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Thursday, March 14, 2013
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 354-72 to fund H.R. 592, Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013. Reps. Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith and Robert Hurt voted in favor of this bill.
This bill would use tax dollars to directly fund the building, maintenance and repair of "houses of worship," including churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. Funds would go to untaxed entities that never report or divulge any of their financial assets to the public or the federal government.
Disasters like Hurricane Sandy must not be used to justify creating bad legal precedent. Sandy's devastation is not a reason to suspend the Constitution. Congress cannot ignore the protections of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court has specifically stated that our government may not erect religious buildings (Tilton v. Richardson, 1971), and, "If the State may not erect buildings in which religious activities are to take place, it may not maintain such buildings or renovate them when they fall into disrepair." (Committee For Public Education & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist, 1973.)
Goodlatte, Griffith and Hurt once again spin constitutional law to their advantage, revealing their true colors. Let us hope the Senate will prevail with clearer heads.
Weather JournalPossible scrape with snow Tues