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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. “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.

  9. OS,

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


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

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

  11. 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.

  12. “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.”

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

  14. 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.

  15. “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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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……

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