Churches Should Not Beg for Fed’s Stolen Money
Posted in : state and chruch on by : Michael Maharrey Tags: Becket, FEMA, Harvey, Texas
Three Texas churches have filed suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) alleging unfair discrimination because religious organizations are ineligible to apply for disaster relief grants.
Becket, a law firm that focuses on religious liberty, represents the churches. Becket attorney Diana Verm said churches should have access to disaster relief just like anybody else.
“After the costliest and most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history, the government should come to the aid of all, not leave important parts of the community underwater. Hurricane Harvey didn’t cherry-pick its victims; FEMA shouldn’t cherry-pick who it helps.”
Some will argue that churches don’t pay federal taxes, therefore they should not receive federal assistance. But as a summary of the case on Becket’s website notes, secular non-profit entities such as museums and zoos qualify for FEMA relief. They don’t pay taxes either.
Harvest Family Church, Hi-Way Tabernacle, and Rockport First Assembly of God argue they have the same right to apply for disaster relief grants as other nonprofit organizations.
They may have a case.
But they shouldn’t pursue it.
God’s people should maintain a strict separation of state and church.
When the church entangles itself with the state, it inevitably begins to embrace its godlessness. In this case, we have three chruches demanding to receive a share of money that was forcibly taken from other people. By running to the federal government to insist on access to tax dollars, these churches implicitly accept the legitimacy of using coercion, force and violence to fund their operation.
Taxation is theft. Do we really want to run the House of God on stolen money? The only time we ever see Jesus resort to physical violence was when he ran the money-changers out of the temple courts.
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” – Matt. 21:12-13.
Washington D.C. is a den of thieves. The church should want no part in its ungodliness nor its ill-gotten gains.
If we want the state to stay out of the affairs of the church, we need to keep the church out of the affairs of the state. Most people view “separation of church and state” as a way to protect non-religious people from being forced into supporting religious ideas they don’t believe. But the street runs two ways. Separation of state and church protects believers from having to support and bow to the whims of a state bent on violence, injustice and coercion.
Tax money belongs to Caesar. Let him keep what he’s taken. Let the people of God take care of the things of God.