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This seems so wrong in so many ways. As I understand it (lawyers welcome to interpret), this will allow the State of Florida to give tax dollars to churches, religious schools, and other religious institutions.

Cloaked in civil rights language, it allows Florida to delete "the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution."

I'll bet that the pulpits are pounding out this message to their congregations much in the same way Karl Rove did in Ohio with DOMA, which resulted in a successful GOTV strategy for George W. Bush in 2004.

Here's the short version, but you must read the PDF to understand that the right is trying to backdoor the Establishment Clause. Red meat for evangelicals and votes for Mitt Romney.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Reference:
ARTICLE I, SECTION 3
Summary:
  View Full Text (pdf)
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution providing that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding or other support, except as required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and deleting the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

    by Zwoof on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:21:09 PM PDT

  •  Sadly not suprising (6+ / 0-)

    Theocrats, plutocrats, and morons. That's all the GOP is anymore.

    Sarahpalindrome (n.): A sentence that makes as much sense backwards as forwards.

    by Hannibal on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:34:55 PM PDT

    •  What is troubling is that (6+ / 0-)

      this will bleed over into Romney votes. I live in Florida now, but I voted in Ohio in 2004 and was shocked to see the Rove backed DOMA amendment. It was very stealthy and no one I talked to was aware of it being on the ballot until they walked into the booth.

      The evangelical churches were preaching on the evils of homosexuality and pushing members to the polls. They easily milked 160,000 votes out of the issue.

      When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

      by Zwoof on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:40:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dovetails With the "Religious Freedom" Theme (7+ / 0-)

    evangelicals and Catholics launched earlier.

    The right always likes to find a culture war issue to increase election turnout, but of course those issues also advance their agenda.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:54:25 PM PDT

  •  The Blaine Amendment (9+ / 0-)

    I'll admit to the possibility that the Blaine Amendment targeted Catholic schools. That said, I see nothing more neutral than a total prohibition on using public funds for private schools.

    If you want to explode a few heads, ask a right winger if that means state taxes funding madrasas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    The term Blaine Amendment refers to either a failed federal constitutional amendment or actual constitutional provisions that exist in 38 of the 50 state constitutions in the United States both of which forbid direct government aid to educational institutions that have any religious affiliation. Both were aimed at Catholics, most notably the Irish, who had immigrated and started their own parochial schools.

    President Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) in a speech in 1875 to a veteran's meeting, called for a Constitutional amendment that would mandate free public schools and prohibit the use of public money for sectarian schools. Grant laid out his agenda for "good common school education." He attacked government support for "sectarian schools" run by religious organizations, and called for the defense of public education "unmixed with sectarian, pagan or atheistical dogmas." Grant declared that "Church and State" should be "forever separate." Religion, he said, should be left to families, churches, and private schools devoid of public funds.[1]

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:55:10 PM PDT

  •  This clause (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Zwoof, OleHippieChick, retLT
    WHEREAS, until 2004, no Florida court had ever applied the 47 State Constitution in a reported case in a manner more 48 restrictive of the use of state funds than have federal courts 49 applying the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the 50 United States Constitution,
    I wonder if they got the year wrong.
    http://www.usatoday.com/...
    Florida's highest court on Thursday handed public school advocates a decisive victory, striking down a Florida program that gives students taxpayer-funded tuition vouchers to private schools. It was the first time a state Supreme Court has said states have a duty to educate students in public schools.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 04:19:16 PM PDT

    •  BINGO This why they want this amendment as well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob

      They want the legislature to be able to overturn a court ruling by a majority vote instead of  a 2/3 vote.

      This amendment is on the ballot in November as well.  

      Reference:
          ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 2, 11, AND 12

      Summary:   View Full Text (pdf)
          Proposing a revision of Article V of the State Constitution relating to the judiciary. The State Constitution authorizes the Supreme Court to adopt rules for the practice and procedure in all courts. The constitution further provides that a rule of court may be repealed by a general law enacted by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the Legislature. This proposed constitutional revision eliminates the requirement that a general law repealing a court rule pass by a two-thirds vote of each house, thereby providing that the Legislature may repeal a rule of court by a general law approved by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature that expresses the policy behind the repeal.

      When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. George Carlin

      by Zwoof on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 04:37:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As rewritten by Florida AG Pam Bondi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zwoof, wwjjd

    http://ballotpedia.org/...(2012)#Text_of_measure

    There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace, or safety. No individual or entity may be discriminated against or barred from receiving funding on the basis of religious identity or belief. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.
    http://www.au.org/...
    Proposed Religion Amendment Is Disappointing, Says Americans United

    Florida Voters Are Still Unlikely To Realize That Amendment 7 Would Mandate Taxpayer Funding Of Religion, Says Church-State Watchdog Group

     Dec 21, 2011

    The Florida attorney general’s rewrite of a religion amendment scheduled for the November ballot is disappointing, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

    Amendment 7 would repeal provisions in the state constitution that prohibit the use of public funds for religious institutions, yet the language of the ballot measure does not make that fact clear. Legal experts say the measure actually requires the government to fund religious institutions.

    Note that it is now Amendment 8.

    http://ballotpedia.org/...(2012)

    Amendment 8, also known as the Florida Religious Freedom Amendment, is on the November 6, 2012, state ballot in Florida as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.
     The proposed measure would prevent individuals from being barred from participating in public programs if they choose to use public funds at a religious provider. Essentially, the measure moves to repeal the state's ban of public dollars for religious funding, also known as the "Blaine Amendment."[1][2][3]

    The measure requires 60 percent voter approval for adoption.

    The measure first appeared as Amendment 7, but on December 14, 2011, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled that the legislatively-proposed measure would no longer be on the 2012 ballot. However, a new state law which was not overturned by the lawsuit allows the Florida Attorney General to rewrite the proposal. This must have been done within 10 days, according to that law, which it was.[4] Read more about the lawsuit here.

    On December 20, 2011, Attorney General Pam Bondi rewrote the wording of the ballot measure, placing the proposal back on the ballot as Amendment 8[5]. Read the revised text here and on this article's lawsuit section.[6]
     

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 04:37:40 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for posting this (0+ / 0-)

    I was not aware it was back on the ballot.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 04:45:50 PM PDT

  •  Any thoughts on how SCOTUS would view this? (0+ / 0-)

    This is VERY troubling.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 07:46:32 PM PDT

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