church and state

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Why This Baptist Pastor Signed Up His Church for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan

The rules for the Paycheck Protection Program allow nonprofit organizations — including churches like ours — to apply for these loans. I must admit that I am not completely comfortable with that.  As a Baptist pastor, I belong to a tradition that is rooted in a deep skepticism of government entanglement with religion, especially government funding for clergy salaries.

The Constitution and Sacred Texts Agree: We Must Worship Together from a Distance

Constitutionally, it’s true that restrictions on public gatherings cannot target houses of worship, but that’s not what’s going on here. Just as religious entities must abide by the same building codes that apply to community centers and banks, churches, mosques and synagogues must follow public health orders that apply to secular large gatherings. COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate.

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