Great Plains Chapter - Americans United For Separation of Church and State

Forcing Taxpayers to Build Houses of Worship

Take Action On: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The U.S. Senate just proposed S.B. 1274 that would allow mosques, temples, synagogues and churches destroyed or damaged by natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, to receive federal financial aid. It is quite a sleight of hand for Congress to give away millions of taxpayer dollars by creating a federal policy that all taxpayers, regardless of their beliefs, must help rebuild religious structures.

S.B. 1274 violates the Establishment Clause which prohibits the government from funding religion and also violates the 1st Amendment’s right to free exercise by forcing all Americans to fund houses of worship. Congregations should be responsible for rebuilding their own structures.

There was a time in Colonial Virginia when colonists were expected to pay for the salaries of Anglican ministers, regardless of their own faith. Jefferson and Madison argued that this stripped colonists of religious freedom. S.B. 1274 would do the same thing by forcing everyone to participate regardless of their personal beliefs.

The bill was assigned to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Call or write Senator Roberts and Senator Moran to let them know that this bill is unconstitutional and a dangerous attempt to circumvent church/state separation in America.

Vickie Sandell Stangl
Great Plains Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State