Vitter: Let’s Use Public Money to Promote Creationism

Notorious Republican hooker aficionado and rumored diaper fetishist Senator David Vitter refuses to be shamed. Americans United for Separation of Church and State reports that Vitter slipped a $100,000 earmark for some outfit called the Louisiana Family Forum into a Senate Appropriations Committee report on a bill allocating money to the federal Labor, Education and HHS Departments.

Anyone who’s paying attention knows that the word “family” in an organization’s title is contemporary code for “biblical literalist Christianity,” and LFF is no exception. LFF’s website describes its mission as “persuasively present[ing] biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking.”

And how exactly does LFF go about “persuasively present[ing] biblical principles”? One way is promoting the teaching of creationism in public schools.

The latest in this roughly month-old story is a letter signed by thirty-six organizations — from the ACLU to the Texas Faith Network to the Herpetologists League and all points in between — condemning the earmark as grossly unconstitutional. Details of LFF’s creationist agenda are in the four-page letter, available in pdf here.

So, then, here we go again:

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).

In Vitter’s own words:

As a member of the Senate, my top budget priority is to establish greater fiscal disipline. To accomplish this, I support many budget reform measures, including:

. . .

  • Bucking the Appropriations Committee Leadership and voting against appropriations bills which are bloated and fiscally irresponsible.

This is precisely what our nation needs: another “limited-government” Republican advocating an indisputably ultra vires use of public money in the service of YHWH and his rabble-rousing kid.

UPDATE: Vitter caves. Chalk one up for the good guys.

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