It looks as if Sen. Jim DeMint is not happy that his ridiculous amendment to the stimulus legislation was voted down and has issued a press release in which he continues to intentionally misrepresent the provision in order to paint Christians as the victims of some nefarious conspiracy to silence them:
“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.
The language is not “vague” – it is very clear and DeMint’s continuing refusal to acknowledge is downright mendacious. And the only lawsuits this is going to trigger are the ones right-wing groups are threatening to file.
We have written a great deal about this “controversy” in the last few days and so we have now put together a short report called “The ‘Big Lie’ Strategy: Religious Right Stokes False Fears of Religious Persecution” that chronicles this entire saga, exposing just how it got started, how it spread, and how it made its way into the Senate while explaining that this entire charade is just standard operating procedure for Religious Right leaders who seek to raise money and generate political action by playing on the fear that Christian faith and freedom are being threatened.