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Your tax dollars at work…promoting specific religious beliefs

School-vouchersAs an excellent essay in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by veteran education policy expert Greg Malhoit makes clear, North Carolina is on the verge of commencing a long, slow-motion disaster with its wrongheaded plunge into the world of school vouchers.

As Malhoit explains in some detail, two of the Wake County schools likely to receive significant public funds if the program goes ahead — Victory Christian Center and  the Al Iman School — make no pretense of offering a secular education. These are explicitly religious schools with specific missions of teaching and indoctrinating students into very specific religious belief systems. Moreover, as he notes:

“These are not isolated cases. Most religious schools likely to receive vouchers have similar religious missions and philosophies of education.To be sure, all parents have the right to practice their own religious beliefs and to pass those beliefs on to their children. And all parents have the right to educate their child at a private or religious school of their choosing so long as it is at their own expense. But when public dollars are used to support the teaching and indoctrination of religion, as will surely be the case under the voucher law, the boundary separating church and state is crossed.

I don’t believe the majority of North Carolinians want their tax dollars spent on religious instruction and indoctrination of children. That is the proper role for parents and our centers of faith.

Policymakers still have time to stop this misguided law from taking effect. Let’s hope they do so.”

To which all any believer in preserving our American tradition of keeping the government out of the religion business can say in response is: Amen.

Read Malhoit’s entire essay by clicking here.

8 Comments

  1. Wayne Upchurch

    May 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I, for one, do not want any tax funded schooling to be indoctrinating the young in any one denominational direction, not even my own direction. Spiritual/Religious principles and practices are not a matter of training, though every religion in the world seems eventually to insist that it is.
    My concern with religiously based publicly funded schools has me wanting them to “teach” religion as inquiry, not as doctrine, and as yet, I don’t trust them to do that.. not really.

  2. Jim Wiseman

    May 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I agree that religious beliefs shouldn’t be part of a school curriculum. Do you believe that teachers should have the freedom to share their religious beliefs informally?

  3. Alan

    May 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Absolutely not. That would be proselytizing, formally or informally, makes no difference. If a school chooses to have a religious club, then fine, it’s voluntary, but should not be part of the school curriculum, and certainly not used to promote one favored religion over another, or none at all.

    Somewhat ironic that a GOP led drive to provide government money (welfare) to private schools ends up funding an Islamic school.

  4. ML

    May 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Jim teachers are not allowed to teach their religious beliefs. You’re proposition of a false choice is misguided, it is not one or the other, it is neither. Moreover, it is already established law and provides avenues to challenge teachers and administrators that engage in religious teachings.

  5. Jim Wiseman

    May 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

    ML, I’m just asking a question. “Proposition of a false choice?” Where did that come from? Where’s your tolerance?

  6. ML

    May 23, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Tolerance has nothing to do with this. I thought you were suggesting teachers already informally share their beliefs, my mistake. Getting back to the point, as long as informally means not with students then sure.

  7. Alan

    May 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I just wonder if all of the proponents of religion in the classroom would be as supportive if the teacher happened to be pushing:

    1. Islam
    2. Judaism
    3. Buddhism
    4. Mormonism
    5. Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
    6. Pastafarianism
    Or, is it limited to their brand of so-called Christianity?

  8. Alan

    May 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm