Take Action

Listed below are ongoing efforts of resistance to policies, laws and exceptions to laws that favor Christian hegemony in the United States. Check back regularly to see how you can take action.

Urgent! Tell Small Business Administration Not To Bail Out Churches

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is alarmed that the Small Business Administration will use the pandemic as an excuse to give a massive chunk of taxpayer funds to churches and other houses of worship.

As part of the federal government’s stimulus efforts to fight the coronavirus scourge and to protect American businesses, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is about to enact emergency regulations to determine which organizations will receive federal aid. Please tell the head of the SBA that you expect the constitutional separation between church and state to be followed, even in times of national emergencies, and that you do not want your tax dollars to be used, unconstitutionally, to aid churches or religion.

FFRF and other secular organizations have sent a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, expressing our concerns. We’ve asked SBA to follow its ordinary procedures by prohibiting any grants that would go to churches or houses of worship. Read this letter here. LINK

Please take a moment to file a formal comment about SBA’s emergency regulations. You can use the suggested talking points below, or write your own. Personalized, concise messages are the most effective.

For talking points, mailing address and other details, go to this Freedom From Religion Foundation page.

Congress Must Include Constitutional Protections in Paycheck Protection Program

Photo by Sigred Philipsen Creative Commons

The CARES Act, passed by Congress to provide economic stability during the coronavirus pandemic, created a stream of funding for businesses and nonprofits called the Paycheck Protection Program. Unfortunately, however, they did not include important protections for the separation of religion and government.

Now, the Small Business Administration (SBA), which oversees the program, has said that churches are allowed to receive this funding and use it to pay for inherently religious activity, such as paying clergy salary. American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize religion!

Please write to Congress now and ask them to correct this oversight when they add more money to the program! Learn more here.

Oppose Religious Exemptions To Restrictions on Large Gatherings

State governments are on the front lines in taking action to prevent the spread of potentially deadly coronavirus. While many states have wisely restricted large gatherings, already twelve states [at the time of this posting] have made religious exemptions for places of worship, which will further spread this disease and harm public health. Please ask your governor to protect public health by ensuring that there are no special exemptions for houses of worship!

Take action here.

Oppose HUD Proposal to Weaponize “Religious Liberty”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering changes to the rules governing how it works with religious organizations. Under the guise of protecting “religious liberty,” this proposal would allow faith-based groups to receive federal funding for various housing programs without complying with nondiscrimination laws.

Cartoon by Don Addis

If this rule is implemented, it will mandate taxpayer-funded discrimination in the name of religious belief. For example, faith-based organizations receiving taxpayer funds through HUD would be allowed to turn away people in need because of a group’s religious objection to a person’s sexual orientation or single parenthood. By funding discrimination in the name of God, the government will be funding religion. The proposed rule also removes protections for HUD beneficiaries who are among society’s most vulnerable: the homeless, the disabled, the low-income elderly. Currently, those who participate in HUD programs can count on their government-funded provider to alert them of any religious affiliation and, if someone objects to receiving a government benefit from a religious organization, this organization must help to find an alternative provider. HUD is trying to remove both of these protections without even attempting to give a justification.

FFRF submitted its own comment opposing this rule today [April 7, 2020], which you can review here….

All comments are due by Monday, April 13! The Trump administration released a rush of these rules at one time hoping to overwhelm us into inaction. It doesn’t want you to comment in opposition, but we do. We must heed every opportunity to hold this theocratic administration accountable for degrading state/church separation.

Take action here.