Nick Gillespie on Government Funding of Art, Culture…and Religion


Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to attack what he considered a particularly heartless budget proposal by Republicans by noting that it would endanger government support for a cowboy poetry festival in his home state.

Writes Nick Gillespie in his contribution to a recent debate over government funding for the arts at The Economist, "First they come for the cowboy poets, Reid seemed to be saying….The barbarians were already past the gate, Reid seemed to warn, and the slaughter of innocent cowboy poets was upon us like the Goths upon Rome."

In fact, argues Gillespie, the arts should be separated from the state—for art's sake.