Friday, February 6, 2009

Yet Another Travesty

I have come more in recent years to judge the merit of about any argument by the level of opposition the left mounts against it. If the left has their undies in a bundle over Rush Limbaugh, he must have accurately hit a nerve. If Sarah Palin raises an undue ire, she must have great ideas and a governing style which is feared by progressives. Generally, the more they fight, the nastier they get, the more competent the argument they are opposing becomes. It is a nearly infallible rule.

Their latest attack came in the form of opposition to a senate bill introduced by Jim Demint (R-SC). When he observed the aid in the latest “bail out” (read that pork) bill to colleges contained a ban on any participation by faith based organizations or individuals, he rose to introduce a bill in the Senate to ban such a blatantly unconstitutional practice. In the original, it would not support any part of a divinity college, or buildings which were shared on occasion by groups of believers, or even so far as to refuse funds to repair dormitories which housed any youngsters of faith.

This would effectively enjoin such groups as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Catholic Student Ministries, Hillel, and other religious organizations from the use of campus buildings. The bill as offered was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 43-54. For a complete look at how your Senator voted you need to check here.

Senator DeMint has issued the following statement:

“This is a direct attack on students of faith, and I’m outraged Democrats are using an economic stimulus bill to promote discrimination,” said Senator DeMint. “Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for siding with the ACLU over millions of students of faith. These students simply want equal access to public facilities, which is their constitutional right. This hostility toward religion must end. Those who voted to for this discrimination are standing in the schoolhouse door to deny people of faith from entering any campus building renovated by this bill.

“This is now an ACLU stimulus designed to trigger lawsuits designed to intimidate religious organizations across the nation. This language is so vague, it’s not clear if students can even pray in a dorm room renovated with this funding since that is a form of ‘religious worship.

’ If this provision remains in the bill, it will have a chilling effect on students of faith in America.“It is in hard times that our society most needs faith. It provides the light that no darkness can overcome. This provision is an attempt to extinguish that light from college campuses, from the lives of our youth.“In the words of President Obama today, ‘Faith can promote a greater good for all of us.’ Our varied beliefs can bring us together and rebuild what is broken.. It lifts those who have fallen on hard times. Our culture cannot survive without faith and our nation cannot survive without freedom. This provision is an assault against both. It's un-American and it's unconstitutional.

Intolerant and it's intolerable. ”This funding restriction is unconstitutional. In the 2001 Good News Club v. Milford Central School Supreme Court decision, the court ruled that restricting religious speech within the context of public shared-use facilities (or schools) is unconstitutional.Pages 164-165 of the stimulus contain the following prohibitions on the use of $3.5 billion available for renovation of public or private college and university facilities. (2) PROHIBITED USES OF FUNDS.—No funds awarded under this section may be used for—(C) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities—(i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or(ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission; or construction of new facilities.”

Well said brother but it will not alter the outcome of the vote. That will become fodder for lawyers to argue and no doubt the right will prevail because of the presence of that over riding document, The Constitution of the United States. Meanwhile, it will result in a deprivation of services for those faithful young people who happen to be in colleges and universities who seek federal money from this latest bill.

While we are on the subject, we will have more tomorrow on those same institutions and their relationship to the finances of America.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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