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Separate art and state: de-fund the NEA

The doctrine of enumerated powers meant that Congress couldn't involve itself in the arts at all. Today, however, the federal Leviathan concerns itself with every nook and cranny of our lives, and the arts have not escaped.

People should not be forced to contribute money to artistic endeavors that they may not approve, nor should artists be forced to trim their sails to meet government standards. Defenders of arts funding seem blithely unaware of this danger when they praise the role of the national endowments as an imprimatur or seal of approval on artists and arts groups. I suggest that that is just the kind of power no government in a free society should have.

The American Founders knew that the solution was the separation of church and state. Because art is just as spiritual, just as meaningful, just as powerful as religion, it is time to grant art the same independence and respect that religion has. It is time to establish the separation of art and state.

Source: Cato Institute voting recommendation on NEA , May 3, 1995

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