Before you read further, browse the Carnival of the Godless. It’ll salve the pain when you read about the new conservative perfidy.
Our Republican overlords have taken one more step on the road to theocracy with the approval of H.R. 2679, the Public Expression of Religion Act. You can read the full text of the bill, but here’s the gist:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a court shall not award reasonable fees and expenses of attorneys to the prevailing party on a claim of injury consisting of the violation of a prohibition in the Constitution against the establishment of religion brought against the United States or any agency or any official of the United States acting in his or her official capacity in any court having jurisdiction over such claim, and the remedies with respect to such a claim shall be limited to injunctive and declaratory relief.
What this does is give religious organizations a special privilege, bestowing on them a small measure of impunity in breaking the law, all with the intent of discouraging citizens from seeking relief from violations of the prohibition against establishment of religion. It’s a curious thing: it’s basically saying that someone can be found guilty of law-breaking, but if they are carrying out their criminal activity in the name of religion, there is a whole class of punishments that cannot be applied to them, and specifically, lawyers working to prevent violations of church and state will not be rewarded for their efforts if successful. They are legislating to support violations of the Constitution.
Nice and sneaky. The religious bigots know they want to break the law, so the solution is to put hurdles in place to inhibit attempts to make them accountable.
My local representative, Collin Peterson, voted for it. I’ve got one of his signs in my yard right now, and I’m going to rip it out and throw it away. I’ve already sent him a letter telling him that I think he’s done a vile and Republican thing, and that I don’t vote for Republicans.
It’s funny how, in the name of fighting against the mythical War on Christmas, conservative morons have declared war on the Constitution…and the dupes in the Democratic party are going along with them.