Hey, FEMA! It's time to help the helpers

Thursday, September 7, 2017
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

FEMA logoA legal group that fights for religious freedom is asking the federal government to abide by the Constitution in the wake of recent extensive hurricane damage.

Hurricane Harvey is now history – but the devastation that resulted from the storm is not, especially in Texas and Louisiana. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is on hand and doing a good job helping victims, but attorney Daniel Blomberg of Becket tells OneNewsNow the federal agency is crossing off the list some victims that it shouldn't.

"While other types of private non-profit organizations are allowed to apply for disaster relief grants from FEMA to help deal with the devastation they've suffered, churches are categorically barred simply because they are religious," he shares. "That's wrong and it's unconstitutional – particularly under the Supreme Court's decision this summer in the Trinity Lutheran case."

In that decision, the high court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church (Columbia, MO), which had been banned by the state from a grant program because it is a religious organization. Blomberg says the court got it right. He points out that if a church is on fire, the fire department cannot refuse to respond because the church is religious.

"And here we're dealing with churches that have been destroyed," he continues. "Unfortunately, Hurricane Harvey didn't discriminate in who it devastated – and it's the very least that FEMA can do to end this policy of discrimination against religious groups, a policy that's been around for several years now."

Becket has filed suit on behalf of several churches. One of its clients, Hi-Way Tabernacle, is now being used by FEMA to house evacuees and provide food, medical care, and even haircuts – but remains ineligible for federal relief because it primarily uses the building for religious purposes.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

How would you respond if a basketball player continued to warm-up during the national anthem?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

U.S. puts Palestinians on notice: DC office may be shuttered
California's legal pot countdown: What's coming by Jan. 1
Nevada wants to use untried execution drugs that pose risks
Aaron Boone interviews for New York Yankees manager
Wife of Alabama Senate candidate Moore says he won't quit
In Minnesota, no broad calls for Franken to quit
Democrat running for Ohio governor boasts of sexual past

LATEST FROM THE WEB

'Enormous number' of parasites in N. Korean defector's body, doctors say
Al Franken falls from 'Democratic darling to dirty old man'
Team USA gymnasts, including an abuse victim, clash over the role of clothing in sexual abuse
Shooters see 'gun-free' churches as 'soft targets'
400 students turn out to pray at Georgia high school after atheists silence their coach

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Atheists winning, so far, over Pensacola cross

Pensecola crossA law firm that defends religious expression is fighting on behalf of the City of Pensacola and a public park cross.