Early Weekly Alert

Earlier today I received an email from the American Humanist Association alerting me to the fact that the US House could be voting on a bill that would “make it more difficult to oppose organizations and local governments that seek to establish a specific religion in the public sphere.” According to the official title of the bill, HR 2679 will

amend the Revised Statutes of the United States to eliminate the chilling effect on the constitutionally protected expression of religion by State and local officials that results from the threat that potential litigants may seek damages and attorney’s fees.

The effects of this legislation would be to limit any claim that challenges a potential violation of the Constitutional protections surrounding religious expression by state and local government officials to only injunctive relief. If this law was in effect at the time of the recent San Diego issue, the court could not have awarded financial penalty against the City of San Diego (sidenote, the Congress recently passed a bill that would transfer this land to the Department of Defense).

According to the AHA, this bill is part of the GOP’s “American Values Agenda“. Oh joy!