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President Supports Texas Churches Suing FEMA for Disaster Relief

Church volunteers work to remove Hurricane Harvey flood damage from a home in Houston, Texas, Sept. 2, 2017. (Rick Wilking / Reuters )

President Trump continues to confirm his verbal support for Christians, with his actions--this time, standing up for churches barred from relief funding after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.

Trump tweeted last Friday night: 

"Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others)."

Three Texas churches sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency over its policy of excluding any organization whose facilities are primarily used for religious activities from receiving disaster relief funds. Non-religious nonprofits are eligible.

The churches involved in the suit were all damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

"Hurricane Harvey didn't cherry-pick its victims; FEMA shouldn't cherry-pick who[m] it helps," said Diana Verm, counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Harvest Family as well as Rockport First Assembly of God and Hi-Way Tabernacle.

Becket applauded President Trump for Tweeting support.

It's great that the president sees that FEMA's policy of treating churches worse than every other nonprofit is wrong.

Several Trump supporters, including adviser Jack Graham, a Dallas pastor—are wading carefully into the issue because churches are not known for offering services in exchange for anything.

Graham Tweeted:

"Christians and churches give &serve willingly but very thoughtful of the President to desire to support our work. "

The president himself has already donated generously—sending a million dollars total toward Harvey relief efforts.

Evangelist Franklin Graham's organization Samaritan's Purse received $100,000 of that money and CBN's own Operation Blessing International received a $25,000 donation.

This lawsuit against FEMA comes three months after the Supreme Court ruled that a church in Missouri could use federal funds to resurface a playground

The Becket Fund points to that case as precedent for granting funding to the three Texas churches.

Reprinted with permission from cbn.com. Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, all rights reserved.


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