Bob Unruh – December 9, 2017
Gray Miller, a federal judge in Texas, has ruled that the federal government can discriminate against churches whose congregations opened their facilities to government-aid programs that assisted Hurricane Harvey victims.
The ruling was in response to request for a temporary restraining order by three churches whose facilities were damaged in the weather catastrophe.
They contend they should be included in the government program designed to help nonprofit organizations restore their facilities after such a disaster, because they were integral in providing assistance.
Miller dismissed the idea that churches should be treated equally.
The judge argued a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing a Missouri church to participate in a government program to make playgrounds safer does not apply to the Texas case.
The playground, used for the church’s school, is “not an ‘essentially religious endeavor,’” he said
In the Texas case, he said, “the funding would be used to repair church facilities so that plaintiffs could use their facilities for their primary service, which plaintiffs admit is providing religious activities.”