The news is out: [NEW YORK (AP) — Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans from a federal rescue package designed to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Those receiving loans include City of Destiny, the Florida church that Trump’s personal pastor and White House faith adviser Paula White-Cain calls home, and First Baptist Dallas, led by Trump ally and senior pastor Robert Jeffress. City of Destiny got between $150,000 and $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, and First Baptist Dallas got between $2 million and $5 million, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Monday.
Loan recipients included several churches and organizations connected to allies who joined Trump’s evangelical advisory board during his 2016 campaign, helping a twice-divorced candidate win over a socially conservative constituency that has proven an essential part of his political base.
Payments received by churches and other organizations linked to Trump’s evangelical allies represent a small fraction of the total aid the program gave to religious entities, which were allowed to access pandemic assistance loans even if they performed only faith-based functions.]
A tax free exemption is apparently not enough. If churches are businesses receiving loans in taxpayers’ money, they have to pay taxes.