Have been gone all day and came in just now to see more news from the Emporia Gazette. When you Kansans get fired up, you get fired up! As a matter of fact, you have sent more traffic to Refugee Resettlement Watch than we have received on any other issue.
Over the last week there has been much talk about an article about Somalians in Emporia that ran in The Gazette on Nov. 3. The discussions also took place online at www.emporiagazette.com, where almost 600 comments have been posted.
The online discussion got so lengthy that it sparked a call from U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran’s office wanting to discuss the situation of Somali refugees in Emporia.
Apparently all this is because this famous old newspaper got with the times a year ago and started on-line blogging for important stories like this one, thus fostering more open debate. Our newspaper, in Hagerstown, MD, did everything in its power to stymie debate on refugee resettlement. It even went one step farther by facilitating a ‘feel good’ publicity stunt to try to sway public opinion toward supporting more refugees.
In today’s Gazette one comment from “methusla” raises a very important point, one we have raised before as well. Methusla is asking how these non-profit church groups can get away with paying no taxes and then use our taxpayer money to work against the wishes of the people in a community.
….they [church groups] should not be allowed to use taxpayer funded grants to further their church beliefs or religion, nor should they be allowed to force a community to abide by their wishes of creating a direct refugee resettlement community for refugees in a town or city using taxpayer funded government grants.
And, I’ll add, because they are a special category of non-profit groups– churches– they do not file a Form 990 with the IRS that would reveal where all their funding comes from, what it is used for, and how much goes to salaries etc. Basically they are completely unaccountable to the taxpayer whose money they use. We found that 90% of the funds for the so-called “church” group (Virginia Council of Churches) that came to our Maryland city came from the federal and state government. So where is the ACLU now when it comes to the separation of church and state?
Actually the ACLU joined an affiliate of Church World Service and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to block Homeland Security (acting under the Patriot Act) from interviewing an Iraqi refugee. See our post here.
On the subject of separation of church and state, check this early post we did about a PUBLIC school in California that was setting up a special program for its Muslim Somali students.
For you diehard researchers, read our entire category–September Forum— beginning with the earliest post about the public meeting held in Hagerstown this fall.