Mike Huckabee is at it again, joining Jim DeMint in claiming that the stimulus is ‘anti-religious’.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned supporters Tuesday that the $828 billion stimulus package is “anti-religious.”
In an e-mail that was also posted on his blog ahead of the Senate’s passage, Huckabee wrote: “The dust is settling on the ‘bipartisan’ stimulus bill and one thing is clear: It is anti-religious.”
The former Republican presidential candidate pointed to a provision in both the House and Senate versions banning higher education funds in the bill from being used on a “school or department of divinity.”
World Net Daily takes the hysteria to the next level: Stimulus to ban religious worship.
Let’s look at the language in the stimulus bill that’s causing this freak-out, shall we?
PROHIBITED USES OF FUNDS. - No funds awarded under this section may be used for - (C) 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.
Apparently we’re supposed to just forget about that pesky old Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…
The government does not fund religious schools or churches for this very reason, and the language in the stimulus bill is absolutely consistent with the Constitution of the United States.
Mike Huckabee is feeding raw meat to Christian fundamentalists, but apparently he’s forgotten that if you revoke the Establishment Clause for Christian schools and churches, you also have to revoke it for Jewish and Muslim schools and houses of worship. For some reason, I don’t think that would meet with Huck’s approval.
There are plenty of things in the stimulus bill to be unhappy about, but this issue is being cynically distorted by people like Huckabee and DeMint to stir up the far right religious wing of the GOP.
And by the way, Huckabee, DeMint, and World Net Daily have another thing in common; they’re all in favor of teaching creationism in public schools—another violation of the Establishment Clause.
UPDATE at 2/10/09 6:22:21 pm:
Mike Huckabee apparently doesn’t like the US Constitution very much: Huckabee: Amend Constitution to be in ‘God’s standards’.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”
(Hat tip: Killgore.)