Mike Huckabee says the stimulus package is….anti-religion.
Jay Sekulow provides the grist for the charge.
Barry Lynn says it’s an entirely fabricated non-scandal.
I look forward to Jay’s response over at Lynn v. Sekulow
UPDATE: As I understand it, the provision prevents construction dollars from renovating building of primarily a religious nature. That means federal money can’t (and never has been allowed to) build a new chapel on campus. But it can renovate a student center or an academic hall or any other area that has religious ideas or people flowing through it.
Compare that to the floor speech from Senator Jim DeMint:
This is a provision “that would make sure students could never talk openly and honestly about their faith … what this means is that students can’t meet together in their dorms if that dorm has been repaired with federal money and have a prayer group or a Bible study. They can’t get together in their student centers. They can’t have a commencement service where a speaker talks about their personal faith.” … Student groups would be banned and “classes on world religions and religious history, academic studies of religious texts could be banned … Someone is so hostile to religion that they are willing to stand in the schoolhouse door, like the infamous George Wallace, to deny people of faith from entering into any campus building renovated by this bill. This cannot stand!”
This prompted Steve Benen at the WashingtonMonthly.com to declare, “every sentence — literally, every single sentence — in that paragraph is wrong.” He later offered this pdf of earlier education legislation proving that this language is boilerplate that’s been part of the law for some time. (p. 244)
By the way, I’d assumed this was merely a rhetorical sideshow. It turns out that several conservative religious groups have premised their opposition to the recovery bill on what appears to be a false premise. The Traditional Values Coalition says the bill “stimulates anti-Christian bigotry.” The Christian Coalition calls it an “attack on people of faith.” And the American Family Association declared that “Democrats vote to discriminate against Christians and people of faith.”