Jack Off Boogaloo (a/k/a Funding Fundies)

Q: What’s better than sitting in front of the computer all day doing the five-knuckle shuffle?

A: Sitting in front of the computer all day doing the five-knuckle shuffle and getting paid with public money, that’s what.

The New York Times has this story about two ex-cops who spend their days looking at internet porn for prosecutable “obscenity.” The money for this nonsense comes from a $150,000 per year appropriation that was initially an earmark stuck in a spending bill by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va).

Concerned citizens lodge complaints by going to the Justice Department’s website and clicking at link that says “Report Heathen Filth Here” or some such shit. Clicking the link takes you to ObscenityCrimes.org, which is where the concerned citizens actually fill out the online complaint form. The ex-cops then “investigate” the complaints and make an initial determination about whether the material qualifies as “obscenity” under federal criminal statutes. Complaints that the ex-cops deem meritorious are referred to the Justice Department.

And who can argue with results like these:

In the last few years, 67,000 citizens’ complaints have been deemed legitimate under the program and passed on to the Justice Department and federal prosecutors.

The number of prosecutions resulting from those referrals is zero.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t give a weeping pustule on a rat’s malodorous ass about such horseshit. The notion of criminalizing “obscenity” is more than a little sickening, but the Supreme Court rubber stamped the idea decades ago. I’ll live with it.

Nor do I find earmarking especially troublesome. Pork is the engine that drives American government. Always has been, always will be. By and large I have no problem with that. And $150,000 isn’t real money, isn’t fuck-you money, hell it isn’t even walking around money nowadays.

For me, the problem lies in who actually gets the money. It isn’t the Justice Department; it’s a private organization called Morality in Media. According to the article:

Morality in Media is a conservative religious group that has worked since 1962 to “rid the world of pornography” and whose headquarters is, improbably, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Morality in Media has received two annual grants from Mr. Wolf’s earmarks and is hoping that Justice Department officials decide on their own to award a third, as Mr. Wolf’s ability to obtain an earmark for the program has apparently waned with the Democrats’ control of Congress.

Didn’t I once read something in the Constitution about Congress and laws respecting an establishment of religion? Didn’t Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black have something to say about that back in the long long ago? Why yes, yes he did:

The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between Church and State.”

Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 15-16 (1947).

Yeah, Jefferson’s wall of separation is just a metaphor. Yeah, there’s never actually been a “wall of separation” between religion and government, or anything approaching it. Yeah, extant Establishment Clause jurisprudence is a Byzantine nightmare that no one can reasonably be expected to comprehend. But if anything qualifies as a clear violation, it ought to be direct grants of public money to religious organizations to further religious agendas.

The fundification of America continues.

Well, it could be worse. At least we have some amusing commentary here courtesy of Prose Before Hos.

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