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Should FEMA reimberse "faith-based" groups for the money used

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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:24 AM
Original message
Should FEMA reimberse "faith-based" groups for the money used
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 11:31 AM by Blue_Roses
for helping hurricane victims? This is the topic on MSNBC right now. They are including all groups--Christian, Islam, Jewish--all religious groups who have helped. Isn't this what the church does? Help those in need?

Hmmm, seems to me this would definitely be a violation of separation of church and state. :eyes:

Nasty, nasty exchange going on with Rick Scarborough leading the way.

Interesting.
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MadAsHellNewYorker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. I think its fine...
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 11:29 AM by MadAsHellNewYorker
as long as homeland security plans on giving every private individual their money back if they donated to a relielf organization and other "reality-based" organizations get their money back as well :eyes:
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. That's why it's called
"charity."

Good article about this very topic in yesterday's Washington Post: http://tinyurl.com/8t6bo
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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. only if they also reimburse non-faith based organizations
as well as private citizens who made donations. Bush calls for faith based orgs to b responsible for helping the poor etc and then thinks they should be reimbursed???? Is that insane?

If the government is going to pick up the tab anyway then let's just bypass the faith based orgs and leave religion out of it entirely.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm sure FEMA will be very careful and diligent
verifying that these "faith based" groups honestly report their reimbursable expenses.

Double plus :sarcasm:
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. Did they offer help with the intention of being reimbursed by the govt?
Did they take donations (which would then have to be classified as Income, right?) - give them away - get money for what they gave away? Sounds like a profit-making business to me.

Let's see - I donate $20 - Charitable Org X takes this money, purchases water, gives water to people, gets $20 reimbursement from the government? Smells like corruption waiting to happen.

Charity is, by definiation:
charity (chr-t)
n. pl. charities
1. Provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.
2. Something given to help the needy; alms.
3. An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy.
4. Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
5. Indulgence or forbearance in judging others. See Synonyms at mercy.
6. often Charity Christianity The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one's neighbors as objects of God's love.

Nope - don't see reimbursable offering in there anywhere.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm a little confused about this
If the faith-based groups are reimbursed exactly the costs that they expended in helping the victims, then isn't the net-dollar effect equal to a direct contribution from the gov't in the first place? The faith-based groups, retaining no profit, merely become the vehicle for the government's money to be expended in the interests of the victims.

Of course, one must ask if it's only faith-based groups that are being reimbursed. Why not Wal*Mart and Ellen Degeneres, for example?
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. No, because I gave money to the church for the poor and
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 11:37 AM by fasttense
suffering victims. So when they get reimbursed, they are actually getting reimbursed for the money I gave them. So technically, the church should turn around and ask me if I want my donation back because they got reimbursed for it.

So now I'm thinking of stopping donations to the church since the government is going to use my TAX dollars to reimburse them for it anyway. I end up paying twice, with a donation and with my tax dollars. So sounds to me like the church doesn't need my donation.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
26. That's a good answer
For some dumb-ass reason I was only thinking of cash-on-hand that the faith-groups might have had. New donations didn't even occur to me.

So let me see if I get this straight:

You give a dollar to Charity X

$.80 (or so) goes to victims, $.20 (or so) goes to Charity X's bureaucracy

Then the gov't gives one dollar to Charity X, which keeps it.

Net outlay by Charity X: $0.00
Net income for Charity X: $1.20

Hey, that's a pretty sweet deal. How do I become a faith-based group?
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. so, then donations to the churches
are reimbursed to those who donate? makes no sense.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
8. NO. Not MY tax $$$$$. That's the LAST place I want MY tax money used.
This is the chimp's "faith-based" initiative. Let THEM figure out where the funds come from. Rape all social programs because the freepers don't want their tax dollars to help poor people. What the hell is the difference?! There is NO DIFFERENCE...other that RELIGION is involved.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
9. Church Giving Is About CHARITY... GIVING... It's In ADDITON To
Government spending.

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Bluzmann57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
10. If non faith based groups are reimbursed too
Then maybe the discussion could go on. But if only "Faith Based Groups" are to be reimbursed, then what's the point of having any secular help groups, such as the Red Cross? Take care of all or take care of none. It's the only fair way. And yes, that is part of what a true church's mission should be, to help out people in need. They take donations from the congregation most of the time. It is the correct thing for real Christians to do. How much has Falwell's group contribured? Those are the types who should not be reimbursed.
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
11. Absolutely NOT!
Religious groups that do provide aid are doing one of the things that supposedly qualifies them for their tax-exempt status.

If they get reimbursed, then I want to get a check from Uncle Sam as well.

It is simply a way to funnel OUR tax dollars to religious groups, and that is unconstitutional.
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. BINGO!
Religious groups that do provide aid are doing one of the things that supposedly qualifies them for their tax-exempt status.

:applause:
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samdogmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
13. Yesterday I learned that they're also reimbursing the RED CROSS!
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 11:36 AM by samdogmom
The Red Cross--an organization that has raised nearly $1 Billion directly from the Katrina disaster is being reimbursed by FEMA for providing shelter to hurricane victims.

http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opwal274444388se...

