Louisiana Republican Wants State Funding for Religion in Schools - But Not Muslims

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In probably one of the most facepalming displays I've ever seen, not only has a grossly unconstitutional program been passed, the very person who wanted it is now unhappy it's going to Muslims. Because "Religious Freedom" only matters when it's your own religion.

In Louisiana, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal pushed for a voucher program that would allow state funds to be used to pay for religious schools. It's unconstitutional, it's a way to use taxpayer money to fund someone's faith, and it was a bad idea to begin with.

But it passed.

Now, one of the state legislators, Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Watson), just made a shocking discovery, though: Christianity isn't the only religion!

Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, says she had no idea that Gov. Bobby Jindal's overhaul of the state's educational system might mean taxpayer support of Muslim schools.

"I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America's Founding Fathers' religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools," the District 64 Representative said Monday.

...

"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."

Wait, we're teaching the "Founders' religion"? I can't wait to see those Deistic schools popping up everywhere...

I can't decide whether the staffers at Americans United are collectively rolling their eyes or shaking their heads in disbelief, but they're right to suggest "We told you so":

Where to begin? Hodges' bigotry is perhaps only rivaled by her ignorance of constitutional and legal principles. Of course Muslim schools will qualify for funding under a voucher plan. When programs like this are set up that dole out benefits to religious schools, the government can't play favorites. That's basic.

...

Some legislators aren't comfortable funding Muslim schools. What's to be done? How about not establishing these programs in the first place? Let Muslims fund Muslim schools. Let Catholics fund Catholics ones. Let fundamentalist Protestants pay for the conservative Christian academies and so on.

Rep. Hodges made the mistake of saying out loud what most conservative Christians only say to themselves to private: When they say they want "religious freedom," they're only referring to their own faith. Everyone else can fend for themselves.

Message to Rep. Hodges: Your Christian privilege is showing.

I bolded my favourite part.

Source

Catchit: "Flip-flops", Yes she did.

There's a certain irony in a very uneducated woman trying to claim she understands what's best for education.

*looks about*

Nobody seems to be fainting from surprise, and I don't expect that to change.

Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

Even though it's just the off-handed opinion of a single representative, there are two fairly decent outcomes to this. One: It gets enough flak that they just scrap the entire program. Or two: we get to rub it in conservative faces that their good christian dollars are going to pay for Muslim education.

Of course the bad and most obvious option is that the voucher program will get re-tooled to conveniently overlook any Muslim oriented school.

On a sidenote, I wonder if this bigoted woman holds a similar opinion about Hebrew schools or any sort of "New Age" type.

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

Don't worry, in about one month there we'll be some Judge completely annihilating this program.

Also.

"I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America's Founding Fathers' religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools," the District 64 Representative said Monday.

Straight from the (Captcha=) horse's mouth.

America's Founding Fathers' religion, which is Christianity

Wikipedia:

Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, and two were Roman Catholics (D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons). Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England (or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists.

A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical Christians, such as Thomas Jefferson (who created the so-called "Jefferson Bible") and Benjamin Franklin. A few others (most notably Thomas Paine) were deists, or at least held beliefs very similar to those of deists.

Historian Gregg L. Frazier argues that the leading Founders (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid "theistic rationalism."

So A) No, it wasn't. Some weren't Christian and B) Even for the ones who were, which variety of Christianity? Some were Catholics which I get told aren't "real Christians" apparently. Whatever that means.

When it takes literally five seconds to wiki something to prove something a state legislator is categorically incorrect...sigh.

I bet most people wouldn't even check. Her voting base will just keep nodding along.

Rep. Hodges made the mistake of saying out loud what most conservative Christians only say to themselves to private: When they say they want "religious freedom," they're only referring to their own faith. Everyone else can fend for themselves.

Do state legislators have to swear to uphold the Constitution when they get elected?

Ah the hypocrisy, always present in conservative religious Americans. Hell in the conservative religious in general.

"I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America's Founding Fathers' religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools," the District 64 Representative said Monday.

So much ignorance. But hey, Hitler was Christian to!! Amirite?!! Lol, Rofl, LMAO, ect etc etc.

Message to Rep. Hodges: Your Christian privilege is showing.

Ah, I see the Ad Hominem is starting early.

I remember yesterday, some angry poster who thought himself a libertarian attacked me for stating that libertarians do not want freedom, but want religious oppression and do not respect the freedom of others.

That person mentioned Bobby Jindal as an example of a true libertarian who only wants a small government and equal freedom for everyone.

Now that same Jindal is creating a big big government to abuse taxpayer's money to force his religion onto others in blatant violation of the US constitution.

Go ahead and call me smug, but I'm grinning right now.

It's hard to believe that there are elected officials so ignorant as to not be aware that religions other than Christianity can benefit from laws that give benefits to religious schools.

