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Voters to get chance to lift religious ban

by John Kennedy | May 6th, 2011

A proposed constitutional amendment that would make it clear that state money can go to religious institutions was approved Friday by the Senate, putting the measure on the ballot next year.

The state constitution has a so-called “Blaine Amendment,” which prohibits tax dollars from directly or indirectly going to sectarian purposes. It’s been used to challenge faith-based programs that get government grants.

Backers say if government grant money could clearly go to sectarian institutions, it wouldn’t be used directly for religious purposes. But the provision, if approved by voters, could make it clear that state money can go to private religious schools, such as in a voucher, though the state’s main voucher program was found unconstitutional on other grounds.

Still, some vouchers, such as those used by disabled children, remain authorized, though backers of the bill have said they fear those scholarships could be threatened by the constitutional “Blaine Amendment.”

Removing the provision, however, would also make it clear that Medicaid money going to church-affiliated health care providers is OK, halfway houses that are run by ministries or other organizations are legal, or that churchs could get state money for an after-school sports league.

Opponents had worried that because the state can’t discriminate against religions, it also would make for the possibility of taxpayer dollars going for some possibly unpopular religious organizations.

Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Clearwater, noted that if it passes, state money could go to the Church of Scientology. Others have noted that it could go to the Koran-burning church in Gainesville, or it might allow for a voucher to be used by a student to attend a conservative Islamic religious school, meaning taxpayers would be paying for Islamic fundamentalist education.

“We may be very sorry we have voted for this amendment,” Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach said Friday. “This has great dangerous potential for all of us…be very careful about your vote.” The bill’s sponsors have said any religious discrimination is bad, no matter the religion.

The bill passed the Senate 26-10.

– News Service of Florida

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8 Responses to “Voters to get chance to lift religious ban”

  1. jj Says:

    WOW. The right wing whack jobs just keep on coming on… Very slippery slope here….

  2. rpg Says:

    Either all religious institutions would be eligilbe or it would draw a lawsuit. So the best thing is no to all religion.

  3. Feds do it Says:


    Federal monies go to private,parchial schools under Title 1!!!!

    Didn’t know that, did ya!

  4. save Florida Says:

    They already pay no taxes. why should they get Federal Funds? Separation of Church and State no longer exists with our Right-winged conservatives.



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    [206.412.0890] TACOMA67894@HOTMAIL.COM

    MAY 6, 2011




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    March 2011 I discovered Seattle Police Department Internal Investigation consented to and concealed fraud that happen to me. With the help of Washington State Attorney Office requested by our 37th District we have the facts.

    Federal Violation, Constitution Rights, Civil Rights and Human Rights doesn’t Apply to Donald and Gloria White.

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    Laws have never prohibited The United States of America or Governments form interfering in Human Rights violation, or the public. I am asking for help because our Human Rights have been violated according to Constitution.

    Mr. White last income 2001.
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    _DONALD L. WHITE___________________________.

  6. save Florida Says:

    Sorry – that’s state funds not federal for all you nit-pickers. (Obiwanabe)

  7. Searcher Says:

    So, our REP-TEA-TARDS don’t like SEPARATION of CHURCH and STATE. I can’t wait for the first NEO-NAZI Church to apply for aid. The REP-TEA-TARDS also dislike THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT and are attacking the COURTS because they won’t BOW to the Legislature.

    The PENDULUM will swing the other way. There will be a lot to FIX when the REP-TEA-TARDS are finally out of power.

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