Saturday, September 30, 2006

Toward a Better Theocracy

As reported in wapo, the House of Representatives quietly passed a bill last night that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment's separation of church and state:
The Public Expression of Religion Act - H.R. 2679 - provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.
Now I'm a theologian, not a lawyer, but apparently all successful plaintiffs in a violation of constitutional or civil rights suit can recover their legal fees. If this bill is enacted, suits which successfully challenge prayer in school or use of religious symbols in public places will no longer be eligible to recoup their legal fees.
Such a bill could have only one motive: to protect unconstitutional government actions advancing religion. The religious right, which has been trying for years to use government to advance their religious views, wants to reduce the likelihood that their efforts will be declared unconstitutional. Since they cannot change the law of the Establishment Clause by statute, they have turned their attention to trying to prevent its enforcement by eliminating the possibility for recovery of attorneys' fees.
Once again the religious right wipes their feet on the constitution in the name of God.

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