Muslim Schools Entitled To Jindal’s Vouchers

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Louisiana state Representative Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, was an enthusiastic support of Governor Bobby Jindal’s school voucher program, until a Muslim school applied for a share of the spoils. Hodges reportedly said: “I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools.”

Hodges’ sense of Christian privilege has led her to wishfully imagine that the founding fathers share her religious sentiments.

Hodges goes to say: “I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.” Jefferson’s wall of separation doesn’t look so bad to Christians when it keeps mosque and state apart.

Hodges find herself on the horns of a dilemma. If she uses taxpayers funds to subsidize religious schools, then she’ll be funding Muslim Madrasahs. If she doesn’t fund religious schools, then where are children going to learn that the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution? That pesky First Amendment keeps getting in the way.

The taxpayer funding of Muslim Madrasahs could spell the end of voucher initiatives. Jindal’s effort to defund the Louisiana public school system has run head long into his supporters’ bigotry. Those opposed to school vouchers should solicit Islamic schools to enter their local voucher programs.

Public education gives everyone the opportunity to receive an education and succeed on their own merits. The defunding of the public education system ensures that only those children whose parents can afford it, will get an education. An education is the great equalizer. It is a right, not a privilege. The privileged position of the few can be jeopardized by a economic system which rewards its participants based on meritocracy. The plutocracy will protect its position.

H/T: Americans United, Steve Benen,  Livingston Parish News, HuffPo.

45 thoughts on “Muslim Schools Entitled To Jindal’s Vouchers

  1. The problem with vouchers state funded is exactly that….. It has to be open for all religions and nonreligions……. It’s supposed to be even handed…… That’s one of the valid points of affirmative action….. It will eventually benefit what is considered white people…… As they will be the minority…… Some of the Sct decisions may appear to fix a problem…. But they have longer lasting implications…… Just recall until title IX came along….. States could freely do what ever they wanted with education….. As it was a state right under the 10th Amendment……. Now, they can do what they want so long as it’s not in conflict with title IX……

  2. A local Republican operative I was semi-friends with about 25-30 years ago (who spent much of his free time picketing to end busing for the purpose of desegregation) got himself all gleefully lathered up over the concept of vouchers. It was a program that would put religion back in schools (by subsidizing religious schools) and be a way to work around that pesky deseg thing.

    The voucher program should never have been started and is long overdue for ending. I’m hoping Madrasaha supporters start applying for voucher money in all states. LOL, heads will explode :-) Unintended consequences are a hoot.

  3. “The taxpayer funding of Muslim Madrasahs could spell the end of voucher initiatives. ”

    Let us hope.

    “Jefferson’s wall of separation doesn’t look so bad to Christians when it keeps mosque and state apart.”

    They just don’t understand this religious freedom thing.

  4. I mention again that Chavez visited Louisiana looking for info on charter schools. Shows that idiots consult idiots.

    No credit to him, they have the world’s best music system…la systema. Which is even better than schools in
    terms of ghetto improvement and family ditto in Caracas.

    It gives kids from an early age access to a purpose, comrade inspired, which quickly and noticeably shows personal progress, sharing and working with others in a group, and raises pride and sacrificial willingness in the parents. Violent contrast to the drug gangs which start recruiting at 6 years.

    There is an alterantive in Caracas. There is also one in Bronx, read “Outliers” for details.

  5. Vouchers should have never been started. It opened the door all sorts of radical alternatives called schools.

  6. “Hodges reportedly said: ‘I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools.'”
    *************************

    Yep, me too. Let’s start with Thomas Jefferson’s observation of this Abrahamic religion:

    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth… Our sister states of Pennsylvania and New York, however, have long subsisted without any establishment at all. The experiment was new and doubtful when they made it. It has answered beyond conception. They flourish infinitely. Religion is well supported; of various kinds, indeed, but all good enough; all sufficient to preserve peace and order: or if a sect arises, whose tenets would subvert morals, good sense has fair play, and reasons and laughs it out of doors, without suffering the state to be troubled with it. They do not hang more malefactors than we do. They are not more disturbed with religious dissensions. On the contrary, their harmony is unparalleled, and can be ascribed to nothing but their unbounded tolerance, because there is no other circumstance in which they differ from every nation on earth. They have made the happy discovery, that the way to silence religious disputes, is to take no notice of them. Let us too give this experiment fair play, and get rid, while we may, of those tyrannical laws.”

