The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

August 16, 2013

City helping non-profits?

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — To the editor:

Dear Mayor and Council…

I write to express concern and outrage over what seems to be a pattern of late at City Hall. I am referring to the fact that representatives of private, nonprofit, 501C-3, religious institutions are parading themselves before you seeking government subsidies to fund their operation.

First it was the Young Men’s Christian Association. Now it’s the Salvation Army. I am at once shocked and saddened that Christian people representing Christian organizations in our community expect and hope that nonbelievers should be forced by the heavy hand of government to fund what should be done by Christians and other religious people of goodwill.                                   

What I find equally troubling is that many on the Council seem to be inclined to go along with these Christians who seek to coerce all Greenville taxpayers to fund their project du jour. Where will it end? Is there no project of good works that you refuse to fund with my tax dollars? Should private Christian groups not be funded by Christians? Are there not enough Christians or enough churches in Greenville to build and fund a Young Men’s Christian Association building and homeless shelter? And finally, does government funding of religious institutions really adhere to the letter, intent, and spirit of the Constitution?

I come to you as a lifelong Greenville resident and as a believer in Jesus Christ as my personal saviour. As such, I believe the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Salvation Army are worthy organizations that do much good for our community. My support for their various projects should be my decision, not yours.

If taxpayer funding for these private charities is approved by the Council, it will only serve to divide our community. I respectfully ask that you give no tax dollars to the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Salvation Army, or any other religious institution.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts.


Ron Rogers