Stimulus to ban religious worship

Stimulus to ban religious worship
'This isn't like a convenientoversight, this is intentional'

Posted: February 06, 200911:50 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh

President Obama's proposed economic stimulus plan makes a deliberate – and unconstitutional – attempt to censor religious speech and worship on school campuses across the nation, according to a lawyer who argued related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court 20 years ago and won them all.

"This isn't like a convenient oversight. This is intentional. This legislation pokes its finger in the eyes of people who hold religious beliefs," Jay Sekulow, chief of the American Center for Law and Justice, told WND today.

His was the organization that decades ago argued on behalf of speech freedom on school campuses, winning repeatedly at the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then, the 2001 Good News Club v. Milford Central School District decision was added, clarifying that restricting religious speech within the context of public shared-use facilities is unconstitutional.

The problem in the proposed stimulus bill comes from a provision that states: "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."

The wording that specifically targets religious speech already has been approved by the majority Democrats in the U.S. House – all GOP members opposed it. In the Senate, Jim DeMint, R-S.C., proposed an amendment to eliminate it, but again majority Democrats decided to keep the provision targeting religious instruction and activities.

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Critics argued schools would accept any money offered, then impose a ban on religious events.

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."

DeMint's comments have been posted online and also are embedded here:

"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," said DeMint.

The senator said the stimulus bill now becomes an "ACLU stimulus" that has the goal of triggering 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," he said.

DeMint cited Obama's statement at the National Prayer Breakfast this week that faith "can promote a greater good for all of us."

"This provision is an assault against both. It's un-American and it's unconstitutional. Intolerant and it's intolerable," DeMint said.

The ban on religious organizations is linked to the $3.5 billion intended for "renovation of public or private college and university facilities."

The ACLJ, which focuses on constitutional law, said the provision "has nothing to do with economic stimulus and everything to do with religious discrimination."

"The thing is I litigated these cases on these exact issues 20 years ago," Sekulow told WND. "Not only did we win, two of the decisions were unanimous and the other was 8-1.

"We're seeing a rollback to the 1970s regarding church-state relations," he said. "That's what is troubling. It is a complete rollback that now institutionalizes discrimination through targeting religion."

Sekulow said he already is drafting a complaint that will challenge the constitutionality of the provision, to be used if it isn't removed.

He said under current court precedents, it will be a open-and-shut victory.

However, he also warned that the problem is the damage that can be done within the probable four years it would take to get the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court and what that court would look like at that point.

Under Obama, he said, "there will be an ideology shift." New appointments to the bench by Obama, he said, would be "much more left of where Justices (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg and (Stephen) Breyer are."

On an online forums page, readers were incensed.

"Here comes the assault against Christian churches … Looks like he's trying to see how much damage he can do in the briefest period of time."

"Obama is the most dangerous man of our times, period. He will seek to overturn everything our nation was built upon, personal freedom, capitalism, even the rock of faith. And he will seek to do it from within, openly, overtly and boldly. Will Christians now respond to this dangerous man in a strong, unified way? Or will Obama succeed in destroying the fabric of the greatest nation in human history?".

"He's just following the Saul Alinsky rule (in his book, Rules for Radicals) to 'clothe everything you do in morality' because this is what most effectively fools the 'middle class' into agreeing with what you want to do."


A fwd article: -jt
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  • hyacinthwoman 2009/06/07 06:12:30
    I don't see any access denied. This is simply the separation of church and state. This is sacred, to keep the country strong. Do you want to live in a country where there is not equal access? I think this is healthy for the country.
  • BH1701 "In Kirk We Trust" 2009/02/09 21:17:14
    BH1701 "In Kirk We Trust"
    I think that people are greatly over-reacting to this. The wording states only that publicly-funded institutions remain separated from religious functions. No one is saying that anyone is not free to practice their faith.
  • ☆The Rock☆ * AFCL* The Sheriff!!
    This M arxists true colors are coming out. God help us.
  • Lanikai 2009/02/09 14:58:07
    Leave it to the muslim king.
  • kimmykaye~Taking a break to... 2009/02/09 05:06:49
    kimmykaye~Taking a break to be with my Love~
    Are we going to let this happen ? Are we going to stand up and tell BHO were he can go if he so much as attempts something like this ? Americans were are you !
  • puck 2009/02/09 04:18:20
    I am just going to pray in my room where no one can tell me I can't and my prayer will be for an end to hypocritical politics.
  • JuJu1 2009/02/08 16:09:29
    The double standard here absolutely amazes me. Let me just get this straight....
    If government funds have been accepted to renovate the library of my child's school, it will be forbidden for her prayer group to reserve a study room off the library one day after school. But, if a gay or lesbian club wants to meet, there is no clause forbidding that. How is that any different? Why is it that my faith is so much more offensive than a lifestyle that I may find offensive. I do not agree with that lifestyle, but I do not agree that governmentally funded buildings should be off limits to homosexual groups. Why is the same not true for my practice of my faith?!?!?

