Trump: Churches Should Be Entitled To FEMA Funds

CBS News reports:

President Trump is taking the side of three Texas churches that are suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency over disaster relief funds in the wake of Harvey.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the three churches – Rockport First Assembly of God, Harvest Family Church and Hi-Way Tabernacle – sued FEMA on Tuesday for access to relief funding. The lawsuit claims FEMA violates the Constitution by denying disaster funding to faith-based groups.

The lawsuit comes three months after the Supreme Court ruled that a church in Missouri could use federal funds to resurface the playground, which experts told the Texas Tribune could set a precedent for similar cases. A Justice Department spokeswoman has told the Chronicle it is “aware of the complaint and will examine the claims.”

More from Politico:

Trump’s call for the churches to be treated “just like others” could be seen as a call for equal treatment of secular non-profits and religiously-based organizations in how FEMA divvies up its disaster relief funds.

It is unclear whether President Trump’s call would similarly apply to mosques, synagogues and other religious institutions potentially damaged in Texas during the storm.

Though President Trump did not explicitly reference the churches by name, the public endorsement of the legal actions facing his federal agency could serve as a complicating factor in the case.

  • justmeeeee

    Oh dear god! 🙂

  • Mark Née Fuzz

    Why is it this idiot refuses to put money to good use? Spend it on a useless wall. Give it to parasitic churches. But feed people or ensure their health? Not a chance.

    • Menergy

      Excellent post!

    • zhera

      Apparently grifters look after each other?

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  • shellback

    Shut up you FUCKING NAZI. We’re sick of your bullshit. Just. Shut. The. Fuck. Up!

    • Rambie

      I’m hoping his tweet hurt the case and the churches loose the fight

      • JCF

        …or even lose the fight!

        • Rambie

          Good catch, damn mobile autocorrect sometimes really gets annoying.

    • Mark McGovern

      That won’t work.

      • shellback

        But it makes me feel better to say/write it. I wish I had the opportunity to shout it into his face.

        • Mark McGovern

          Yeah you’re right; it still needs to be said often.

    • Jeffrey

      I lost my fucking mind when I read his tweet.

  • Stogiebear

    It is far past time to tax all religious organizations whatever role they play in our society.

    • Menergy

      +1 Million!

    • margaretpoa

      Well, I am officially designated as Cardinal Margaret by the First Church of the Holy Molecule (Dioxyribonucleaum) by my brother, the Pope, (all hail the Molecule), who was inspired by a giant, plastic model of a DNA molecule in the basement of Houston’s Museum of Natural Science, (and a lot of weed) back in the 1970s. As such, I should be entitled to a new car from FEMA as 14 years of weather has destroyed the paint and left little hail dents all in my old one. In his wisdom, (praises be to Your proteins), the molecule has chosen me to represent her in San Antonio, Texas. As the sole designated representative of that church, (may Your strands never unravel and Your chemicals never lose their valence bonds), in this city, it is incumbent upon the Federal Government, (may their DNA wither and lose cohesion), to assist me in getting my church back up and running. While we’re at it, this tiny one bedroom apartment is a bit cramped….got any extra, unused sports stadiums I can get for a dollar? After all, it’s my constitutional right to practice my faith as I see fit.(Praise be to the Nucleic Acid and all of it’s Aminos!)

  • Frostbite

    Cool, can’t wait for them to pay their fair share of federal taxes then, plus back taxes for the past 200+ years!

    • bzrd

      the Resident Nazi shouldn’t have added “just like others,” he gave the defense an excellent beginning. If they want to be treated just like others, they can start by paying federal taxes just like others!

  • Christopher
  • Karl Dubhe

    Merging the power of the state and the church? I think Barry* wasn’t as nuts as the Johnson claimed, at least about letting preachers exert this much influence in his party.

    Barry Goldwater, who’d you think I was talking about?

  • BearEyes

    and the Reich wing loudly complains about welfare queens, moochers and others allegedly getting some sort of “free” handout.

    • Joe in PA

      Immigrants (aka illegal aliens) demanding free stuff!!!

      /s

  • DaddyRay

    Grifters one and all

  • Harveyrabbit

    If they can get Jebus to clean up the mess left by Harvey then give them a few bucks. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/67312a4471c48fb8d746a6a4f560f4faeab1ebb07abea28677fd33f2de8684fc.jpg

    • Ginger Snap

      Since it was there god who sent the disaster they can take it up with him.