  7. In the aftermath of Katrina, the only schools allowed were charter schools. There was no attempt at reopening the public schools. I do believe the intent is to privatize all education. With the use of voucher and charter schools taxpayers will still be paying for education but will have no say.

  8. As I wrote last night in another thread, this is just another example of the Christian right wing’s War on Sanity.

  9. OS,

    I have declared and defined it as insanity. Did you see that comment? I think it holds.

    Mespo,

    Thank you for Thomas Jefferson’s quote. Pithy and pertinent—forever it would seem.

  10. “Ah what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”. There is no doubt that this voucher law was passed as an aid to Christian Education. Too bad its’ sponsors couldn’t reason their actions out to their logical consequences.

  11. This is a great example of be careful what you wish for. I do not support funding for any religious entity directly or indirectly by the government but it is interesting to watch so called Christian “supporters” of the Constitution squirm when their dream becomes their nightmare. Government support for religious is unconstitutional and it should be prohibited no matter what form it takes– vouchers, grants or tax exemptions.

  12. Excellent article David. The attack by the Right on public education is open for all to see, but yet it continues. They claim that the teachers make too much money and the kids don’t learn enough. Of course, these are the same people who defund education, fire teachers due in order to reduce the debt and adhere to the testing makes perfect world of No Child Left Behind. The teachers of the country are our most important people beause of the minds they are molding and preparing for the world. Maybe the vouchers will come back to haunt those who work to kill public education.

  13. bettykath, your statement was so jarring I went to the Wikipedia and looked up NO public schools to see what was going on: WoW! Only 11% of the students in the Parish are enrolled in the few reopened school board controlled (public) schools! Amazing just doesn’t cover it. I’m wondering if that 11% are kids that can’t qualify or aren’t wanted in the charter and private schools though, are the public schools just holding pens for kids until they get old enough to drop out? That’s an experiment that will be worth watching over the years.

    Thanks for my ‘surprise/horror of the day’ bettykath. :-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_Public_Schools

  14. lotta, I guess they reopened a school or two since my reading about it. I think the public schools that did open are going it more based on the dedication of a few people rather than from any help they’re getting. New Orleans is being remade. No poor, no Black need return. But the attraction of New Orleans for tourists is what the Black community provided. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I don’t think it’s an accident.

  15. Katrina gave the business/political community an opportunity to remake New Orleans into an adult only Disney World. All reality is gone … only illusion remains.

  16. The religious schools have always been present in New Orleans with its many parochial schools. Blouise, my daughter says that after Katrina, new neighborhoods that are not Disneyland like at all have expanded. Going to see a movie today that that was made in Nola. The director lives in the Bywater area. It is kind of a funky area that is attracting young artists without much money.

  17. bettykath 1, July 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

    … I’m not sure what’s going on, but I don’t think it’s an accident.
    ==================================
    Lawsuits in the federal courts found that it was not Katrina, it was the Army Corps of Engineers that were at fault for the majority of the flooding. The levees were defective.

  18. Saddest part is they keep electing these people who have no concept of the constitution. And what will she do if a Yeshiva wants in on the voucher program. Muslims, jews, and heathens. O my!

  19. First it was the Christian schools, then the Muslim schools, next thing you know the Hindus will get vouchers. Can I get a voucher and keep my kid home away from all those schools and educate him myself? With a voucher I could buy books, video cameras, computer, and do field trips. I dont need public schools with their low esteem, religious schools with their human hogma, or a private school that preaches hauty tauty. I need a voucher for DogRus.

  20. You are welcome, Malisha. The entire cast is made up of locals and the movie was very low budget. Some are saying it is the best movie of the year.

  21. Swarthmore Mom,

    I hope you’ll let us know what you think. There is some controversy that the right thinks it supports their political philosophy – bootstraps, endless vacations, and I’d rather stay on this roof sort of thing. Sounds crazy for a Sundance winner.

  22. Like many I have walked Bourbon or some street there pre deluge. It was tawdry in 1961, definitely for real for those not drunk or enraptured. So did Disneyland buy it or not?

    Is there a master plan? Who knows what’s happening?

