Congress is considering coronavirus relief bills to provide much-needed funds for businesses, schools, and unemployment programs during this pandemic.
Yet the Senate version of the bill has several critical flaws: it seeks to shift billions of dollars from public schools to religious, private schools, and it provides no church/state separation safeguards for the nearly $700 billion dollar Paycheck Protection Program.
We’ve asked you to comment on these issues over the last several weeks, but NOW is the critical moment. Please write to your senators and representative and ask to incorporate essential protections for the separation of religion and government.
Under the Senate bill, approximately $7.1 billion dollars would be diverted to private schools, about 70% of which are religious. Unfortunately, many of these private religious schools promote discrimination and are founded in racist ideals.
Moreover, the bill would extend the Paycheck Protection Program and allow another round of funding for some organizations, including religious nonprofits. We must demand that Congress institute basic constitutional requirements so that loan funding used for proselytizing, indoctrination, and worship is not forgivable!
We cannot allow Congress to use the pandemic to shift ever more taxpayer funding to religious organizations and schools, while exempting them from accountability.
Please take action now — even if you have already done so on these issues. Your lawmakers are certainly hearing from religious organizations demanding free money and special rights. Let them know that we’re watching their actions — and that we demand better.