More offensive, I think though, is this part:

Valerie Hodges:
"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."

In the space of a paragraph she effectively implies that all Muslim schools must be radical.

Though I could see a benefit to allowing state vouchers to fund Muslims schools as a way of fighting radicalism. If schools have to rely on donations from private members of their religion, then there is more likelihood of Saudi donors getting involved, and if Saudi donors are getting involved then there is the chance of Wahhabi extremists getting involved.

Of course, vouchers won't prevent Wahhabis from getting involved. It will simply lessen the need for Muslim schools to court them for their money. Too bad extremist Christians like Hodges are too wrapped up in promoting their own religion to see it. Once again, needless antagonism makes it harder for people to achieve what they want in the first place.

EDITED TO ADD:

DevilWithaHalo:

Message to Rep. Hodges: Your Christian privilege is showing.

Ah, I see the Ad Hominem is starting early.

Uhhh... no. Either you aren't understanding what "privilege" means or you aren't understanding what "ad hominem" means.

Amnestic:
So A) No, it wasn't. Some weren't Christian and B) Even for the ones who were, which variety of Christianity? Some were Catholics which I get told aren't "real Christians" apparently. Whatever that means.

When it takes literally five seconds to wiki something to prove something a state legislator is categorically incorrect...sigh.

I bet most people wouldn't even check. Her voting base will just keep nodding along.

You are looking at the founding fathers as historically persons, instead of as pseudo-religious figures. As actual people who lived and died long before anyone living toay was born, their input on what is happening today is more or less irrelevant. If they happen to be correct about something, it is because what they said is correct, not because they were the people who said it.

As pseudo-religious figures, they are larger than life characters to be venerated and called upon to undertake works in their name.

Yassen:
In probably one of the most facepalming displays I've ever seen, not only has a grossly unconstitutional program been passed, the very person who wanted it is now unhappy it's going to Muslims. Because "Religious Freedom" only matters when it's your own religion.

Looks like a veritable culture war from where I'm looking.

It's always a lot of fun when conservatives accidentally mix up what they're supposed to say only on the inside, with what they say on the outside. Someone pass the popcorn.

Geez, aren't they supposed to hide that they want a Christian Theocracy? At least with Santorum and Romney it's an act to get votes...

Katatori-kun:

DevilWithaHalo:

Message to Rep. Hodges: Your Christian privilege is showing.

Ah, I see the Ad Hominem is starting early.

Uhhh... no. Either you aren't understanding what "privilege" means or you aren't understanding what "ad hominem" means.

I'm intimately familiar with both. When I stop seeing it used as an Ad Hominem, I'll retract the statement. In this case though, the statement seems entirely unnecessary given the bigoted and hypocritical nature of her position. There was simply no reason to bring up christian privilege.

Louisiana, huh?

I think someone needs to open a Vodun school somewhere down there, to really light their fires, or maybe one following the Church of Satan. =)

Blablahb:
I remember yesterday, some angry poster who thought himself a libertarian attacked me for stating that libertarians do not want freedom, but want religious oppression and do not respect the freedom of others.

That person mentioned Bobby Jindal as an example of a true libertarian who only wants a small government and equal freedom for everyone.

Now that same Jindal is creating a big big government to abuse taxpayer's money to force his religion onto others in blatant violation of the US constitution.

Go ahead and call me smug, but I'm grinning right now.

The idea that Bobby Jindal is a libertarian is absurd in and of itself. He's one of the conservative poster-boys(until he tries giving a speech). I disagree that funding religious schools is forcing religion onto others, though. It's unconstitutional and a misappropriation of taxpayer's money, but funding the construction and running of religious schools for people that want those religious schools is hardly forcing religion onto them. I'm working under the assumption that they're not rounding up non-Muslim children and forcing them to go to a Muslim school, for example.

Oh please, state sponsored school vouchers do not in any way go against the US constitution.

They are a stupid waste of money, but not unconstitutional.

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

Except that in the voucher system, the money isn't going to the school or the religious organization. It goes to the parent who wants to send their kid to a religious school.

renegade7:

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

Except that in the voucher system, the money isn't going to the school or the religious organization. It goes to the parent who wants to send their kid to a religious school.

The wording of the law doesn't mean the government shall not establish a religion. It means the government shall not make a law which respects an establishment of religion. Meaning honoring, holding regard for, or favoring. Meaning the government cannot favor an establishment of religion. Meaning if they want to give out vouchers for education then fine, but they must either exclude religion altogether or honor all of them equally. That would at least make it equal. Though I feel like if a court were to rule on this, they would say even that would be unconstitutional. Because the constitution doesn't say the respect must be equal, it says the respect cannot be there at all.

Lilani:

renegade7:

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

Except that in the voucher system, the money isn't going to the school or the religious organization. It goes to the parent who wants to send their kid to a religious school.

