CARES Act - Clarity For Christian Organizations on Separation Between Church & State
By: Sutton Turner April 3, 2020
Many leaders of Christian organizations have expressed fears around taking money from the Federal government. However, last night, the US Treasury clarified their policy around faith-based organizations saying “nothing in (SBA nondiscrimination regulations) shall apply to a religious corporation.”
Leaders of Christian organizations’ worries were focused on the simple belief that if a Christian organization takes money, that organization will be required to adhere to laws like the ability to hire and discriminate based on religion. On Tuesday, March 30th, these fears materialized into words on the last page of the Paycheck Protection Program. It stated, “All businesses receiving SBA financial assistance must agree not to discriminate in any business practice, including employment practices and services to the public on the basis of categories cited in 13 C.F.R. Parts 112, 113, and 117.”
However, last night the US Treasury clarified their stance on this issue by stating the following:
“Nothing in [SBA nondiscrimination regulations] shall apply to a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society with respect to the membership or the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution or society of its religious activities.”
The Paycheck Protection Program provides churches, non-profits, Christian schools as well as small businesses the opportunity to receive a forgivable loan for 2.5 times their average monthly payroll for the purpose of retaining employees. The final application was also released last night which can be used today to present to your local lender to apply for these federal funds. Organizations interested in participating can find out more information on ChurchCOVID19.com or SchoolCOVID19.com
For more, read our blog, "Why Churches and Nonprofits Should Apply For The CARES Act Now."