Stimulating Religious Repression

For many of us, any number of things were expected as part of the new President’s first month in office, including the first five Executive Orders, some of which impacted protections of the unborn and the public at large.  And Democrats increased control of Congress will doubtfully lead to more and more spending that will help maintain the poverty status quo.

But many would never have expected to see a new effort on the part of Democrats to work their way around the First Amendment, which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

But here it comes already, hidden in the dress surrounding an already ridiculous “stimulus” package.  In a section to provide new money for renovation and repair of public schools, there is a clause that restricts the use of the money where “sectarian instruction, religious worship or a school or department of divinity” exist.

While I would understand that any private school could be excluded from these funds (and presumably just being a private school is not a prohibition), this restriction appears to be intended to squelch expression of faith.

19 years ago my wife and I, along with a handful of other friends, started a new church in our community.  In this community, the public school system and the churches have a rich heritage of helping each other by providing facilities for each others’ needs.  When the public schools first started, they met in churches until the money could be raised for school buildings.  As new churches have started in the community, the school system has provided access to school buildings for church activities.

Our church met in an elementary school for about 10 years.  We paid for the use of the facility, including wages for school district employees who monitored our use and provided cleaning services.  We shared chairs we purchased with the school.  We had a great relationship with the school.

And today, our church houses public elementary school classes during the week while some of the schools are being renovated.

Under the stimulus plan, our school district would not be able to accept renovation funds.  Or in order to, they would have to kick out all of the churches that are currently using their facilities.  And possibly squelch any additional religious activities being carried out on the campuses, such as student prayer groups or bible studies.  Some districts, in order to protect their access to funds, might go so far as to prohibit students from bringing Bibles or Korans to school, or where clothing or jewelry with religious symbols or expressions.

And if you think for even one minute that I’m being extreme, I don’t even know what to tell you.  Many of the people of Boston thought it extreme when a group of men dressed as Indians tossed an entire ship’s load of tea into the harbor.  I’m not even going that far.  I really haven’t even scratched the surface when you consider colleges in this mix.

But I do say, you should take this very seriously.  Call your senators and representative.  Today.  Tell them what you think.  I still think the overwhelming message is that this bill is not only worthless, it is making a bad economic situation worse instead of better.  The fact that there is this additional attack on religious freedom just exposes the intent of the Left… I suspect we’ll find with enough media exposure the text will be changed, but don’t ever take it as an innocent mistake… restricting religious (and other) freedom is a fundamental battle plan of the extreme left, and will always be dressed in the First Amendment.

In the Garden of Eden, the Serpent asked Eve “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”.  The Serpent was trying to trick Eve by altering God’s words… God told them they must not eat from only the one tree.  By asking the question in this deceptive way, the Serpent was able to get Eve’s mind off the truth and purpose of the matter.

The Left would similarly ask “Did the Founders really say, ‘You can force children to become Christians’?”.  We know that’s not the case, and have no need to argue or address such a surperflous question.  The Amendment says, simply, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.  We can make a lot of hay over how direct this law is in prohibiting the free exercise of religion, but it should not be big leap for anyone to see the potentially large secondary outcome.

Hat Tip to Fox News.

About the Author

Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.

 

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  1. DJDurant | Feb 6, 2009 at 9:41 am | Reply

    And to go one step further, our God does not require, nor does He allow, forced worship. It is a voluntary thing with Him. This is something non-Christians and the Left will never understand.

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