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Taliban takeover in Georgia: church and state separation jeopardized by proposed amendment

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue thinks it’s A-OK to blur the line between church and state.

This is what happens when the Dems at the national level don’t put forth serious efforts in the South. The Georgia legislature used to be split controlled (Repug Senate, Dem House), and now, after this last election, it’s wingnut controlled. A fringe amendment like this shouldn’t pass, but it looks like it will have no problem. I guess the governor wouldn’t mind a little faith-based help from the Moonies or the Christian Identity movements, eh? (AP):

Gov. Sonny Perdue is trying again to pass a constitutional amendment that would give Georgia new legal power to contract with faith-based social service groups. Perdue said at a Capitol rally last Friday that churchgoers provide crucial support to needy Georgians but that the state’s ability to work in partnership with them could hang by a thread if the amendment is not adopted.

The proposed amendment would eliminate language in the state Constitution which bars the use of any state money “in aid of any church, sect, cult or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.” The state has managed to get around that language in hundreds of instances by contracting with affiliated but legally separate church-sponsored groups that provide a range of services. But Perdue said that arrangement now is in danger.

In the litigation climate in which we live today, where people sue to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, where they sue to ban prayers at the presidential inauguration, it’s just a matter of time before this provision becomes the basis of a lawsuit that could end any state partnership with all these organizations,” the governor declared.

He pushed last year for a similar amendment. It easily passed the Republican-run Senate but failed in the majority-Democrat House. This year, both houses are under Republican control. His new bill already has been introduced in the Senate with 36 co-sponsors, all but assuring it will attract the two-thirds vote necessary to pass.

That should result in an exponential explosion in “churches” with “pastors” bellying up to the public trough for some feed.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding