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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    10,403

    FEMA plans to repay religious groups

    I think this is a mistake. The money can be put to use elsewhere. A good deed is just that. Sometimes, it's better to let the good deed be just what it is. This would ruin that, imo:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9495550/

    *snip*
    After weeks of prodding by Republican lawmakers and the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that it will use taxpayer money to reimburse churches and other religious organizations that have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and supplies to survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    FEMA officials said it would mark the first time that the government has made large-scale payments to religious groups for helping to cope with a domestic natural disaster.

    Civil liberties groups called the decision a violation of the traditional boundary between church and state, accusing FEMA of trying to restore its battered reputation by playing to religious conservatives.

    "What really frosts me about all this is, here is an administration that didn't do its job and now is trying to dig itself out by making right-wing groups happy," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

    For churches, synagogues and mosques that have taken in hurricane survivors, FEMA's decision presents a quandary. Some said they were eager to get the money and had begun tallying their costs, from electric bills to worn carpets. Other said they probably would not apply for the funds, fearing donations will dry up if the public comes to believe they were receiving government handouts.

    ‘Volunteer labor is just that’
    "Volunteer labor is just that: volunteer," said the Rev. Robert E. Reccord, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board. "We would never ask the government to pay for it."

    *snip*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tybee Island,GA
    Posts
    7,556
    Normally I am a strong advocate for seperation of Church and State but in this situation I think some Churchs should be compensated.

    My husband is on his second trip to Pascagoula Miss right now. 3 weeks ago when they rolled into town the first time with a trailer of food, water, medical supplies, hygiene supplies etc, the Mayor and Police Dept directed them to the Methodist Church. The Red Cross and Fema were not yet active in the area and the Church was the only source of relief for hundreds of people. Providing shelter, 2 hot meals a day and medical aid. They have people lined up for the next 7 months to continue to meet the needs of the people in Pascagoula.
    Welcome to the World Baby Caleb!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    at home
    Posts
    23,626
    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoMom
    I think this is a mistake. The money can be put to use elsewhere. A good deed is just that. Sometimes, it's better to let the good deed be just what it is. This would ruin that, imo:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9495550/

    *snip*
    After weeks of prodding by Republican lawmakers and the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said yesterday that it will use taxpayer money to reimburse churches and other religious organizations that have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and supplies to survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    FEMA officials said it would mark the first time that the government has made large-scale payments to religious groups for helping to cope with a domestic natural disaster.

    Civil liberties groups called the decision a violation of the traditional boundary between church and state, accusing FEMA of trying to restore its battered reputation by playing to religious conservatives.

    "What really frosts me about all this is, here is an administration that didn't do its job and now is trying to dig itself out by making right-wing groups happy," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

    For churches, synagogues and mosques that have taken in hurricane survivors, FEMA's decision presents a quandary. Some said they were eager to get the money and had begun tallying their costs, from electric bills to worn carpets. Other said they probably would not apply for the funds, fearing donations will dry up if the public comes to believe they were receiving government handouts.

    ‘Volunteer labor is just that’
    "Volunteer labor is just that: volunteer," said the Rev. Robert E. Reccord, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board. "We would never ask the government to pay for it."

    *snip*
    IM, I agree with you completely, a good deed is a good deed, and I would consider it a slap in the face if someone compensated me, for any of the donations I have made throughout the years. Somehow, or other, the government manages to get it wrong (again). I have heard reports of facilities being badly damaged by the evacuees, and in that case, I think it is a fine idea that the government offer to pay for repair costs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,384
    Donations are paying for the churchs to house these people. You don't reimburse donations.

    I would hate to contribute to help evacuees and know that money I intended to help with food and housing ended up reimbursed and was then used for something else.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    17,715
    I read the article from the Washington Post yesterday on this, and at the very bottom it says, "FEMA officials said religious groups would be eligible for payments only if they operated emergency shelters, food distribution centers or medical facilities at the request of state or local governments in La., Miss., or Ala.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    The North Shore of Boston
    Posts
    602
    I agree with you Becba, I am a regular church go-er and even at that, I don't always agree with all of the directions that my church goes in. If I gave donations and then it ended up being re-directed to someplace else, I would be pretty upset. I think it depends on how your giving has been 'ear marked.'



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