FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2021
Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; Phone: 202-417-0171
Interfaith Alliance Celebrates Enactment of American Rescue Plan, Urges Church-State Separation In Funding
WASHINGTON — Today, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, delivering long-awaited relief to Americans one year after the World Health Organization first declared COVID-19 a pandemic. In response, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement praising the historic measure, and reiterating the need for church-state separation as funds are disseminated:
“One year after the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, so many of us continue to grapple with the human and economic cost of the virus. Workers who have lost their livelihoods still struggle to put food on the table. Public health workers, teachers, and other essential workers continue to serve their communities at great personal risk.
“The American Rescue plan will bring sorely needed relief to communities across the country as the most comprehensive anti-poverty bill in recent history. We celebrate its enactment, knowing that considerable work lies ahead to meet the needs of everyday people and live up to the promises of our constitution.
“As an organization dedicated to upholding the sacred divide between church and state, we take note that the Paycheck Protection Program, a key part of the current and previous COVID-19 relief packages, continues to allow houses of worship and faith-based groups to receive government funds. While this does not present an inherent issue, we are concerned that religious institutions will be allowed to use PPP dollars for explicitly religious expenses, as has been permitted in previous rounds of funding.
“Public dollars should never be used to fund religious activities, particularly when small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. With President Biden’s support, the Small Business Administration must correct past mistakes and institute rules that meet the needs of small businesses, protect our constitutional values, and direct funding to communities most in need.”
If you are interested in speaking further with Rabbi Moline, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or [email protected].
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.