“Stimulus Package” Used to Keep Religion Out

Alright, for all of you Christians out there who voted for Obama, you’re getting what you asked for. 

I was sent an article from www.OneNewsNow.com by a friend. 

According to this article:

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice, tells OneNewsNow there is a provision of the act that actually allows for funds to be given by the federal government in the form of grants for renovation of existing colleges and universities.

Well, that seems like a pretty good idea.  After all, if the universities have to come up with this money, they’ll have to jack up tuition, and no one benefits when that happens.

But when you read a little bit further into this legislation, there’s a specific prohibition on two things,” the attorney explains. “One, if the university itself is a religiously based or faith-based institution, it does not qualify.

Again, not so bad.  We knew this was coming right?  The way we’ve interpreted the doctrine of “separation of church and state”, even though that phrase doesn’t exist in the constitution, over the past 100 years or so, this is not a surprise. 

Here comes the shocker:

And if the facility that is being renovated allows religious worship to take place, it also does not qualify.

Uh, oh President Obama, now you’re getting tricky.  Tricky and unconstitutional.  The article explains the exact language of the provision.

Specifically, the provision reads that stimulus funds may not be used for “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.”

Listen to that language!  “Used for . . .”.  This means that if this bill is passed, that any university will ban any kind of Bible study or religious service in ANY of it’s buildings because that would exclude them for receiving federal money.  This opens the door for provisions in any federally funded, or “stimulated”, building to exclude any kind of worship or religious service on any day of the week.

Excluding religious worship services, or Bible studies, from being on campus is religious discrimination.  This is unconstitutional.  Could you imagine the uproar if a provision in the stimulus package called for the exclusion of racial/ethnic clubs on campus?  Yet, there is barely a peep when this is done to religion.

Is this the beginning or the continuing of a scary trend of using federal dollars to keep religion out of the public sector?  I guess we’ll see.

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6 Comments on ““Stimulus Package” Used to Keep Religion Out”

  1. Matt Says:

    Hi Eric,

    I think you’re panicking unnecessarily.

    It’s clear from the context that “used for” means “solely used for”. If this were not the case, the second point would be redundant.

    I’m not American obviously, so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    As an atheist I’m actually in two minds about this.

    On the one hand religious organisations operate on a money-making basis through with tithes and donations, yet manage to retain a tax-free status.

    Churches are more than able to pay their own way and therefore should do so without any expectation of government funding.

    On the other hand, removing government funding may prompt a more entrepreneurial approach to religion as groups seek to get funds from the fringe sector, leading to more extreme cult-like activity.

    In France, for example, all the churches are state-funded and therefore have no incentive to mobilise or radicalise themselves on political issues. They’re staid, boring and no-one takes them too seriously.

    Maybe that’s a better option.

  2. Eric Kemp Says:

    Matt

    “It’s clear from the context that “used for” means “solely used for”. If this were not the case, the second point would be redundant.”

    Well, you wouldn’t make a good lawyer. The language says “Used for . . .”, there is no “solely” in there. The context won’t matter much under strict interpretation. Am I making doomsday theories? Not really…my security in my faith doesn’t rely on government sanction or protection. However, am I saying that this provision leads to religious discrimination? Yes. Am I the only one saying this? Nope.

  3. Tiffany Says:

    I don’t see the problem. It not like they are telling people they can’t pray or read the Bible. Groups may have to go to a coffee shop instead of the theater room to have publicized meetings, but schools are not required to let groups meet on campus at all.

  4. Eric Kemp Says:

    Tiffany

    Yes but they are also required to not force religious groups off campus. That’s called discrimination. And that’s all I’m saying.

  5. Troll Says:

    No using secular money for religious purposes.

    “Listen to that language! ”

    Yah, its obvious, even though you quoted it you didn’t comprehend it.

    “Specifically, the provision reads that stimulus funds may not be used for “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.””

    I don’t understand how a logical person can take the above and twist it into: “This means that if this bill is passed, that any university will ban any kind of Bible study or religious service in ANY of it’s buildings because that would exclude them for receiving federal money. ”

    But, I answer my own question.

  6. Eric Kemp Says:

    Troll

    If you had an argument or evidence that I misunderstand the language, you would present it, instead you just claim it. This is your modus operandi, claiming without evidence. Keep the faith Troll, never waiver.


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