    The school situation says one thing. The governor confirms.
    SwM’s daughter has one view.
    SwM launchs one in the preview view. Whatever that was. “Utopia for the NN-th time?”

    Excellent movie after old models???; kids with perfect diction and soft dialects, nature’s grandeur, fireworks, soulful scenes. It might be great—but the spices offered here were all too familiar. Let’s see if SwM does like GeneH did on me for my dissing ol’ dry gulch Clint. Wahoooo!

    Glad it did not cost much. The only good thing I saw about it.

    Grouch is back. No, I will NOT kiss you, so go away.

    I will let you say whatever you want—-as long as you agree with me.

    Which amendment is that?

  23. “I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools.”

    Apparently, she never read John Adams’ writings.

  24. All these powers people like to give government always sound good, until the other guy is in power or a disfavored minority gets some of the goodies – then its all “I didn’t think this completely through”.

  25. all religions are wrong and blasphemous and will doom all followers to hell, except mine. please send donations to…

  26. This thing with Rep. Hodges reminds me of this “letter” (see below) about prayer in schools that was making the rounds in liberal circles several years back:

    Dear John,

    As you know, we’ve been working real hard in our town to get prayer back in the schools. Finally, the school board approved a plan of teacher-led prayer with the children participating at their own option. Children not wishing to participate were to be allowed to stand out in the hallway during the prayer time. We hoped someone would sue us so we could go all the way to the Supreme Court and get that old devil-inspired ruling reversed.

    Naturally, we were all excited by the school board’s action. As you know, our own little Billy (not so little, any more, though) is now in the second grade. Of course, Margaret and I explained to him no matter what the other kids did, he was going to stay in the classroom and participate.

    After the first day of school, I asked him, “How did the prayer time go?
    “Fine.”
    “Did many kids go out into the hallway?”
    “Two.”
    “Excellent. How did you like your teacher’s prayer?”
    “It was different, Dad. Real different from the way you pray.”
    “Oh? Like how?”
    “She said, ‘Hail, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners…'”

    The next day I talked with the principal. I politely explained I wasn’t prejudiced against Catholics but I would appreciate Billy being transferred to a non-Catholic teacher. The principal said it would be done right away. At supper that evening I asked Billy to say the blessings. He slipped out of his chair, sat cross-legged on the floor, closed his eyes, raised his hands palms up and began to hum. You’d better believe I was at the principal’s office at eight o’clock the next morning!

    “Look,” I said. “I don’t really know much about these Transcendental Meditationists, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if you could move Billy to a room where the teacher practices an older, more established religion.'”

    That afternoon I met Billy as soon as he walked in the door after school.

    “I don’t think you’re going to like Mrs. Nakasone’s prayer, either, Dad.”
    “Out with it.”
    “She kept calling God ‘O Great Buddha…'”

    The following morning I was waiting for the principal in the school parking lot.

    “Look, I don’t want my son praying to the Eternal Spirit of whatever or to Buddha. I want him to have a teacher that prays in Jesus’ name!”
    “What about Bertha Smith?”
    “Excellent.”

    I could hardly wait to hear about Mrs. Smith’s prayer. I was standing on the front steps of the school when the final bell rang.

    “Well?” I asked Billy as we walked towards the car.
    “Okay.”
    “Okay what?”
    “Mrs. Smith asked God to bless us and ended her prayer in Jesus’ name, amen — just like you.”
    I breathed a sigh of relief. “Now we’re getting someplace.”
    “She even taught us a verse of scripture about prayer,” said Billy.
    I beamed. “Wonderful. What was the verse?”
    “Let’s see…” he mused for a moment. ” ‘And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.'”
    We had reached the car. “Fantastic,” I said, reaching for the door handle. Then I paused. I couldn’t place the scripture.
    “Billy, did Mrs. Smith say what book that verse was from?”
    “Third Nephi, chapter 19, verse 18.”
    “Third what?”
    “Nephi,” he said, “It’s in the Book of Mormon.”

    The school board doesn’t meet for a month. I’ve given Billy very definite instructions that at prayer time each day he’s to go out into the hallway. I plan to be at that board meeting. If they don’t do something about this situation, I’ll sue. I’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to. I don’t need the schools or anybody else teaching my son about religion. We can take care of that ourselves at home and at church, thank you very much.

