Friday, August 14, 2020
Aug. 14, 2020

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Letter: Keep state, religion separate


I agree with Steve Engard’s concern about public dollars from the Payroll Protection Program wrongly going to religious organizations (“Paycheck program mismanaged,” Our Readers’ Views, July 16). These payments demand careful attention and monitoring, especially now given the negotiations over a second round of such payments.

You may recall that saying “no” to public tax dollars for religious purposes harkens back to the Mayflower pilgrims who came across in order to practice their own religion and avoid the public mandates of the Church of England. Freedom of religion is a founding principle of our nation that, in practice, requires there be separation of church and state. Among the ways we accomplish this separation is by prohibiting the use of public dollars for religious organization or purpose.

Linda Blair’s letter puts forward the many good things done by her church (Catholic), arguing against Engard, saying that he is “misinformed” (“We need the church,” Our Readers’ Views, July 19). While I do not question that religion does much good, I am an informed student as well of the many trials, tribulations and worse enacted by theocracies and favored religions claiming higher righteousness and “God on our side.”

Allowing certain religious groups to slip through and receive PPP dollars was wrong; it should not be repeated.

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