Precisely because I’m a secular American, I am a strong supporter of Religious Liberty/Freedom of Religion. So when there is abuse of that freedom, or denial of that liberty, to any group based on what god they do or do not believe in, I think we have to call that out.
Churches are free to believe as they choose, to hold services, and to raise money for staff, building maintenance, whatever. Yet, now, the Federal Small Business Administration, through the Paycheck Protection Program, is doling out funds and granting loans to places of worship.
Taxpayer funds are going directly to churches.
Now, even if you think that’s ok, don’t forget: churches do not pay taxes.
We might call this “double-dipping” in the national offering plate.
And, as this NPR story shows, once the government gets involved in directly supporting churches, it turns into a big mess that we all pay for. In this case, Black churches aren’t getting fair treatment.
Once again let me affirm that I am fully in support and a strong defender of Freedom of Religion in America. This goes hand in hand with standing firm by the Wall of Separation of Religion and State.
For those who see no problem here, I would simply ask: So, you’re ok with Your Money paying for the salaries of preachers, rabbis, imams and mormon leaders? You’re fine with Your Money funding religious schools including Buddhist, Hindu and all other non-Christian education? And, let’s not forget, the money of all citizens is going to religious places when it could be going to small businesses that actually contribute to the economy … they pay taxes.
From Americans United:
“The CARES Act allows small businesses and nonprofits to take out loans to cover payroll under a program called the Paycheck Protection Program. But it also makes it clear that the federal government will forgive up to the entire amount of those loans, which in effect converts them into grants. Included in the nonprofit category are houses of worship – which means that, for the first time in U.S. history, taxpayers could end up subsidizing houses of worship to pay the salaries of their clergy.”