Earlier this week, the government released a list of those who received more than $ 150,000 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). This money, which is part of the Paycheck Protection Program, was intended to help businesses pay their staff and cover expenses during this time when so many people are out of work.
The money has also flowed to nonprofit groups (although they don’t pay taxes) because they too have employees who may struggle to make ends meet. Then, controversially, religious institutions were Also included in the mix. Even though churches are non-profit, they don’t need to be transparent with their finances and therefore there is no way of knowing how PPP loans are being used.
Many church / state separation groups spoke out against this preferential treatment when the plan was initially on the table. These complaints have grown this week since we found out how billions of dollars went to religious institutions.
Now watch how the Christian message covers the story. The headline reads: “Secular group critical of churches taking P3 loans admits also taking less than $ 500,000.” “
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which criticized churches for being among the recipients of forgivable loans under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program, admitted that it had also taken out a loan “for less than half a million dollars ”. after a partial list of borrowers was released this week.
Admission by the atheist group, who said it was “unconstitutional” for religious groups to receive taxpayer funds, came the day after the Small Business Administration published the partial list borrowers.
The Post also notes what I said earlier that a handful of atheist groups have received six-figure loans from the government.
But this article is presented as a “trap”, as if the journalist had caught the atheists being hypocrites. What is the To post forget to point out that under IRS rules, atheist nonprofits are not in the same category as religious associations.
Put simply, the government sees the FFRF the same way it sees Planned Parenthood and the National Rifle Association. All of these groups must follow the same rules and complete the same documents each year. Religious groups, on the other hand, are in a class of their own. They don’t have to say how much money they took, or how much the pastors make.
So there is nothing hypocritical about what atheist groups have done! You can absolutely argue that religious groups should not be eligible for funds while accepting PPP loans yourself.
American atheists President Nick Fish made this point on Twitter:
We have not criticized good faith 501 (c) (3) groups that receive money, even if they are religious. While we find groups like Alliance Defending Freedom reprehensible, they are not financial black boxes and they do not conduct inherently religious activities such as places of worship. https://t.co/LdskWQopY4
– Nick Fish (@NotNickFish) July 11, 2020
He’s making a point right here! American atheists criticized churches receiving PPP loans, but they never said religious nonprofits (even those they fundamentally disagree with) should be ineligible. See? No hypocrisy!
So passage like that …
In June, when FFRF asked for “all records of all taxpayer funds paid to Trump’s most vocal Christian nationalist supporters, including every member of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board and their churches.” he did not disclose having received a PPP loan when issuing a statement.
… Are not traps. The FFRF was eligible for funding like any other non-profit organization, religious or other.
It is totally irresponsible for the Christian message to publish an article like this that suggests a major scoop when it comes to a complete nothing.