The U.S. Senate is taking the lead on the campaign for Change that President Obama has been harping on. The Senate rejected an amendment offered by Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) that would have stripped language from the stimulus bill that would force colleges and universities to throw religious clubs off campus if the schools receive federal funds. Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice had this reaction. "Well, not only is it disappointing, it's almost a throwback to litigation that we conducted in the 1980s that we won unanimously at the Supreme Court," he says. "And I feel like this particular legislation pokes the finger in the eye of people who take religious faith seriously. "It's discriminatory in its application, unconstitutional as it's written, [and] unfortunately it's going to take four or five years for it to be litigated all the way through," Sekulow adds. With passage of the bill with the restrictions in place, how might colleges and universities be affected? "We're going to look at filing an application for a stay of this provision, trying to get it declared unconstitutional through a restraining order," he shares. Sekulow plans to file suit the day after President Obama signs the bill.
Jay Sekulow, told OneNewsNow "there is a provision of the act that actually allows for funds to be given by the federal government in the form of grants for renovation of existing colleges and universities. "But when you read a little bit further into this legislation, there's a specific prohibition on two things," the attorney explains. "One, if the university itself is a religiously based or faith-based institution, it does not qualify. And if the facility that is being renovated allows religious worship to take place, it also does not qualify." Specifically, the provision reads that stimulus funds may not 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."
Under that provision, according to Sekulow, many schools would bar on-campus worship or even Bible study because it will put federal funding in jeopardy. That, he says, should raise a warning flag in a federal courthouse. "It is unconstitutional -- and while I'm prepared to challenge it in court, and we're already working on a possibility, it really needs to be handled in the legislation," the ACLJ leader suggests. "That needs to be job one...remove this provision and get it out of the legislation." Sekulow states that a "troubling pattern" is developing regarding the use of taxpayer money -- and that this provision is the latest example. He contrasts it with the new administration's swift move to make federal funds available for abortion-providers overseas. "There is a priority problem in Washington," he says in a press release. "This is not what 'economic stimulus' is about. We know that the American people don't want their tax dollars used for discriminatory measures. That's why this provision must be removed now." The attorney says if the discriminatory provision is not removed from the stimulus package and is approved and signed into law, the ACLJ will challenge it in federal court.
Stimulation of discrimination? Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, agrees that the "anti-faith" language of the provision will censor and force people of faith from the public square. "In order to receive stimulus money our public schools will have to expel after-school Bible clubs and weekend religious meetings," says the Christian attorney. "People who want to speak about their faith will be unwelcome in public places." He adds that President Obama's idea of faith-based initiatives apparently is to "remove faith from all initiatives."
It's another example how President Obama and the U.S. Senate is bent on creating a change in America where Christianity will not be welcomed. They want Christianity to be removed from our schools, colleges, and all form of our education system. In fact, they want Christianity to be completely banned in order for our youth to continued to be robbed of their Christian heritage. Until then.