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FEMA Plans to Reimburse Faith Groups for Aid

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posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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Washington Post



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.


I am furious about this! I can't even comment further till I've taken some time to calm down...




posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 02:02 AM
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Why are you upset about this? Is it because the gov't is reimbursing faith-based organizations? Does it matter who asked who for the help to shelter the evacuees?

FEMA officials said religious organizations 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 the three states that have declared emergencies -- Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In those cases, "a wide range of costs would be available for reimbursement, including labor costs incurred in excess of normal operations, rent for the facility and delivery of essential needs like food and water," FEMA spokesman Eugene Kinerney said in an e-mail.

An argument might be made that this is what charitable org's are for, but remember the scope of the aid in this case is well beyond what a church is normally able to provide.

But I may be wasting my words, since I don't know why you are upset.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 04:10 AM
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``

it sounds good to me.

but any reimbur$ement should be withheld if the faith-based org.
tied the 'charity' goods or services to
religious preaching or spreading the 'good news', promoting any faith or
giving out bibles & such...
that kind of pressure on a 'captive audience' is repugnant,

i would think that those faith-based charities, in a time of dire distress surrounding a disaster, would not engage in self promotion or even identifing itself as the charity provider... instead, just letting the victims know that the provisions were given by concerned fellow Americans.

That would be the general guideline i could live with....let the lawyers
wrangle over all the fine points.
As I see this administration giving 'faith-based' orgs. a larger role in society anyhow....whether we generally like it or not,
PS: the commander-in-chief can issue an Executive Order and effectively make faith-based disaster relief and arm of the gov't by reimbursing them for costs incurred



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 04:21 AM
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Will the faith-based organisations pass the money on to the people of the communities that donated it in the first place? I'm sure a lot of the individual donors are probably not the most well heeled members of the population.

People give money and goods to help the less well off and those affected by natural disasters. They expect those donations to help the less fortunate and do so with no thought of refunds when the heat is off.
This just looks like an attempt to gain political favour from the religious leaders in the community.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 06:01 AM
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Originally posted by Britguy
Will the faith-based organisations pass the money on to the people of the communities that donated it in the first place? I'm sure a lot of the individual donors are probably not the most well heeled members of the population.

People give money and goods to help the less well off and those affected by natural disasters. They expect those donations to help the less fortunate and do so with no thought of refunds when the heat is off.
This just looks like an attempt to gain political favour from the religious leaders in the community.


I was wondering the same thing, the church based organizations get the donations from their congregation, so are they going to give it back or profit from this "payback"
Another question OR observation I would like to make is that when these churches accept this government money don't they realize they are being put on a government list & they are "laying down with the devil" in a time when they should be standing up for God.
This is not a good thing, but I have little doubt that most "christians" will believe it is & it will be one more "thataboy" for Bush.

[edit on 29-9-2005 by Watchman77]



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 06:18 AM
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it sounds good to me.

but any reimbur$ement should be withheld if the faith-based org.
tied the 'charity' goods or services to
religious preaching or spreading the 'good news', promoting any faith or
giving out bibles & such...
that kind of pressure on a 'captive audience' is repugnant

I totally agree with this point. It's funny, but my son will not contribute to the Salvation Army because of a book he read when he was ~14 - Down and Out in Paris and London.


Originally posted by Britguy
Will the faith-based organisations pass the money on to the people of the communities that donated it in the first place? I'm sure a lot of the individual donors are probably not the most well heeled members of the population.

People give money and goods to help the less well off and those affected by natural disasters. They expect those donations to help the less fortunate and do so with no thought of refunds when the heat is off.
This just looks like an attempt to gain political favour from the religious leaders in the community.

That's a good point. I'm sure that some church members dug deep into their pockets to help out, esp. with the way gas prices were. If I were the minister/deacon/priest I would make sure that they were reimbursed.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 06:31 AM
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I don't believe that charitable contributions by churches and faith-based organizations should be reimbursed. By the way, when this was announced the head of the SBC (Southern Baptist convention) which operates all of the mobile kitchens for the Salvation Army immediately stated that the SBC would take NO reimbursements because their acts are, indeed charitable. Thumbs up on that deal.