  • Christopher

    Side note:

    I was just looking for a Pond Scum 2020 pic to use, well because, so I Googled “vote pond scum 2020” and a bunch of pro Trump shit came up. LMAO

    I think Google is having a Freudian slip today.

    • (((GC)))

      Many tRump supporters love how their hero gets away with flouting the norms of basic decency. They don’t have that power and freedom themselves, but vicariously identify with this man – a product of the wealthy’s culture of impunity – who does.

  • Adam King

    If their god sent the hurricanes, they should pay everybody’s bills.

    • Mikey

      actually, people should be able to sue the churches for the actions of their god!

      • Adam King

        It’s all their fault for not praying right.

  • this is pence’s doing. he has always been about making the con artist church types richer thru grift. what better way, a la Osteen, than to hand out the plate in the middle of a disaster that makes people soft and generous? these are pond scum, the very lowest form of life in our species. i hope both the traitor and everyone around him suffers a severe health crisis, very soon. the kind that puts them down, and leaves them there.

  • Bluto

    oh hell no!

  • Cackalaquiano

    So when my husband and I show up in our rainbow booty shorts you’re gonna let us share a cot by the pulpit, right?

  • Ginger Snap

    Pay taxes and you will receive assistance. So much for churches caring for their flock with all that love and compassion they always say they are doing.

    • cleos_mom

      Reflects their perception of their god. If you believe in a god who your clergy claims loves everyone — but sentences 90something percent of all the people ever born to some eternal cosmic Auschwitz after death just for having incorrect theology. If you can wrap your brain around that, it’s not too difficult to rationalize treating others like rotting garbage.

      • Ginger Snap

        Best description of religion I’ve ever read.

        • cleos_mom

          Some religions, particularly the four that originated in the Middle East. Again, the intolerance of the One True Religion is built into these four belief systems — which is what makes the “Oh, but the Fillintheblanks aren’t real believers” schtick so grotesque.

          Jews do seem to have learned better — the hard way. And Zoroastrians aren’t numerous enough to be a nuisance.

  • canoebum

    If they didn’t use the donations received to buy insurance, why is this our problem? I have to buy insurance and pay taxes.

    • bzrd

      YES!

    • Gustav2

      And if they get tax dollars all citizens vote on their dogma.

  • Blackfork

    A money grab by churches for doing what they are supposedly best at — charity. Disgusting.

    • Ken M

      Not just asking for help, but suing to get it. That’s contemptible.

    • MBear

      That churches do “charity” is part of the propaganda – the lie – the grift.

  • Ken M
  • oh, anybody else noticing he’s not mentioning mosques, temples, or synagogues? i guess all those Bah’ai, Jews and Muslims can just get stuffed and enjoy disaster. maybe they can apply for aid at one of the xtian federally funded grifter sites.

    • Friday

      Historically, it means there’d be maybe a token mosque and a couple synagogues for cover, while Pagans and Buddhists and Hindus etc are excluded with further insults as ‘Not charitable’ and the Christian Rightie churches take the most. (Not that there’s a lot of Pagan outfits with the kind of numbers and facilities to run disaster relief on that kind of scale anyway.

  • Bluto
  • netxtown

    Hmmmm….some ministers heard $15 billion…..and they want a slice of that pie! They don’t want to use their tax-free congregant donations to help the Harvey victims….so when do they plan on using it? For who or what?

    Something is very wrong here – and these asses are using the cloak of ‘charity work’ to make some serious money. gawddamned frauds.

  • netxtown

    Anybody know if the Red Cross or United Way get reimbursed by the govt for their relief efforts??

    • Halou

      They certainly don’t get any help in places like Pakistan when their people are kidnapped and killed by the Taliban, because vaccines are a western conspiracy to weaken the minds of children. Truly violent anti-vaxxers. But American churches are soooo hard done by.

  • PeterC

    When they pay taxes. Don’t they have insurance?

  • Ken M

    I knew that playground case was going to have repercussions. Nothing regarding the church is ever that simple. Only 3 months later, and here we go again.

