-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.