Thursday, February 5, 2009

Get Thee to a Monastery

The far right, especially the Religious Right, can get worked up over anything. Last month it was some loon going off because Krispy Kreme had a promotion about “freedom of choice” on Inauguration Day, and to them that is a code for abortion. Therefore, the doughnut maker was secretly telling the women of America to kill babies while snarfing down a glazed cruller to celebrate the inauguration of President Obama. You can’t make this stuff up.

Now they’re going batshit crazy over the stimulus package because it contains language that limits the use of federal funds by religious groups.

No funds awarded under this section may be used for… 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.

Augh! The secular humanists, the abortionists, and Teh Gays are going to shut down every church and Baby Jesus celebration station! Can the boxcars and the concentration camps be far behind?

It turns out that this language is the standard language put in every federal spending bill for the last 37 years or so, based on a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in 1971. So either this bit of black-letter law has escaped the attention of the diligent folks at Pat Robertson’s law school, or they are willfully pushing this line because they think the people that listen to them are too stupid to bother to check out the basics of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. My guess is that it’s an even split between the two.

I’m all in favor of the Religious Right and the rest of the faith-based community having a say in what goes into the stimulus package; their rights of citizenship aren’t limited by their religious choices — as opposed to the limits they wish to impose on those of us who are gay. But when it comes to putting out either stupidity or willful ignorance, I suggest they take a lesson from religious history. It would do both them and us a lot of good.

HT to War Room.