  • aar9n

    Pagging the church of Satan

    • KnownDonorDad

      And the Church of the FSM.

  • TrueWords
    • (((GC)))

      Or even just require churches to disclose their finances and file 990s like other tax-exempt nonprofits.

    • Halou

      The budget deficit and forever impending debt crisis would vanish if only churches are taxed at the same rate as any other for-profit business.

      • TrueWords

        …and make NO mistake it is a business….

        As I have mentioned before, most modern churches today are little more than someone’s privately owned and very lucrative business parading around as a church of Jesus Christ. But let me add that not only are these churches businesses, they are businesses that are so incredible, so outrageous in structure and operations, that they are able to function well outside of the reality of how any real legitimate business could ever operate, so much so that we could call any of them a “dream business”. Why?
        Because:
        The business pays no income taxes.
        The business pays no property taxes.
        Most or all the labor is provided free by volunteers.
        The building or facility is provided free by donors.
        The overhead is paid for by donors.
        The owner’s salary is paid for by donors.
        The owner is not required to produce any legitimate product, and so he does not.
        The owner is not required to provide any legitimate service, and so he does not.
        The owner is not required to deal with customer complaints. (Customers are thrown out or asked to leave and this is all done pretty much legally).
        The owner is not required to give refunds or return any donations to dissatisfied “customers”.
        The owner can reinvest all or the majority of donations back into the business to expand and grow it larger.
        The dream-business can spiritualize all of the above and claim to operate this way “in the name of Jesus” giving unwary people the distinct impression that the owner (usually a “pastor”) has God’s full approval and permission to behave the way he does, thus lending “credibility” to his actions.

        • David L. Caster

          In short, there is virtually no accountability of the business to any regulatory agency at any level of government.

  • Tomcat

    Now American taxpayers will have to give ten percent to the churches.

    • Halou

      Paid by believers and non-believers alike, no doubt. “Religious liberty” is the liberty of the religion not the liberty of people to follow or not follow it according to their own consciences.

      • (((GC)))

        There’s always the European model of declaring which religious group, if any, gets your government-collected tithe.

        There are reasons the US doesn’t do that. Constitution, anyone?

        • MBear

          Current administration doesnt give a fk about the constitution

          • Halou

            Trump needs something to wipe his ass with.

          • MBear

            Thats a big ass but i doubt he does his own wiping

          • Halou

            You’ve seen his golfing photos. Yuge ass. As for who does the wiping… Another job for Jared?

        • cleos_mom

          Taking my money to support a religion I don’t believe in is unacceptable. PERIOD. Unless I can designate my own household as the recipient and even then, they’d better pay interest.

    • Octoberfurst

      I could see them wanting that and the Orange Shitgibbon thinking it was a great idea.

  • Halou

    Will the churches be required to adhere to federal regulations with regard to who they shelter and how those people are looked after? Or will tbis be a caae of, again, forcing gay people to choose between their relationships and having a place to sleep at night? Or maybe evicting every woman in the shelter for making the men there get horny?
    All the things the church does and already get tax relief for, now they want further subsidy?

  • MBear

    FEMA funds or tax exempt status

    Pick one or the other. You can’t have both because….oh fk it. FK CHURCHES

    • Lizard

      Why don’t they have flood insurance…?

    • cleos_mom

      Including the “nice” churches that have been totally silent since last November — clergy and congregations both.

  • Tomcat

    Once more,,, Elections have consequences. Must vote.

  • Ninja0980

    They want federal funds?
    Then they should pay taxes or shut the fuck up.

  • Tomcat

    CNN, guy on there trying to justify price gouging made me sick.

  • Halou

    Earlier this year the Alabama Senate voted to forward a proposal that would allow churches to establish their own police forces with the same enforcement powers as the real police but none of the public accountability or oversight.

    This news takes us one step closer to being the United Theocracies of America.

    • MBear

      It’s AL.
      It’s not like real people live there

  • Ken M

    Since it seems to be ll about the “churches in Texas.” http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoons/BrancJ/2016/BrancJ20160421_low.jpg

  • MBear

    Also… “Harvest family…” anything sounds fkn creepy

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE. Churches or church-owned properties that perform non-religious functions (such as shelters, soup kitches, etc.) are, and have been, qualified for FEMA funds. The three churches in Texas that are suing FEMA right now perform no function other than being churches.

