Via the grand old partisan at Illinoize, I've learned that Governor Blagojevich has promised his office will give state funds for the rebuilding of a church.
There are a couple of problems, as I see them. The one the g.o.p. mentions, the one everybody is all up in arms about,is, of course, that thing about separation of Church and State. If a government can't issue vouchers for parents to send their kids to parochial schools because the SCOTUS says its unconstitutional, then taking taxpayers' money to rebuild an actual church itself must smack of rude gestures in the face of that same SCOTUS decision.
Of course, I have never had any problem with the idea that, if the government is giving out money indiscriminately to every Tom Dick and Harry with a paintbrush, proposal, or piss-pot, then the government ought to give equal cash to those persons and groups which also include a mention of some deity.
I just have a problem with the government handing out cash indiscriminately. Especially when they're forced to rob pension programs and deny scholarships in order to do this sort of thing (that other problem I have with this). If the state can't make ends meet on its firm, mandatory, obligatory expenses, then every bit of discretionary spending should be stopped until the first-order things are cared for.
Yes, I think that the Pilgrim Baptist Church should "rise from the ashes", but, no, not at the expense of my overburdened IL Taxpayer family and friends (I'd include myself, but there are some small blessings to being poor). Pilgrim Baptist Church was, I am told, a Louis Sullivan-designed structure, and, as such, absolutely deserves restoration... privately. With voluntary donations. And the insurance they already have, to cover it.
Blago needs to keep the state out of this collection plate.
Update: Rich Miller has a good plateful of reasons for and against Blagojevich's game, (especially in the comments) at The Capitol Fax.