BUT, things never are black and white are they?

There are going to be some exceptions that need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. In other words, I don't think you can say across the board NO religious group should be reimbursed.

The example that sticks out in my mind is a church in Mississippi. I want to say it is in Biloxi. The Red Cross approached this church and asked if they could set up a processing center and medical facility in that church. Apparently it was the largest structure available to do this. The church agreed to this. The church is now shouldering the electric bills, water bills, etc. on this whole enterprise and that's being shouldered by a severely decreased titheing membership because a huge percent of their members are the ones standing in the Red Cross line!

Now wouldn't you admit that at some point this church needs a bit of help? Quite frankly, I don't understand why the Red Cross thought they could set up operations in this church and then not immediately assume the utilities that are associated with the operation. But see how they are? The Red Cross disgusts me...they really do.

I think the churches who were charitable in the right spirit will not even apply for reimbursements. But we should also give a care about certain churches like the one above that is doing this in the right spirit and getting dumped on in the process.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Why are you upset about this?


Sorry I didn't come back and explain. I didn't think the thread was going to interest anyone.


I'm upset because:

1. Only 'faith-based' organizations are being reimbursed. Not any other charities. They need to be connected to religion before they even consider reimbursment. There are many charities who set up shelters and helped the Katrina survivors. Why do only religious ones deserve reimbursement?



A spokeswoman for the Salvation Army said it has been in talks with state and federal officials about reimbursement for the 76,000 nights of shelter it has provided to Katrina survivors so far. But it is still unclear whether the Salvation Army will qualify, she said.


2. I donate to the organizations that I trust and find appropriate for my donations. They are not religious. I do not wish my federal taxes to go to churches. If the government decided to reimburse ALL charities, then this would set easier with me. But the move is discriminating against charities that are not 'faith-based' or religious - and with my tax dollars.

So now, I have donated not only to the relief efforts through the charities that I deem fit, I'm stuffing some church's pockets, too, against my will.
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Further:


Originally posted by St Udio
but any reimbur$ement should be withheld if the faith-based org.
tied the 'charity' goods or services to
religious preaching or spreading the 'good news', promoting any faith or
giving out bibles & such...
that kind of pressure on a 'captive audience' is repugnant,


I agree with this. And even though Benham (below) says he won't accept the tax dollars, there's nothing to say that 100s of others won't.



Benham said that his group has been dispensing food and clothing and that "Bibles and tracts go out with everything we put out." In Mendenhall, Miss., he said, he preached to evacuees while the mayor directed traffic and the sheriff put inmates from the county jail to work handing out supplies.

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Originally posted by Britguy
Will the faith-based organisations pass the money on to the people of the communities that donated it in the first place? I'm sure a lot of the individual donors are probably not the most well heeled members of the population.


3. There's absolutely no indication of that at all. This is a reimbursement. To put the monies that people gave to the church (to pass on to the victims) back in the church's pockets. The church becomes a goverment agency. Not a charity, but an organization that simply passes out governmental funds.


Originally posted by Britguy
This just looks like an attempt to gain political favour from the religious leaders in the community.


Yes, The government is taking my tax dollars and handing it over to the church. That is not why I pay taxes.
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Originally posted by Valhall
I don't think you can say across the board NO religious group should be reimbursed.


I'm not saying that. I'm saying that if there is going to be reimbursement to charity organizations, it should apply to ALL charitible organizations who did certain charitible acts. Not JUST the religious ones! There are hundreds of non-faith-based charities out there who have Katrina as their first concern. They have set up shelters, taken in, fed and clothed the victims. But they don't preach so they don't get this government reimbursement?



Now wouldn't you admit that at some point this church needs a bit of help?


Sure. But the deciding factor shouldn't be whether the charity is religious or not, rather how much in need they are or how much they helped.



I think the churches who were charitable in the right spirit will not even apply for reimbursements.


Exactly. Hence:
#4. The majority of churches that will accept money from the government (knowing it's a blatant violation of separation of church and state) are the ones who are greedy and not charitable in the true meaning of the word.




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