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Sat Jan 25, 2020, 05:32 PM

'Who Will Protect My Right NOT To Pay For Your Child's Religious Education?' SCOTUS Case

Who Will Protect My Right NOT to Pay for Your Child’s Religious Education? A case before the US Supreme Court this week, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, has far-reaching implications. By Steven Singer, Common Dreams, Jan. 25, 2020.

When I was a kid back in middle school, I had a crush on this girl, let’s call her Patty. She wasn’t the most popular or beautiful girl in class, but I kinda’ liked her. Of course, she had no idea I was alive. Or so I thought, until one day she walked straight up to my desk and started rubbing my hair. I was shocked at first, but then I just closed my eyes and went with it. I remember the soft caress of her fingers in my mop of curls. She seemed to massage every inch of my scalp. Then she asked, “Where are they?” “Where are what?” I asked. “Your horns,” she said. “I want to see your horns.” “What?” I said. “I don’t have any horns.” “Of course you do,” she said. “My pastor said all you Jews have horns but you hide them in your hair. I want to see them.” I had never even heard that bit of anti-Semitism before Patty. But I knew when I was being ridiculed. The laughter. The embarrassment. I think I asked to go to the bathroom and stayed until the class was over.

Why bring up such childhood trauma? It has baring on a case before the US Supreme Court this week – Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Three women are suing the state of Montana for refusing to pay for their kids to attend religious schools through a defunct voucher program. Backing the effort are far right figures and groups like The Cato Institute, The Council for American Private Education, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Center for Education Reform – all of which have filed Amici Curiae briefs arguing that prohibiting religious schools from getting public money is somehow a violation of the First Amendment.

If successful, the case would open the door to publicly-funded private religious education across the country – not to mention siphoning much-needed money away from the public schools. It’s bad enough that kids learn prejudicial lies from the pulpit and parochial schools. It’s worse if the victims of such prejudice have to pay for their tormentors to be thus indoctrinated.
In the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom of 1779, Thomas Jefferson wrote “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical . . .”
I agree. That is sinful and tyrannical. Especially if those abhorrent beliefs lead to actions detrimental to the health and well-being of those being forced to pay for just such ignorance to be renewed in yet another generation.



- A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1786

The incident with Patty wasn’t the first or last time I suffered through religious persecution. I went to public school but the worst torment usually came from kids who had a year or two of parochial education. For example, I can’t tell you how many times classmates asked me why I killed Jesus. Now I’m a middle school teacher, myself. I do my best to foster understanding and acceptance of all peoples no matter their race, gender, orientation or creed. That doesn’t mean I squash religious discussion or opinions, either. Kids are allowed to think and say what they choose. If they want to pray or express a religious belief, that’s fine so long as they don’t hurt others. Though radical right ideologues decry the loss of religion in public schools, all that really means is that the adults don’t get to express their theologies. The kids have never been thus encumbered...

More, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/25/who-will-protect-my-right-not-pay-your-childs-religious-education

Monticello, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/virginia-statute-religious-freedom

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Reply 'Who Will Protect My Right NOT To Pay For Your Child's Religious Education?' SCOTUS Case (Original post)
appalachiablue Jan 25 OP
Dan Jan 25 #1
appalachiablue Jan 25 #2
appalachiablue Jan 25 #3
lees1975 Jan 25 #4
AZ8theist Jan 26 #5
keithbvadu2 Jan 26 #6

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 05:40 PM

1. This was so amazing to me

I had no idea.

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Response to Dan (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 05:42 PM

2. In the works for quite a while and concerning

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 06:48 PM

3. From 'comments' to the article linked above:

Last edited Sat Jan 25, 2020, 11:48 PM - Edit history (1)

"The entire future of a Republican governing majority rests on white evangelicals.
Thus, their support for cases like this one becomes critical for their survival. Our system rewards them, too. The Rs consistently lose the popular vote in the Senate, House, and Presidential elections. Yet they hold majorities, often across the board because state counts matter more than counts of people. And due to gerrymandering...

Demographically, we’re only a few years away from the the day when 70% of the US population lives in just 15 states. That means 35 low population, rural, mostly white and christian states can potentially control 70 seats in the Senate! At some point, the very legitimacy of our system will be questioned by wide swaths of voters – and that’s how nations fall apart. Which at this point, in a hopelessly polarized country, would be fine with me."
______________

Also: Charter Schools Were Never A Good Idea, Corporate Plot To Privatize & Make Money
https://www.democraticunderground.com/112412986

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 07:29 PM

4. Was the program using "taxpayer dollars"?

Most of the tax credit scholarship programs I've seen don' t involve taxpayer dollars. It's hard to tell how this program in Montana worked, but the funding is a contribution made to the scholarship fund and the "tax credit" is the same kind of deduction you'd get for a charitable contribution, except instead of getting the full amount of the contribution, you get 75% of it. If the program actually used tax dollars, then there's a problem. The one we have here in Illinois doesn't involve taxpayer dollars.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Jan 26, 2020, 12:06 AM

5. Makes me glad to be an atheist

Makes me angry as well when I see these so called "Christian Organizations" trying to jam their bigotry down everybodys throats. They will stop at nothing until everyones children are indoctinated in Jesus madrassas.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Sun Jan 26, 2020, 12:28 AM

6. Pence freedom of religion

Pence freedom of religion

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