The Argument is that the separation of church and state is a long-standing American belief that ultimately is about religious liberty: Citizens should not be required to give money to religions they may not necessarily support, she said. Similarly, many congregations may not want the government prying into their internal affairs or telling them what to do.
- House OKs bill to allow faith-based groups to be reimbursed by FEMA
- Foes say taxpayer dollars should not be used for repairing houses of worship
- Senate panel chairman voices opposition to bill
New Jersey ALEC
Hurricane Sandy pummeled New Jersey, New York and other Eastern states Oct. 29.
In the wake of the storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began offering grants and other types of aid to homeowners and some nonprofits such as museums and libraries. But FEMA said no direct public funding would be made available to houses of worship.
The policy isn’t new; FEMA has traditionally excluded houses of worship from direct aid. Even the George W. Bush administration, famous for its “faith-based” initiative, drew the line at rebuilding churches after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
But this time FEMA’s policy drew fire from some religious groups that wanted outright grants to rebuild or repair storm-battered houses of worship.
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