Hanover River Oaks Moves Forward; Texas’ Amazon HQ2 Chances; FEMA Money for Damaged Churches

Photo of Discovery Green: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool


28 Comment

  • Re: churches stealing more money. Time to get FFRF involved again, just because the Bible Thumping wing of the Republican Party is currently in charge does not mean their internal policy changes will pass the SCOTUS muster.

    “Name one moral action performed by a believer that could not have been done by a nonbeliever.”
    ~ Christopher Hitchens.

  • @commonsense
    I (and probably everyone else) expected this response from you. Details of this aside ruling aside, the impact of churches and faith groups in response to Harvey was massive. These groups were exactly what a small government group dreams up, the public stepping up and serving the people in a time of need. Their organization and ability to scale up and provide assistance was life changing to many. They just happen to all believe in something you don’t and therefore you criticize them.

  • @HeyHey

    Even with the issue of “Separation of Church and State” as noted in the Constitution aside, I happen to agree with commonsense on this matter. The simple fact that churches are exempt from all taxes should disqualify them from receiving cash “compensation” of out tax dollars …after all the damage was “An Act of God”.. All the costs for direct aid they doled out to flood victims are already available reimbursable providing it was not solely given to the church’s own members. If they have storm damage to their tax exempt facilities then allow them to get low-cost federal LOANS (with sufficient collateral of course) like any other private citizen.

  • @HeyHey. Secular organizations such as Red Cross and OxFam provide orders of magnitude more aid by volume and money and are extremely more efficient at it (despite certain recent problems). Church aid is extremely inefficient and you can’t simply separate a few good deeds churches do with centuries of tax evasion, resource siphoning from society, waste, abuse, and discrimination. Our constitution and numerous SCOTUS cases say, if you believe in magic, you don’t get government money.

  • Keeping things neutral, I’m in agreement with no public reimbursement to churches/non-profits. If these organizations don’t pay into the system (by taxes), then they should not get any aid from tax dollars.
    Prudent planning by any entity would have secured flood/commercial property insurance or cash reserves if one wanted to self-insure. I’m not willing to pass judgment on the merits of the good or bad that these entities do. But, a strict neutrality is in order.

  • I feel so dirty. I need to take a shower !

    On an unrelated note, I agree with Commonsense

  • Churches qualify for a 501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations. The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Which one do you think has more, tax evasion, resource siphoning from society, waste, abuse, and discrimination. And yea, I mean all churches like as in every where.

  • Are churches not allowed to buy flood insurance or self insure?

  • HeyHey, don’t get pulled into it. Internet experts type reams about how churches aren’t any good but average folks know who it was coming through neighborhoods volunteering to help people clean their homes out. My aunt received a day’s work from a few volunteers from Champion Forest Baptist at her home, she didn’t even have to call they just showed up, never attended a Baptist church in her life, and not once did they ask for a donation or try to get them to join. Even in a city as secular as London it was the churches who sheltered people (mostly Muslim) after the Grenfell Tower Fire while the government organizations were mired in red tape – here is The Guardian praising them for it: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/jun/22/after-the-grenfell-fire-the-church-got-it-right-where-the-council-failed.
    Again, don’t get caught up in internet discussions, if you want to see these churches prosper, simply pass on the good work that they have done for you and vote for politicians who don’t have an ax to grind with them. Peace.

  • Re: Hateful religion. My girlfriend of 4 years just broke up with me. She choose to be with God and Jesus instead! F*ck religion

  • Who has done more for Harvey victims, tax evading self-help guru Joel Osteen or corporate tax-paying businessman Jim McIngvale?