    Give my love to Sandi and the boys.

    Your friend,

    Jack
    Dear John,

    As you know, we’ve been working real hard in our town to get prayer back in the schools. Finally, the school board approved a plan of teacher-led prayer with the children participating at their own option. Children not wishing to participate were to be allowed to stand out in the hallway during the prayer time. We hoped someone would sue us so we could go all the way to the Supreme Court and get that old devil-inspired ruling reversed.

    Naturally, we were all excited by the school board’s action. As you know, our own little Billy (not so little, any more, though) is now in the second grade. Of course, Margaret and I explained to him no matter what the other kids did, he was going to stay in the classroom and participate.

    After the first day of school, I asked him, “How did the prayer time go?
    “Fine.”
    “Did many kids go out into the hallway?”
    “Two.”
    “Excellent. How did you like your teacher’s prayer?”
    “It was different, Dad. Real different from the way you pray.”
    “Oh? Like how?”
    “She said, ‘Hail, Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners…'”

    The next day I talked with the principal. I politely explained I wasn’t prejudiced against Catholics but I would appreciate Billy being transferred to a non-Catholic teacher. The principal said it would be done right away. At supper that evening I asked Billy to say the blessings. He slipped out of his chair, sat cross-legged on the floor, closed his eyes, raised his hands palms up and began to hum. You’d better believe I was at the principal’s office at eight o’clock the next morning!

    “Look,” I said. “I don’t really know much about these Transcendental Meditationists, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if you could move Billy to a room where the teacher practices an older, more established religion.'”

    That afternoon I met Billy as soon as he walked in the door after school.

    “I don’t think you’re going to like Mrs. Nakasone’s prayer, either, Dad.”
    “Out with it.”
    “She kept calling God ‘O Great Buddha…'”

    The following morning I was waiting for the principal in the school parking lot.

    “Look, I don’t want my son praying to the Eternal Spirit of whatever or to Buddha. I want him to have a teacher that prays in Jesus’ name!”
    “What about Bertha Smith?”
    “Excellent.”

    I could hardly wait to hear about Mrs. Smith’s prayer. I was standing on the front steps of the school when the final bell rang.

    “Well?” I asked Billy as we walked towards the car.
    “Okay.”
    “Okay what?”
    “Mrs. Smith asked God to bless us and ended her prayer in Jesus’ name, amen — just like you.”
    I breathed a sigh of relief. “Now we’re getting someplace.”
    “She even taught us a verse of scripture about prayer,” said Billy.
    I beamed. “Wonderful. What was the verse?”
    “Let’s see…” he mused for a moment. ” ‘And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.'”
    We had reached the car. “Fantastic,” I said, reaching for the door handle. Then I paused. I couldn’t place the scripture.
    “Billy, did Mrs. Smith say what book that verse was from?”
    “Third Nephi, chapter 19, verse 18.”
    “Third what?”
    “Nephi,” he said, “It’s in the Book of Mormon.”

    The school board doesn’t meet for a month. I’ve given Billy very definite instructions that at prayer time each day he’s to go out into the hallway. I plan to be at that board meeting. If they don’t do something about this situation, I’ll sue. I’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to. I don’t need the schools or anybody else teaching my son about religion. We can take care of that ourselves at home and at church, thank you very much.

    Give my love to Sandi and the boys.

    Your friend,

    Jack

  27. There is a public school system everywhere. If you choose not to use it and send your children elsewhere it should be at your own expense not the taxpayers. Every dollar that is being spent on vouchers, charter schools, and religious schools, etc. should be spent on improving the public system and facilities we have.

    Teacher re-certification should be required at reasonable intervals.
    If a teacher is incapable of doing a job, for whatever the reason, he or she should be placed on probation and supervised for a year and if they still do not perform up to the required level, they should be fired like any one in the private sector. There is no “Tenure” in other jobs.

    Merit pay doesn’t work because your “Merit” is often determined by people who may or may not like you personally. I know from experience, I have been there.

    If you are good at what you do, you get to keep your job. If some of the deadwood were dumped, there would be more money available to pay highers salaries to the best teachers, and our children would benefit.

