Pandemic relief causes U.S. government to violate First Amendment by paying churches
From WhyEvolutionIsTrue, a blog you should be following:
You can either read the transcript of this 3-minute National Public Radio report or listen to it—both by clicking on the link below. It turns out that, as part of the $350 billion dollars that the U.S. government has earmarked for loans to help cash-strapped small-businesses during the pandemic, churches and “faith-based organizations” have also been classified as “businesses.”
You can read the guidelines from the Small Business Administration here, which note that “faith-based organizations are eligible to receive SBA loans regardless of whether they provide secular social services.” Note that this distinguishes religious organizations from other non-profit outfits, which do provide secular social services.
In this case, then, the government is taking the place of the collection plate, and by so doing violating the First Amendment, which has been interpreted to forbid government subsidies to religion. (Will they give loans to atheist organizations?) According to NPR, this initiative…
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The transcript of Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s President Zelinskyy
It’s hard for me to make out what’s going on in the newly-released transcript between President Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, but it’s clear that the Trumpster is asking for a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, which is unkosher and certainly worthy of an impeachment investigation, especially in conjunction with everything else.
Although I don’t see a quid pro quo in the talk (some have said that Trump was holding up an arms deal with Ukraine as a carrot in this phone call), there is this (my emphasis below). Note that this is not a direct transcript but is based on “notes and recollections of duty officers”.
The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor…
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