Re "Polarized church and country would benefit from trust" (Viewpoints, March 4): House passage on Feb. 13 of the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 592) is an outrageous and egregious violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Passed on a 354-72 vote after Hurricane Sandy, it would add "houses of worship" to the list of eligible entities that can receive direct government assistance from FEMA.
Taxpayer dollars should not be used to repair structures that are used for religious worship. If this clearly unconstitutional bill is passed into law it will undoubtedly be challenged in court.
H.R. 592 exposes the hypocrisy and lack of credibility of House Republicans, who continuously rant that "Washington has a spending problem. Yet they vote to make unconstitutional grants of taxpayer dollars to tax-exempt religious organizations which are exempt from having to divulge any of their financial assets or income to the taxpaying public or the government.
The U.S. Congress has no valid reason to ignore the taxpayer protection provided by the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution by passing H.R. 592.
-- John D. Dunn, Placerville
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