Muslims Give Another Louisiana Lawmaker Second Thoughts about Voucher Scheme

As this headline on Rachel Maddow’s blog says, “Publicly funded religion for me, not for thee.”

We told you last month that a Louisiana legislator had turned against an already-passed private school voucher scheme in his state because a Muslim school had applied to accept those tax dollars. But he’s not the only state lawmaker who has problems with the concept of religious freedom:

‘I liked the idea of giving parents the option of sending their children to a public school or a Christian school,’ (Republican state Rep. Valarie) Hodges said.

Hodges mistakenly assumed that ‘religious’ meant ‘Christian.’

HB976, now signed into law as Act 2, proposed, among other things, a voucher program allowing state educational funds to be used to send students to schools run by religious groups …

‘Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion,’ Hodges said. ‘We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.’

Yes, you read that right: she wanted the taxpayer-funded program limited to schools that teach “the Founders’ religion.” But the Constitution doesn’t work that way, Rep. Hodges.

Our friends at Americans United for Separation of Church and State have more here.

14 thoughts on “Muslims Give Another Louisiana Lawmaker Second Thoughts about Voucher Scheme

  1. I really hope the charter school/voucher system is shut down in it’s entirety. There’s simply no reason these children can’t be included and educated within the public school system.

  2. Religion for good or ill continues to shape and affect the world and our relationships in it. I think everyone should have a rough understanding of the Big Three: Islam, Judaism and Christianity in that order. But of course no one could hope to present any of those objectively/neutral.

  3. I’d be surprised if Hodges approves of the things they teach in a proper Anglican-run school, let alone a Deist-run one. I expect that she thinks “the Founders” were all Southern Baptists or some other species of Fundamentalist, though those weren’t yet invented in 1789….

  4. Right you are Coragyps. The ignorance of just very basic things facts among these people just never ceases to amaze me. Here in my little corner of the world (not Texas), we have tons of people from all over the world. If they were to use vouchers to shut down our local school system, you would not see an exclusive new line of Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical schools rise up to take their place. You would have a Shinto school, an Islamic school, a Hindu school, a Confuscian school, a Buddhist school. You’d have the whole 9 yards. For people who want to keep America “Chreeschun,” school vouchers are the highway to Hell.

  5. “I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” George Washington, 1789.

    “That diabolical, hell-conceived principle of persecution rages among some; and to their eternal infamy, the clergy can furnish their quota of impas for such business.” James Madison, 1774.

    “The clergy believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Thomas Jefferson, 1800.

    “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” Ben Franklin, 1790.

  6. Religious nutcases simply cannot think two steps ahead, to the consequences of their actions. I have often said that they couldn’t carry a syllogism in a bucket.

  7. An interesting fellow that Thomas Jefferson. Although not a Christian he was ardent admirer of Jesus the man, whom he considered “extraordinary.” But it is not overstating the case to say that he also had a burning hatred of fundamentalist preachers. He would have had no use for the likes of Robert Jeffress. Or for that matter David Barton.

  8. This has always been my argument to people who say, “whats the harm” in prayer in public schools…what if the prayer leader was muslim? Would they still be ok with their kids praying in public school? I doubt it.

  9. I read several years ago about a prayer-in-schools advocate who “converted” after attending a high-school football game in Hawaii. The pre-game prayer there was a Buddhist one, and the guy realized that imposing his Christian prayer on the fans would be identical in impact to a non-believer in his particular superstition.