As a constituent I am writing to urge
you to vote NO on S.1274, authorizing FEMA aid for houses of worship.
This is a blatant violation of the
constitutional prohibition on government endorsement of religion.
FEMA aid is only available to nonprofits that perform services the
government normally provides. There is no clearer example of services
the government is constitutionally barred from offering than
religious services. This disgraces our longstanding principle that no
citizen should be required to fund a religion with which he or she
disagrees. And make no mistake about it. I object because you will be
using some of my taxes to fund this egregious assault on my
liberties. While my share of any such funding might amount to no more
than a penny or less, it is still a violation of my rights as well as
all those millions of other Americans who support the separation of
church and state principle in the First Amendment. You have no right
to use even one penny or even a fraction of a penny of my tax dollars
to support any religious institution.
The power to define which organizations
are eligible to receive federal aid is vested in the President, as
reaffirmed by this bill. Yet Congress usurps its own language when it
carves out a special exception for religion. By doing so, it adds
millions of dollars of federal spending, in a time of belt
tightening, to finance organizations with established worldwide
The legislative leaps and
constitutional violations required to give this preferential
treatment to houses of worship shock the conscience.
This bill is dangerous for our economy,
our conscience, and the religious freedoms of every American.
Typically I would end such a letter by
simply asking that you vote NO on a piece of legislation with which I
disagree. But in this case I am going to be a little bolder by
demanding, rather than simply asking, that you abide by the principle
of church/state separation and adhere to the constitutional
prohibition placed upon you as an elected leader by the First
Amendment and vote NO on S. 1274. A no vote in this case is required
by your duty to abide by the constitution.