    This is just discrimination, plain and simple. But, because it is an attack on people of faith, the discrimination is "justified" under the separation of church and state. It is a carefully planned and well thought out attack that is veiled under "justice."
  • Lorenzo JuJu1 2009/03/10 11:36:55
  • Lorenzo 2009/02/08 15:46:47
  • Stinky Lorenzo 2009/03/10 07:23:35
    It better not be.
  • Dunderhead - Domestic Terro... 2009/02/08 09:39:53
    Dunderhead - Domestic Terrorist
    Does the following quote speak volumes or what?

    White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel was strikingly honest when he said "Never let a serious crisis go to waste...it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."
  • Mo King Dunderh... 2009/02/08 17:24:10
    Mo King
    God help us. What have we done to ourselves?
  • Dunderh... Mo King 2009/02/08 18:52:26
    Dunderhead - Domestic Terrorist
    think it's time to see what was in that kool-aid!!

  • Walter925 2009/02/08 08:39:09 (edited)
    jt. another great blog! Obama has taken off his gloves and now is attacking full bore. In the words of a great many Americans it is time to lock and load. The difference is this, we must become like the Civil Rights groups of the 60's and give him a taste of real oppositions. Now, is the time for the Afro-American churches to receive the word, they are in danger because the "One" is not for them after all. The regular mainline churches without the "False Teaching" of socialists ideas and homosexual activitists should join together. The Mormons, Catholics, Judaism, Buddhists, Protestants and other religions need to form a solid front to let the ACLU and others we will fight for our rights. In the bible the church was lolled into believing the AntiChrist and his witness. This is very close to the "End Times" but America has not changed into a Socialist Nation yet. Obama may not be the AntiChrist but he might be the witness for the Antichrist!
  • Greywolf~In God We Trust~ 2009/02/08 07:34:36
    Greywolf~In God We Trust~
    I did a piece a while back on children in danger, this is just a small part of that attack ongoing.......... I mean how much plainer does this guy have to be, "I don't mind kids being killed, perversed, or poisoned, or anything else, as long as my evil masters are happy". Wake up and smell the sulfur ?
    kids killed perversed poisoned evil masters happy wake smell sulfur
  • ITALIAN CLICKER 2009/02/08 07:14:07

    PUSH FOR THE ABANDONMENT OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP??? president christian beliefs push abandonment religious worship
  • CJ 2009/02/08 06:54:44
    Freedom of religion, the basis on which this country was founded. First we lose prayer in school due to one person with a really big mouth, now they want to take away funding for schools with a religious affiliation, or who allow Christian organizations?

    Obama stands against all things that created this great land and has the backing of such hysterics as Pelosi and Reid. Count us among the third world nations if this man and his supporters are permitted to continue at this rate.

    The time has come for everyone to dump the Liberals in the House and Senate. Northern CA come to your senses and do NOT re-elect Pelosi. Same rule applies to Reid's district in Nevada. The insanity of these two scary wimpy appearing reps. is beyond the realm.

    Impeachment proceedings should be initiated for all of them immediately, before more damage is done. We don't need a clone of Hitler in our White House or Congress. impeachment proceedings initiated immediately damage clone hitler white house congress
  • kimmy "In God I Trust" 2009/02/08 06:45:50
    kimmy "In God I Trust"
    Yeah...kinda saw that one coming...know what I mean, I'm neither shocked or suprised!

    yeah kinda shocked suprised
  • We-sa ® 2009/02/08 06:32:28
    We-sa ®
    Separation of church and state, jt. No public school should endorse or promote any particular religion. That's what Sunday School is for. School should be for receiving an education, and looks like after 8 years of dumbing kids down there is going to be an attempt to really educate them again, not train them well enough to pass a test.
  • Shawn We-sa ® 2009/02/09 18:15:03 (edited)
    Your right that no public school should endorse a particular religion. That could start with the religion of evolution, or the religion of global warming, or the religion of alternative sexual lifestyles. These are theories, yet they are taught as unreproachable truths. The removal of religion from public schools has been going on the last 30 years, the dumbing down has been directly correlated the last 30 years. Kids could spend 3 hours in class of intense study, and get more than they recieve now, with the social engineering that is happening. Nothing wrong with basics, remove all the government junk out. You may disagree with this assessment, if you are just antagonistic against Bush and blame him for all your troubles. But I would hope that you can see, that removing God from the school and replacing with a anti-God psuedo theory will not help the country or the children.

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