  • @Wolf Brand Chili
    There are plenty of entities (people) that “don’t pay into the system (by taxes)” and still gets “aid from tax dollars” already

  • As to public compensation without paying federal taxes…If we held everyone to that standard, I’d bet a large chunk of those receiving FEMA assistance didn’t pay federal taxes either. Just sayin’

  • Google Master: Good point. However, you realize that Jim McIngvale has said that it was his Catholic believes that motivated him to help?
    I get that its trendy to bag on religion but try to be better.
    I’m going to share a quote. It’s going to come with a trigger warning for you and commonsense. So don’t read it if you think you might go into a “OMG HE BELIEVES IN MAGICAL SKY FARIES” fit:
    ““My faith defines me. It’s who I am” …. He turned his stores into collection sites for disaster relief items, posted a “Pray for Texas” video on his Facebook page that received nearly 3.9 million views, and garnered heartfelt thanks and lifelong customers.

  • I am thrilled to see religion still creating such passions.

  • Cody, glad we have someone here with real “commonsense.” Please, keep posting. :)

  • @Cody, that’s because Mattress Mack is actually a Christian, versus Joel Osteen who just plays one on TV. I have nothing against organized religion… just the ones that are run by charlatans bilking the city out of millions in tax revenue and not doing a thing to actually help people like the Book they allegedly believe in tells them to.

  • It’s really bizarre that the Texas cities were all lumped together like that in the HQ2 ranking.

  • @ Cody & Mike etc. – thanks for posting the thoughtful responses. As a member of the faith community in Houston, I agree with you. Having said that, I still have reservations about government handing out money to churches in this situation, I really think they’re better off separated.

  • While I do believe that entities that don’t pay taxes, like churches, shouldn’t benefit as they have in this case, I more firmly believe that when you start calling people’s closely held beliefs “magic,” you undermine your own credibility. Perhaps Commonsense would go with the typical, “ya but I have facts, so prove me wrong,” response to this, but what I do know is that the messenger is more important than the message in the real world. If you promote your careless point as stubbornly as a donkey, don’t be surprised if people think you’re an ass.

  • The catch is that once you start accepting government money, how long is it until the government starts to tell you what to believe and how to practice your religion? Something these churches should consider and be wary of.

  • @ShadyHeightster that seems to have happened to many people already in this country through politics..

  • And I’m sure all of you oh so tolerant Christians are equally tolerant of others with “closely held beliefs”, such as Witchcraft, Astrology, Various New Age, hooey, etc

  • @XCellKen I hate to burst your bubble, but my wife doesn’t believe in Christianity and was raised under a religion many think is complete hooey. I don’t care if you believe in Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Joseph Smith, Zenu, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or anything else. Doesn’t bother me in the least. You may notice that you make assumptions about what other people think, but most Christians are pretty laid back. People who get up in arms and make fun of others online typically are not. You must be a LOT of fun at parties.


    Yes, the Bathroom Bill was defeated a couple of years ago by all of those tolerant HTown Xians.

    Over the years, I have been told by several dozen people that I should be a professional comedian. So, yes, I AM fun at parties. And most other social situations.

    It wasn’t a party, but a couple of years ago, I was hanging out with an NFL player, and his wife, who posed in Playboy many years ago. They didn’t seem to have a problem with me, so…

  • I’m a Christian, but I still don’t think churches should be able to collect government funds. They are tax exempt and operate on donations (that someone already took a tax write-off on). If they flooded, learn a lesson and buy flood insurance. Yes, their members helped lots of people in the aftermath of Harvey, but isn’t that essentially what they are meant to do–good works for others. It doesn’t entitle you to assistance from taxpayers. Might be time to have another bake sale or whatever it takes to raise more money from your members.

  • XCEllKen with the “my mom says I’m cool” defense. It’s a classic. I have to applaud it.

    The Bathroom Bill wasn’t defeated by Christians. It was defeated by a majority of voters, the likes of which spread across all creeds, colors and ethnicity. It may be a harsh reality, but there are still a lot of conservatives that vote in Houston. They may be Christian, but they may be Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Athiest or Agnostic.

    I personally had no issue with the Bathroom Bill. Piss where you want to piss. Even on this comment section.