    • MBear

      A church? Lying? Colour me surprised! /s

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        Well, I was referring to Trump’s tweet, but that too.

    • andrew

      Churches get government funds all the time to carry out many of the social services they provide to the poor and needy. Religious affiliated schools get all kinds of government aid to pay for text books, school nurses, remedial reading and math teachers, school psychologists, speech therapists, etc. Religious organizations have their hands deep in all taxpayers pockets.

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        I have no problem with church-affiliated orgs that are providing public services freely, that would otherwise have to be provided by the government, getting some reimbursement. They are often do a better job than a comparable government facility would do. But they shouldn’t get paid just for being churches, and they shouldn’t discriminate in the providing of those services.

        • andrew

          I have a problem with it because while using taxpayers money they are pretending that it is their religion that is paying for these benefits and programs and in the process bring converts to their particular mythology. Churches should not be able to spend my tax money for anything. When services need to be provided to people it should be done by the secular government which we have a bit of control over by our votes.

  • Porkie

    Give them a tax rebate….

  • OdieDenCO

    didn’t we have a war about state sponsorship of churches?

    • cleos_mom

      Well, no.

      But such a war would at least approach making some sense, as opposed to our military “defending” little other than the profits of military contractors over the last six decades.

    • The_Wretched

      the framers had the religious wars in Europe in mind and the interState fights of the first US government in mind when they put down the “No State religion” rule.

  • Tom Mears

    Gee, I thought churches were charitable, helping the downtrodden out of piety, who knew they were a government contractor. Did they go through a bidding process? What happens if Red Cross or the Salvation Army decide to undercut their bid?

  • Friday

    This from the same party that wants to *gut* both public services and relief funding and claim the churches that are trying to grab up Federal money could just do all the ‘charity’ themselves. Apparently not, eh?

    • Halou

      Government morans dump hundreds of billions into church accounts and just hope they don’t use the money to enrich themselves, or maybe hoping that some of the government money will trickle down into their personal accounts. And the few times the broken clock tells the right time Fox will spend days asking why ‘the left’ wants to scrap this obviously successful humanitarian operation.

      • Friday

        There’s a hint of the ‘faith-based initiatives’ of Dubya here, which cut social services budgets seriously and then kicked a ton of funds back to the Christian Right to use for proselytizing. Drumph’s going for a similar payola cause those Fundies are about the only ones still supporting his evil and corrupt administration.

  • “Hi-Way Tabernacle”?

    SRSLY? That’s your church name???!!!

    Oh, honey.

    • bzrd

      why didn’t they just call it hi-way robbers?

      • cleos_mom

        Or the No Tell Tabernacle, with private “sanctuaries.”

  • ColdCountry

    One would think these churches would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to do Christ’s work. Think how much more godly they’d be if they poured their millions into helping others in desperate need? Now, I can see some reimbursement based on actual need. If a small church is destroyed in the flood, if the people rally and pour their time and what funds they may have into selflessly helping others, OK, maybe funds to help rebuild their church if they have nothing – and some churches do struggle to even maintain their buildings. Not every church is filthy rich, but I’m betting the ones suing are.

  • xzargo

    Typical ‘persecuted’ Chrisians.

  • narutomania

    Churches already receive federal funds: it’s called “they don’t pay taxes”.

  • AdamTh

    I agree — they can/should pay taxes just like everyone else (except, of course, the Hair Furor).

    Religion ≠ faith. Religion (a church) is a business.

  • Gustav2

    They have never gotten it before, what has changed?

    Oh wait.

  • Bonobo

    Grifters have to grift. Now that the usual sheeples don’t have the cash, the grifters turn to FEMA.

  • Paula

    This reeks of Pence..

    • Bryan

      I would bet Donald’s spiritual advisor Pastor Paula White is whispering in his ear too…

      • andrew

        Are you referring to the three times married Paula White who had an alleged affair with scamvangelist Benny Hinn, was addicted to prescription drugs and was under investigation by the IRS? She is such an appropriate spiritual adviser to a scumbag like Trump. Together with three times married Gingrich and scores of divorced and remarried bible thumpers they will help preserve “traditional” marriage and MAGA. LOL.

