It's not necessarily a knock against government, but it also shouldn't be surprising.
After a dozen years without a major hurricane, the U.S. has been hit hard in recent weeks, getting rocked first by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and then Hurricane Irma hitting Florida. In both cases, the storms destroyed thousands of homes and impacted millions of lives. And in both cases, ordinary Christians beat government to the scene to aid victims.
What the average American news consumer may not know is that faith-based relief groups have provided roughly 80% of the aid. Methodists, Presbyterians and other denominations sent out relief crews to help with cleanup after Harvey. Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian non-profit founded by the Reverend Franklin Graham, brought a convoy of trucks loaded with food, chainsaws and other goods. Seventh Day Adventists began dispersing bottled water, diapers, clothing and other supplies. Mormons have also gotten in on the act, providing truckloads of water, hygiene kits and other relief supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, as well as opening up their church buildings as command centers for coordination of relief efforts. They will also be sending in thousands of volunteers to help with the cleanup and recovery from these storms.
Beyond the U.S., Baptist volunteers are already on the ground in the Caribbean, assessing needs there.
That’s just scratching the surface.
It’s amazing to see churches and their volunteers already on site giving assistance before FEMA shows up. Many of these Christians are veterans of previous disaster relief efforts, able to assess needs and get to work without waiting on government bureaucrats for direction. Often times, FEMA plays a supporting role in the work the churches have begun. This is the essence of the American spirit, and of the Christian spirit — self-reliance and charity working hand in hand.
While the victims of these disasters rejoice at the sight of these Earth-bound angels come to provide assistance, not everyone is pleased at non-government-authorized charity. Some have sought to prohibit churches from receiving federal funds to aid in their disaster relief efforts.
As of now, FEMA guidelines prohibit federal aid from going to any institution that allocates more than half of its space to “religious programming,” which would obviously include virtually every church. This despite the fact that many of the same churches being denied federal funds have already opened up their facilities to victims of these disasters and as coordination centers for relief efforts. Several churches are suing.
Last Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted the following message on the subject: “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others).”
(We’ll offer the caveat that churches should do and are doing what they can whether backed by the feds or not.)
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) also highlighted the unfairness of targeting for discrimination the very religious organizations that are doing the most to alleviate suffering. “This policy discriminates against people of faith. It sends the message that communities of worship aren’t welcome to participate fully in public life,” he said. “It reduces the facilities and volunteers time, talent, and effort available to support the broader community. And it is inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s recent 7-2 ruling in Trinity Lutheran. … In other words, it is unconstitutional. It is unreasonable. And it is impeding ongoing recovery efforts.”
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a militant secularist organization seeking to eradicate every last vestige of religion, and specifically Christianity, from American public life, has actually condemned allowing faith-based charities the same access to government resources that non-religious groups enjoy.
Barry Lynn, founder of the anti-religious group, made the following statement, stunning in its abject contempt for religion and its heartlessness toward the victims these Christian groups assist: “We know a lot of people in Texas are suffering, and we are sympathetic. But the fact that something bad has happened does not justify a second wrong. Taxpayers should not be forced to protect religious institutions that they don’t subscribe to.”
Not discriminating against religious groups providing critical aid to disaster victims is a “wrong”? Lynn’s is an outrageous statement worthy of condemnation.
The irony of the anti-religious secularists’ position is that they are not themselves willing to provide the same relief they seek to prevent churches from providing. As Arthur Brooks, respected social scientist and president of the American Enterprise Institute, points out regarding charitable giving in America, “Religious people are far more charitable than nonreligious people. In years of research, I have never found a measurable way in which secularists are more charitable than religious people.”
When seeing those in need, Christians act upon a moral imperative required by their religious beliefs, without thought of earthly reward. In the Christian faith, when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or give drink to the thirsty, we are serving Christ, for it was Christ himself who declared, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
"Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a militant secularist organization seeking to eradicate every last vestige of religion, and specifically Christianity, from American public life, has actually condemned allowing faith-based charities the same access to government resources that non-religious groups enjoy." Quote taken from article above.
Where is Americans United for the Separation of Chruch and State in the relief efforts for Irma and Harvey? No where to be found? Such organizations are counter productive to the good works of Christian and secular charities... they need to be completely isolated and ignored in our society. Let them spend their time being angry and hateful.... while the Christians work too bring relief to the suffering in this world.
I fail to comprehend the amount of abject stupidity it takes to maintain that the first amendment to the Constitution ascertains that Christianity is prohibited by government.
The only explanation is that it is by design. And that is sedition, pure and simple.
When I say "prohibited by government" I mean the notion that separation of church and state intends to prevent religious observance rather than to allow it unimpeded by government mandate.
I don't know how the first amendment could be any more simple and plain than it is. It is impossible to misconstrue the meaning of it unless one is purposefully dedicated to altering the clear meaning of it.
And that, folks, is what the intellectuals and constitutional scholars are engaged in, twisting the Constitution into a joke of a document.
Look at it this way. If one can destroy the 10 commandments, then what have they done to a belief in an all powerful, ever living, creator God? They have turned Him into a celestial butler who is there only to serve them at their bidding.
The United States is nothing apart from the Constitution that binds it together. It is not a Union at all, merely a club, a non bound conglomeration of unit states, independent of one another, and therefore ripe for the picking.
That is the danger of modifying any part of the Constitution. The practice will not stop until the entire document is destroyed, and the Nation along with it.
The socialist and Marxist have and are using our Courts to subvert our Constitution ... it is time to reclaim the original intent of our founders as summarized in the Pre-amble to the US Constitution:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution …"Quote Pre-amble of the US Constitution. See: https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_preamble.html
We the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES... do ordain and establish this Constitution... TO SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY TO OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY... not for illegal aliens, and their posterity. Judges who don't understand this simple and direct language need to be impeached, removed from office and disbarred from practicing law anywhere in the US of A.
The United States Constitution is being bastardized by activist judges and a feckless Federal Government.... it's past time we hold Congress and the Administration accountable for their failure to reign these offending Judges and their accomplices in the government (federal and state). In fact, it appears that Congress deliberately permits such bastardization of our Constitution by these activist Jurist, in order to accomplish what they politically can not do thru open legislation... as the people would revolt and cast them out.
Finally, I would note that US Attorney's and the DOJ appear to have brought cases or thrown cases... which deliberately subvert our Constitution, it appears sedition is at work in the highest levels of our government.. The People must not accept such verdicts by its judiciary and Department of Justice.
Exactly, and when Sedition takes a form that aides and abets our enemies it becomes treason. What we need is an AG that is willing to enforce the laws regarding Sedition... albeit Sessions appears to be a Globalist or at a minimum an Establishment hack unwilling to enforce the laws of the United States when it comes to prosecuting those political powers who engage in acts designed to fundamentally transform America.
I've been fighting this for years. "Separation of church and state" is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Those words were used by President Thomas Jefferson in a letter to three members of The Danbury Baptist Association in assurance that no official religion could be established in Connecticutt or the US. Jefferson was only the president at the time, and did not possess any authority to amend or supplement the language in the original documented Constitution. Any efforts to suppress Christian speech or exercise violate those rights expressly written into the Constitution. The "establishment clause" was written to prohibit the "establishment" of a powerful governmental body, such as the then-despised "Church of England."
That is so true the first amendment was to prevent the government from establishing a religion. The people decide for themselves.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
Our Founding Fathers were knowledgeable creating a Republic that they believed could last as long as the people were moral.