The wording of the law doesn't mean the government shall not establish a religion. It means the government shall not make a law which respects an establishment of religion. Meaning honoring, holding regard for, or favoring. Meaning the government cannot favor an establishment of religion. Meaning if they want to give out vouchers for education then fine, but they must either exclude religion altogether or honor all of them equally. That would at least make it equal. Though I feel like if a court were to rule on this, they would say even that would be unconstitutional. Because the constitution doesn't say the respect must be equal, it says the respect cannot be there at all.

I don't like religious vouchers, but that's the loophole that these people use to get government money for religious schools. I'm not coming out in favor of them, or suggesting the religious school vouchers should exist (non-religious vouchers are fine I think).

Lilani:

renegade7:

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

Except that in the voucher system, the money isn't going to the school or the religious organization. It goes to the parent who wants to send their kid to a religious school.

The wording of the law doesn't mean the government shall not establish a religion. It means the government shall not make a law which respects an establishment of religion. Meaning honoring, holding regard for, or favoring. Meaning the government cannot favor an establishment of religion. Meaning if they want to give out vouchers for education then fine, but they must either exclude religion altogether or honor all of them equally. That would at least make it equal. Though I feel like if a court were to rule on this, they would say even that would be unconstitutional. Because the constitution doesn't say the respect must be equal, it says the respect cannot be there at all.

However, vouchers for private schools and parents using them to send kids to religious schools is another matter entirely, right? Still a waste of money, but not a law respecting an establishment of religion.

Again, who wants to start a Vodun school or a Church of Satan school down there?

Schadrach:

Again, who wants to start a Vodun school or a Church of Satan school down there?

Meeee! Along with a SubGenius school.

Mildly surprised the Scientologists aren't all over this. Maybe their lawyers are scared of them getting dobbed for child abuse?

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

That's the U.S. Congress. States are mostly bound by their own Constitutions.

I personally have little problem with religious education, so long as it's not promoting things that harm society actively. I just find it hilarious that this dumb dumb woman went "der her ya mean Is-lamb is a religion well by gum, ayuck".

It disturbs me how people act like Islam is a single minded religion with only one interpretation. It's just another religion with dozens of interpretations, but unlike Christianity the subdivisions aren't named. Every religion has break downs, but people act like all Islam is interepreted the same, when thats obviously not the case.

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

The law itself does not establish religion. It just says the vouchers from the state aid program can be used for religious schools as well as private as long as they qualify as a school under LA law. The bint in the above story is just wigging out over the fact that it ISN'T being used to establish Christianity.

irmasterlol:

Danyal:
Wait what?! It already passed?! But.. but... what about 'shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or something like that?

That's the U.S. Congress. States are mostly bound by their own Constitutions.

Supremacy clause states that federal laws are higher than state or local.

darlarosa:
It disturbs me how people act like Islam is a single minded religion with only one interpretation. It's just another religion with dozens of interpretations, but unlike Christianity the subdivisions aren't named.

Shia
Sunni
Sufi
Wahhabi
Druze

And those are just the ones I know by name. (Not that I know what the differences between them, but neither do most of the brain-trust in Washington, apparently.)

DevilWithaHalo:

Katatori-kun:

DevilWithaHalo:

Ah, I see the Ad Hominem is starting early.

Uhhh... no. Either you aren't understanding what "privilege" means or you aren't understanding what "ad hominem" means.

I'm intimately familiar with both. When I stop seeing it used as an Ad Hominem, I'll retract the statement. In this case though, the statement seems entirely unnecessary given the bigoted and hypocritical nature of her position. There was simply no reason to bring up christian privilege.

No, I think it's perfectly reasonable to bring it up. As a privileged Christian, she had the ability to assume her beliefs were the norm. To not even know that there were people of other religions affected by the laws she supported. That's privilege. Now sure, maybe most others with the benefit of Christian privilege aren't content to wallow in blinkered pig-ignorance like Hodges did, but they still have that privilege. They are still able to be seen as "the norm." It's not an ad hominem to point out that a person is privileged.

Katatori-kun:

DevilWithaHalo:

Katatori-kun:

Uhhh... no. Either you aren't understanding what "privilege" means or you aren't understanding what "ad hominem" means.

I'm intimately familiar with both. When I stop seeing it used as an Ad Hominem, I'll retract the statement. In this case though, the statement seems entirely unnecessary given the bigoted and hypocritical nature of her position. There was simply no reason to bring up christian privilege.

No, I think it's perfectly reasonable to bring it up. As a privileged Christian, she had the ability to assume her beliefs were the norm. To not even know that there were people of other religions affected by the laws she supported. That's privilege. Now sure, maybe most others with the benefit of Christian privilege aren't content to wallow in blinkered pig-ignorance like Hodges did, but they still have that privilege. They are still able to be seen as "the norm." It's not an ad hominem to point out that a person is privileged.

