As is to be expected, the right-wing groups had been peddling this lie all week are not happy, as David Brody reports:
The Traditional Values Coalition just issued this statement:
“Democrats showed their anti-Christian bias by rejecting South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s amendment that would have protected religious freedom in colleges and universities receiving federal funds,” said Traditional Values Coalition Executive Director, Andrea Lafferty today. “DeMint’s amendment simply struck the anti-Christian discrimination section from the bill.
“This is just the beginning of aggressive anti-Christian bigotry that we will see over the next four years,” said Lafferty. “We suffered a significant defeat to our First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom and free speech today.”
This is a very disappointing development. What’s most troubling is the fact that a majority of the Senate supports a discriminatory provision that prohibits religious activity from taking place in college and university facilities nationwide that take federal stimulus funds. If this language remains in the stimulus package that’s ultimately approved by Congress, we will challenge this provision in federal court by filing suit. This provision has nothing to do with economic stimulus and everything to do with religious discrimination.
The fact is that unless this provision is removed from the final stimulus package, we’ll be in federal court challenging this discriminatory measure.
We wish you the best of luck with that, ACLJ.
Which brings me to my final point. I’m not in the habit of writing posts that revolve around comments left on blogs – especially comments left on Red State – but today I am making an exception. Earlier this week, Erick Erickson wrote a post that made many of the false claims we have been systematically rebutting throughout the week. A commentator there, going by the name PD, weighed in to point out that the language in this legislation is standard boilerplate legislative language. Another commentator responded that, if the language was so common, why didn’t PD provide other examples, to which PD responded with this:
Funds appropriated under a certain higher education grant program “may not be used…for a school or department of divinity or any religious worship or sectarian activity”
Funds appropriated under another program “may not be used…for a school or department of divinity or any religious worship or sectarian activity”
Limitation contained in program to help historically black institutions: “No grant may be made under this chapter for any educational program, activity, or service related to sectarian instruction or religious worship, or provided by a school or department of divinity.”
Grants for work-study programs may “not involve the construction, operation, or maintenance of so much of any facility as is used or is to be used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship”
Money used under a specific community development program subject to limitation that “no participant will be employed on projects involving political parties, or the construction, operation, or maintenance of so much of any facility as is used or to be used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship”
Aid under program providing grants for volunteer service projects may not be used for ” projects involving the construction, operation, or maintenance of so much of any facility used or to be used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship.”
Energy resource graduate fellowships “shall be awarded under this subchapter for study at a school or department of divinity.”
Religious organizations participating in the “Community Schools Youth Services and Supervision Grant Program Act of 1994″ “shall not provide any sectarian instruction or sectarian worship in connection with an activity funded under this subchapter.”
Funds used under grant program for tribally controlled schools “shall not be used in connection with religious worship or sectarian instruction.”
Another construction program: “Participants shall not be employed under this chapter to carry out the construction, operation, or maintenance of any part of any facility that is used or to be used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship (except with respect to the maintenance of a facility that is not primarily or inherently devoted to sectarian instruction or religious worship, in a case in which the organization operating the facility is part of a program or activity providing services to participants).”
Etc., etc., etc., etc.
Well done, PD. And do you supposed the ACLJ intends to file suit against all of these laws as well?