FEMA will no longer discriminate. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.
Churches in Houston and other places affected by disaster will no longer be disqualified from federal funding to help them rebuild.
As Christianity Today reported, the very first line of a new 200+ page guide released by FEMA reads, “Private nonprofit houses of worship will not be singled out for disfavored treatment. . . ”
Previously, FEMA barred organizations involved in religious activities such as worship, proselytizing, and religious instruction from their public assistance program designed to help organizations rebuild after natural disasters.
Arbitrarily identifying religious activities as what disqualifies a non-profit from government funding programs is a religious test, an idea that the US Supreme Court obliterated in last year’s Trinity Lutheran case in which a church was denied help from the state in building a playground because they were a church.
In fact, the new FEMA guide specifically mentions the Trinity Lutheran case as a reason for the policy change. And that’s good news, indeed.