Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus Bill Attacks Religous Freedom

We have heard a lot in the news lately about the Stimulus Bill. One story that is under-reported is the restrictions on religious freedom that it would impose. According to an article in World Net Daily, here is some of the language plus some opinions:

"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."
"[Senator Jim] DeMint warned organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Catholic Student Ministries, Hillel and other religious groups would face new bans on access to public facilities that would not apply to other organizations.

"This is a direct attack on students of faith, and I'm outraged Democrats are using an economic stimulus bill to promote discrimination," DeMint said. "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..."

The issue of equal access has been fought in the courts many times. The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently said that you can not discriminate against a group just because of their religious involvement.

It is troubling to look at the first paragraph quoted above. Consider the University of Chicago, for example. They have a School of Divinity as part of their diverse campus. According to the words above, the University could use the funds for projects all over campus except for the divinity school. When the Federal Government is passing out money at an unprecidented level, withholding money from religious organizations specifically seems a lot more like discrimination against religion than avoiding establishing a national religion.

1 comment:

History Matters said...

Mike Hickabee is now talking about the same issue: Danger in new stimulus bill