  • JWC

    then pat taxes

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    Isn’t a non-tax paying church claiming tax funded benefits, just like an “illegal alien receiving welfare”? [Major Trump / Republican talking point]

  • Puck

    The churches should have had insurance for this. They are not in shelters trying to put their lives back in order. Some people will have to wait for insurance money to come in and other didn’t have insurance and need help with basic necessities. Churches have none of this. Their congregation can apply but not an entity like a church. if churches didn’t have insurance, well let them pray about it! God will provide for them!!!

  • Menergy

    Oh fuck no!

  • cleos_mom

    Give him some credit. How many pimps look out for their stable when the creeks start rising?

  • Paula

    Shit! Now we are having to pay taxes to organizations that want us dead.

  • boobert

    Looks like he hid in the bathroom from Kelly for that tweet, or he’s off his meds !

  • TexasBoy

    Apparently billion$ in tax-free donations just aren’t enough for the Almighty. Being a deity is costly, evidently.

    • The_Wretched

      It’s not just donations and foregone taxation. Catholic Charities gets something like 6 billion dollars a year in tax dollars from the feds.

  • Does that go for mosques, synagogues, Hindu temples, etc?

    • KnownDonorDad

      It’s Texas, of course not.

  • The_Wretched

    What do non-religious non-profits get? Are churches actually excluded on the basis of them being religious? This is Trump, I’m suspicious of every baked in assumption to the assertions.

  • Rick

    I’m really looking forward to the day when he’s in prison and no longer has access to the internet.

  • ZRAinSWVA

    Let’s see. At one point the GOP thought it would be okay to get rid of welfare, ’cause the Churches would pick up the slack, right? So now they’ve done a180 and want to fund the churches!? This is not okay.

  • No More GOP.

    Fuck that. Let their member/victims cough up for it. FEMA funds need to go to those who actually need them. Food, shelter, those things?

  • andrew

    Why doesn’t Trump contribute some of his billions to help the people harmed by these natural disasters? LOL.

    • Gianni

      He did pledge a million of his own money for Houston recovery. We’re waiting to see if it ever really makes it there.

  • Mike

    Are churches claiming that they deserve to have FEMA pay to repair their damages just because, or are they claiming that they are part of relief efforts somehow and that’s why they deserve to have their bills paid by the rest of us?

    Either way, naturally we expect an idiot like Trump to to support such a thing, but it continues to be devastating that we have a Supreme Court stacked with would-be authoritarian christian theocrats who are likely to find that churchiness trumps the law, reason, and common sense. They have before.

  • JCF

    “It is unclear whether President Trump’s call would similarly apply to
    mosques, synagogues and other religious institutions potentially damaged
    in Texas during the storm.”

    Funny, that.

  • John

    IMHO, when churches are no longer tax exempt, when they pay their fair share via taxes, then, and ONLY then, are they entitled to government assistance for any reason, in any form!

  • supasugacrisp

    So vile. TAX THE CHURCH!!!!!

  • leastyebejudged

    Go for it. I look forward to the legal precedent being set someday.

    Just one step towards taxing the churches !

  • lymis

    If a church is behaving in a secular rescue capacity – acting as a shelter, etc, – then it should be eligible for the same sort of reimbursement as a civil disaster relief center as, say, a shopping mall, sports arena, or industrial building should.

    But for funds for rebuilding after the disaster if they had damage? No. They’re not paying taxes. They shouldn’t get tax dollars to rebuild anything that the public isn’t benefitting from. That’s what their insurance is for.

  • Richard B

    No, no, no…
    45 must immediately retake a remedial civics and American history class and not report to work till he passes.

    • Ann Kah

      He isn’t working. He is PLAYING at being president. He would actually enjoy that more if he had gaudy gold toilet fixtures in the White House.

  • The “good christians” refuse to help unless we, the taxpayers, reimburse them. There’s no such thing as a “real” christian. They want to keep their tax-free donations to themselves. If there’s a god, he’s weeping and ashamed of his believers.

    • Barry William Teske

      Thank you.

  • Mike Knife

    The God of all God’s has spoken.

  • Ann Kah

    Help people FIRST, and when all the citizens have rebuilt and moved in, they can decide whether or not they want to rebuild the churches that swore that, if they said exactly the right magic words, god would send the hurricane away.