Saturday, February 7, 2009
Stimulate the Repugnican wingnuts!
It looks like the stimulus bill, minus $100 billion for programs the Repugs didn't like, is a done deal. More or less.
Da Candy Man, Jim DeMint, (R-S.C.), has been leading the opposition, which is really the only thing he does. He tried to get his own bill passed, which consisted of no spending whatsoever, merely tax breaks, but failed.
Da Candy Man didn't like a provision in the Democrat's plan which he claimed would discriminate against religious (read Christian) organizations. Here's the wording, courtesy of Alex Koppelman at Salon:
"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."
Da Candy Man claims that "is an attack on people of faith." You have to remember, of course, that da Candy Man knoweth not our Constitution, nor careth not, for he is a true wingnut from South Carolina.
"Democrats," saith da Candy Man, "are looking for every opportunity to purge faith and prayer from the public square."
Yup. Those damn Democrats walk around Washington all day just trying to figure out ways to purge faith and prayer from the public square. No? Well, we can hope!
So, da Candy Man offered an amendment which would excise this anti-faith provision. But it failed. Notice, please, three Democrats voted for it: Evan Bayh, Byron Dorgan, and Ben Nelson.
Actually, as Koppelman points out, the provision in the bill is standard language and has been upheld in the courts, and doesn't do what da Candy Man thinks it does. "The funding can go to religious schools, and it can be used for buildings in which, say Bible study is held, as long as that's not a 'substantial portion' of what the building is used for."
Nevertheless, the fundy christianist wingnuts are unhappy and at least one group is threatening to sue.
Koppelman's article here.