It is if you're using that allegation of privilege to discredit her stance on the issue in question-- in that case it is an argument against the advocate of a position being utilized to reflect upon the position being advocated, the textbook definition of an ad hominem informal fallacy.

Now, if all you're doing is noting that she's privileged, that's fine, but it's not directly relevant to the propriety of the legislation or proposed changes to it. It's either fallacious or somewhat superfluous.

Seanchaidh:

Katatori-kun:

DevilWithaHalo:

I'm intimately familiar with both. When I stop seeing it used as an Ad Hominem, I'll retract the statement. In this case though, the statement seems entirely unnecessary given the bigoted and hypocritical nature of her position. There was simply no reason to bring up christian privilege.

No, I think it's perfectly reasonable to bring it up. As a privileged Christian, she had the ability to assume her beliefs were the norm. To not even know that there were people of other religions affected by the laws she supported. That's privilege. Now sure, maybe most others with the benefit of Christian privilege aren't content to wallow in blinkered pig-ignorance like Hodges did, but they still have that privilege. They are still able to be seen as "the norm." It's not an ad hominem to point out that a person is privileged.

It is if you're using that allegation of privilege to discredit her stance on the issue in question-- in that case it is an argument against the advocate of a position being utilized to reflect upon the position being advocated, the textbook definition of an ad hominem informal fallacy.

Now, if all you're doing is noting that she's privileged, that's fine, but it's not directly relevant to the propriety of the legislation or proposed changes to it. It's either fallacious or somewhat superfluous.

Being appalled that there are other religions that would dare to use the bill to fund their "radical Islam schools", and claiming that the bill only applies to Christians, because in her words this is a Christian country, makes her a spoiled, selfish, disgusting example of a privileged Christian.

It's only an ad hominem if it's irrelevant to the argument against, which it isn't. Pointing out she's acting like a privileged Christian, and how despicable it is, was the entire point.

arbane:

darlarosa:
It disturbs me how people act like Islam is a single minded religion with only one interpretation. It's just another religion with dozens of interpretations, but unlike Christianity the subdivisions aren't named.

Shia
Sunni
Sufi
Wahhabi
Druze

And those are just the ones I know by name. (Not that I know what the differences between them, but neither do most of the brain-trust in Washington, apparently.)

Yea, let me clarify most are not regularly named nor explained in Western media

wintercoat:

Seanchaidh:

Katatori-kun:

No, I think it's perfectly reasonable to bring it up. As a privileged Christian, she had the ability to assume her beliefs were the norm. To not even know that there were people of other religions affected by the laws she supported. That's privilege. Now sure, maybe most others with the benefit of Christian privilege aren't content to wallow in blinkered pig-ignorance like Hodges did, but they still have that privilege. They are still able to be seen as "the norm." It's not an ad hominem to point out that a person is privileged.

It is if you're using that allegation of privilege to discredit her stance on the issue in question-- in that case it is an argument against the advocate of a position being utilized to reflect upon the position being advocated, the textbook definition of an ad hominem informal fallacy.

Now, if all you're doing is noting that she's privileged, that's fine, but it's not directly relevant to the propriety of the legislation or proposed changes to it. It's either fallacious or somewhat superfluous.

Being appalled that there are other religions that would dare to use the bill to fund their "radical Islam schools", and claiming that the bill only applies to Christians, because in her words this is a Christian country, makes her a spoiled, selfish, disgusting example of a privileged Christian.

It's only an ad hominem if it's irrelevant to the argument against, which it isn't. Pointing out she's acting like a privileged Christian, and how despicable it is, was the entire point.

The argument against what, exactly? The bill? This woman's 'privilege' is irrelevant to whether the bill should be law.

Seanchaidh:

wintercoat:

Seanchaidh:

It is if you're using that allegation of privilege to discredit her stance on the issue in question-- in that case it is an argument against the advocate of a position being utilized to reflect upon the position being advocated, the textbook definition of an ad hominem informal fallacy.

Now, if all you're doing is noting that she's privileged, that's fine, but it's not directly relevant to the propriety of the legislation or proposed changes to it. It's either fallacious or somewhat superfluous.

Being appalled that there are other religions that would dare to use the bill to fund their "radical Islam schools", and claiming that the bill only applies to Christians, because in her words this is a Christian country, makes her a spoiled, selfish, disgusting example of a privileged Christian.

It's only an ad hominem if it's irrelevant to the argument against, which it isn't. Pointing out she's acting like a privileged Christian, and how despicable it is, was the entire point.

The argument against what, exactly? The bill? This woman's 'privilege' is irrelevant to whether the bill should be law.

I think you need to reread what this entire thread is about, because it's definitely not about the bill.

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