Establishment Clause In the Balance ? S3696 PERA Bill Awaits '06 Outcome
Depending on the number of senate seats Democrats gain ( if any ) in '06, chances that S 3696 could pass a Senate vote could drop off considerably after November. Negative publicity - should the bill pass and be signed into law - cannot be discounted. Still, collective American establishment clause attention deficit disorder concerning ongoing wholesale legislative challenges to church/state separation suggests that price might be minimal. If passed into law, the PERA pair of bills would render legislative redress against exaggerated cases of government supported religious supremacy all but impossible for some. Even as the religious right withdraws support from the GOP, its legislative partisans may be able to lock in substantial gains.
As Agape Press reported back on August 3, 2006:
Some U.S. senators this week have heard testimony from both sides on a piece of legislation that would strip legal fees from church-state lawsuits.... The Public Expressions of Religion Act (PERA) (S. 3696) was the topic of discussion at hearings on Wednesday (August 2) before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights.
Arguments both for and against S 3696 were aired in a Senate subcommittee meeting on August 2, 2006, and now the bill may move soon to the Senate floor.
If passed, the PERA act would amount to a green light to local governments inclined to walk over church state lines and the rights of minorities, and the Indian River Incident would only be one of countless such incidents - already growing more frequent and more common than most Americans are aware - in an endless and ugly procession of religious supremacism.
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