    Tax payer dollars should not be used to fund college for those who cannot work as I did while I went to school. My parents were not able to help me, except to give me a place to live. I didn’t live on campus obviously. Why should people who work and can or can’t help there own children with college, be taxed to help other children with college.

    All High School students should have available, trade schools. FACE IT KIDS , EVERYONE CAN’T BE MANAGERS, some of us are going to have to do the work.

  28. Where, exactly, in the Constitution does it give the right to an education? I’ve looked, and I can’t quite find it. It’s a privelege, period. And that’s the reality that private schools will have to deal with, be they secular or christian- if you fund one by voucher, you have to fund the rest. So it becomes a choice- either fund the failed public education system, or fund the religous nutjobs. Either way, you’re out of luck. Just hope that your kids can get a decent career, so that they can afford to send their kids to private, secular school. Or maybe make the vouchers only for secular schools? Hmmm. Makes sense to me.

    Public schools have failed on a vast scale, and will continue to fail as long as politics are involved in education. Liberals see it as a way to indoctrinate useful idiots, and conservatives do everything they can to avoid having to send their kids to these failed organizations. I can’t blame them. I have a Jr. High for delinquents about a block from my house. Those kids don’t stand a chance. Half of them are too stupid to pour piss out of a boot, the other half are too stoned to bother. That’s our future, a bunch of idiotic punks who will whine and cry when they can’t get a job and then the taxpayers have to provide them with food and shelter and medical care. If you wanted to do a root cause analysis of the failure of american society, there’s the answer, right there.

  29. “I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity…”

    Bzzzzzzt! wrong!

    Excuse me, Rep. Hodges, but the entire John Adams family was Unitarian, and if I’m not mistaken, Jefferson was a sort of generic Deist.

  30. “I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity…”

    Which Christianity would that be?

    (partial list)
    Catholicism: Armenian Catholic Church, Belarusian Greek Catholic Church, Bulgarian Catholic Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Coptic Catholic Church, Byzantine Church of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Ethiopian Catholic Church, Georgian Catholic Church,
    Greek Catholic Church, Hungarian Greek Catholic Church, Italo-Albanian Catholic Church – a.k.a. Italo-Greek Catholic Church, Macedonian Catholic Church, Maronite Catholic Church, Melkite Catholic Church, Romanian Catholic Church, Russian Catholic Church. Ruthenian Catholic Church (usually called the “Byzantine Catholic Church” in the United States),
    Slovak Greek Catholic Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Syro-Malabar Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Apostolic Catholic Church, American Catholic Church in the United States, Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada, Celtic Catholic Church, Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, Communion of Christ the Redeemer, Free Catholic Church, Liberal Catholic Church, Mariavite Church, Old Catholic Church, Old Catholic Church of America, Old Catholic Church in Europe, Palmarian Catholic Church, Philippine Independent Church, Polish National Catholic Church, True Catholic Church

    Protestantism: Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed Churches, Presbyterian, Congregational, Anabaptist, Brethren, Methodists, Pietists and Holiness Churches, Baptists, Apostolic Churches – Irvingites, Pentecostal, Charismatics, African Initiated Churches, United and uniting churches, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, Southcottites, Millerites and comparable groups, British-Israelism, Christian Identity, Miscellaneous/Other

  31. BettyKath, true, you don;t even have to go outside of Christianity to offend a lot of christians with your own denomination.

  32. This story is a perfect illustration of the absurdity of the entire faith-based initiatives program. Quite simply, taxpayer funding of religious education or religious institutions of any kind is wholly incompatible with the concept of pluralism. Valerie Hodges’ goal is not public education, but religious indoctrination. She is utterly unqualified to be setting educational policy.

  33. I want to see an application for a voucher school for gay kids and kids of gay parents (including kids of 3, 4 or 5 gay parents) that teaches sex education and “religion du jour” as an elective.

  34. […] Muslim Schools Entitled To Jindal’s Vouchers (jonathanturley.org) Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreEmailPrintDiggRedditStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Constitution, Religious Freedom, State Government and tagged Bobby Jindal, Catholic Church, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Freedom of religion, James Madison, Louisiana, Louisiana Constitution, Minnesota, Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, Reverend Gaddy, School Vouchers, State religion, Virginia. Bookmark the permalink. ← Thomson Reuters: Gay Marriage Ban Bad For Business […]

Comments are closed.