in a school where there’s a strong appreciation for values, the kind of values that I think are associated with the Christian communities.”

• In 1989, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger warned Catholics against mistaking yoga’s “pleasing sensations” for “spiritual well-being.”

• The Texas Constitution forbids religious tests for public officeholders, so long as they “acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

• In 2000, Texas governor Bush declared June 10 “Jesus Day” in the state.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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