So I guess if the Red Cross is getting reimbursed by FEMA these less wealthy aid organizations can't get left out, can they?

On Edit: Is the Red Cross tax-exempt? My guess is that it is.

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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. I also heard they were reimbursing the Military- "Pentagon" I
believe- when *'s suggestion about using the 'military' more for natural disasters was being discussed on NPR- How pray tell, can 'we' reimburse the very institution that we fund through our tax dollars alone, by paying back that same institution with 'tax dollars'????

Am I that stupid, or does this just not make sense???
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samdogmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. It only makes sense because there are probably "middle men"--
Sub-contractors that are passing the money on, but only after they take a very healthy cut for themselves first.

But, you're right--this defies logic.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
15. absolutely not-
If those 'faith-based' groups were acting on their 'faith'- then they should neither desire, nor accept reimbursement.
You can't have it both ways- faith is NOT a 'business'- it's a way of life- Giving a 'gift' which is what service done to others based on a life of 'faith' is- (a GIFT freely given) doesn't have strings- and isn't something that should be 'repaid'. Otherwise it is not 'faith based' but purchased effort.- in other plain words WORK.

Its not a gift, or a giving from the heart- It is an occupation, a 'job' a 'duty' an 'effort' something done with expectations, and 'dues' charged, and expected.

There-in lies the HUGE problem with bush's 'faith-based' initiatives. Faith is not something tangible- like money- or 'goods' it is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things NOT SEEN.

(according to the bible).

But not often put to the test, or used appropriately.

What 'pay' did Jesus get???
Who 'reimbursed' HIM? Caesar? not likely- not ever.
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Fla Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
17. No, no, no, no, no. Churches, faith-based charities receive their
money from private donations.....it's not their money, it's to be used for relief and services. Doesn't make sense for them to be reimbursed. FOR WHAT? They spent the money on what it was donated for in the first place.

I give to the charities of my choice. I DO NOT want my tax dollars going to organizations I do not support, religiously, politically, ethically, philosophically or any other way.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. That's the thing. Its a huge potential for scams
Lets say suckers call in to Operation blessing, and give Pat Robertson millions of dollars that he then funnels, filters, and finally gives a share of to hurricane victims, in exchange for their converting to his version of Christianity. Then, the government reimburses him for this.

What have we done?

We, as taxpayers, have allowed Pat Robertson to fund raise, using the hurricane as an excuse, and then do whatever he wants with the money.

FEMA reimburses him. So they cut him a check for, say, 2 million dollars. What will he do with it? Whatever he wants. He was reimbursed for his charity.

Some people might argue that the money was donated to him, and he can do with it what he wants. But it was donated in the name of helping hurricane victims. Otherwise, he may not have received those donations.

Its the same as Pat holding a fundraiser and then keeping the money for himself. Its fraud. Its a scam.

We are paying for Robertson's free publicity and "relief" image, helping him fundraise for his own personal use, and and helping him spread his twisted view of religion to people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Disgusting.
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WA98296 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
18. No Way! We already subsidize churches
Who are churches accountable to? How would such reimbursements be decided? A church is just going to submit a bill or what? They should be ashamed if they do, or if they accept such money which is clearly pandering by the administration who is losing its base.

We already subsidize churches. They pay no taxes on the money they bring in. They pay no property taxes. They benefit from the infrastructure taxpayers provide in terms of roads and emergency services like police and fire that they use.

The relationship between government and churches needs to be kept separate, or the government will soon be dictating to the churches what they can teach. Churches better be careful who is going to own them.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
19. Why just faith-based? Why not private sector and individuals?
How individuals who used their own resources to aid victims like the guy out of California who spent $100,000 of his own money for a plane to get a bunch of them out. Or Wal-Mart, Costco, and other companies who have donated supplies?

I have a problem with it because it double dipping on the taxpayers.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
20. Never....
They are charities....that's why they are tax exempt. If they no longer want their tax deductions, then that's another question.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
21. Stop paying taxes.
If that's the way your tax dollars are spent.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
24. My coven
Got together and bought about $400 worth of supplies (diapers, toothpaste, bottled water, tampons, underwear, et al.) for the Katrina survivors being brought to DC. Will the government be cutting us a check?
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pelagius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
25. No.
When I give money to my church, I can claim a tax deduction for doing so. The church itself is exempt from taxes. So the government is already, in effect, reimbursing my church and I for our contributions.

My local Episcopal church (with an active membership of around 120 people) raised nearly $6,000 for hurricane relief by simply announcing that all the "loose money" in the offering plate (cash or other undesignated funds) would go to help out. It was counted and dispatched the next day.

Multiply this by thousands of churches across the country and it's easy to see that "faith-based organizations" make a real difference. But, worthy as they may be, getting government subsidies for basic Christian (and, indeed, human) decency runs counter to the the principles upon which this country was founded, as well as, in my reading, the basic tenets of Christian commitment and service.
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