The Provision Is Dead, The Zombie Lie Lumbers On

Yesterday we reported that the “controversial” provision in the stimulus bill that we have been writing about for more than a week had been dropped because the section covering spending for higher education had been cut in order to shrink the cost of the legislation.

But, just because it is no longer part of the legislation, that apparently doesn’t mean that the Religious Right is done complaining about it.

For instance, the Family Research Council continues to hammer away:

Today there is new evidence that liberals will use Obama’s bill to usher in a new era of religious censorship, welfare, and universal health care. Despite Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) best efforts, the religious discrimination component still exists in the bill, which punishes schools that allow spiritual activities in their facilities.

Rick Scarborough has also gotten in on the fun:

To put it simply, Christianity is being targeted for discrimination … it is clear that the intended effect of this portion of the bill is two-fold. First, it discriminates against and minimizes the practice of religion. Second, it attempts to keep religious institutions from being the beneficiaries of federal dollars … The radical secularists in America are using the power of the Federal government to confiscate the funds of both Christians and non-Christians and use them to force compliance with their anti-Christ agenda.

As has Lou Engle (via email):

There are countless Christian groups that sponsor events and activities on secular campuses all around the country. This small provision, buried so no one could find it, would pressure school administrators to ban these groups, effectively destroying their ability to conduct outreach and evangelization to students who hunger for it.

These very subtle moves by anti-family forces in Congress indicate their long-term strategy to drive religious groups off campus and out of the mainstream.

We should point out that, during the conference on the bill yesterday, there was some wrangling over the fact that spending for school modernization had been cut and that some sort of compromise was reached that puts at least some of that spending back in, so it might very well be that when the final version of the bill comes out, this provision will have been re-inserted.

Not that it matters really, because apparently the Right is going to continue to complain about this provision whether it is actually in the legislation or not.