NY taxing Samaritan's Purse for setting up free field hospital

Sunday, May 10, 2020
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

Samaritan's Purse hospital in NYCAfter setting up a free emergency field hospital in New York City’s Central Park to help fight the coronavirus and being pressured to leave because of its biblical stance on homosexual behavior, Samaritan’s Purse is now being ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) to pay taxes.

Despite assisting the Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS) by treating all COVID-19 patients in its temporary facility with the same care and love – regardless of their beliefs or affiliations – Samaritan’s Purse was attacked by LGBTQ advocates and those claiming bigotry against Muslims. these leftist activists demanded the Christian charity leave the city, arguing the state is supporting discrimination of certain groups by allowing it to treat patients, which led to the volunteers being ordered to pack up and leave.

Punishing for helping?

Samaritan’s Purse President Rev. Franklin Graham maintains Mount Sinai requested his organization’s help, and that he and his volunteers just responded to a need – free of charge – by setting up a 68-bed field hospital after being called by MSHS.

“They’re the ones who called us originally – we didn’t call them; they called us – and we agreed to go … and we have not charged them one penny,” Graham told Faithwire. “All of our services have been paid by God’s people.”

A way to recoup Cuomo's wasteful spending

Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Dr. Richard Land, president of Southeastern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina, says it's unconscionable that the governor wants to tax the out-of-state volunteers.

Land, Dr. Richard (SBC, ERLC)"Evidently, they're charging [income tax on medical] people who voluntarily came in from other places to help … and even trying to charge them income tax on salary they were getting back home while they were in New York City doing volunteer work," he shares.

Land addresses the governor's explanation that the charity workers can't be given a break because of the deep financial problems in the Empire State.

"They do have a horrendous deficit because of the malfeasance of the governor, who has spent enormous sums of money wastefully," the seminary president states. "New York is great at giving out taxpayers' money to people and then doing things like this to try to recoup the losses for their profligate public spending."

And Land says it's impossible to know if Cuomo's antagonism towards biblical Christianity – which he expressed when the hospital was first set up – has anything to do with putting the financial screws to the Christian organization.

"They certainly were very hostile," he acknowledges. "They only accepted Samaritan's Purse's offer because they were desperate at the time because they'd been laid waste by the pandemic."

The cost of service

Now, Cuomo is holding the humanitarian aid group financially liable for offering their free services. “[I am] not in a position to provide any subsidies right now,” Cuomo insisted, according to a CBN News report.

WPIX-TV now reports that Samaritan’s Purse has to pay state taxes – including paying taxes on income they might have earned while temporarily living in New York while volunteering – despite the fact that New York lawmakers and hospital executives asked the charity for coronavirus aid.

Cuomo attempted to justify asking the North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse to pay taxes.

“{We] have a $13 billion deficit,” Cuomo announced at a press conference Tuesday, according to Fox News. “So there's a lot of good things I'd like to do, and if we get federal funding, we can do, but it would be irresponsible for me to sit here looking at a $13 billion deficit and say I'm gonna spend more money when I can't even pay the essential services.”

The reasoning why Samaritan’s Purse is being singled out is reportedly laid bare by a statement made last month by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City), who called out Graham for his Christian beliefs about his devotion to the God of the Bible and his biblical stance on homosexuality and the LGBTQ agenda.

"When I heard more about the organization – and in particular some of the things that Rev. Graham has said – it was very troubling to me," de Blasio expressed, as reported by OneNewsNow at the time. "Was there going to be an approach that was truly consistent with the values and the laws of New York City that everyone was going to be served, and served equally?"

No regrets

Graham said that despite all the backlash, Samaritan’s Purse is receiving, one thing is clear about his ministry and its work in Central Park. “[Our ministry was there] to save lives – [not to] argue with people,” Graham impressed to Faithwire.

Regardless of the financial and legal issues being used to argue that Samaritan’s Purse must pay taxes, it is argued that it really comes down to politics – and the biblical values the charity holds that are not in sync with  the agenda of leftists and many Democratic leaders.

“It’s difficult to separate this matter from the backlash Samaritan’s Purse faced from a loud minority of progressive politicians in New York City who were angered by the group’s Christian bonafides -- particularly regarding the mainstream biblical perspective that marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” CBN News reported.

According to at least one New York senator, those adhering to Christian beliefs regarding morality are a venomous brood that should have no partnership or affiliation with the state government.

“Despite having provided free medical care to more than 300 patients fighting coronavirus infections, state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) described the faith-based group’s relationship with Mount Sinai as ‘poisonous,’ and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson found it ‘extremely troubling’ Samaritan’s Purse was ever in New York to help,” the report continued.

In the midst of all the controversy regarding Samaritan’s Purse serving the people of the Big Apple in the height of the pandemic, Graham has no regrets and feels blessed by the opportunity to share God’s love and provisions.

“Everybody in the city of New York knows about the tent hospital,” the world-renowned evangelist stressed. “We are there in Jesus’ name. It’s just something God has done, and it’s given us the opportunity to magnify His name in the middle of a crisis.”

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