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No more discrimination against religious schools – AMAC

In a revolutionary case called Carson v. Makin, a native of rural Maine, the Supreme Court made clear last week that states providing tuition assistance cannot discriminate against parochial or religious schools — simply because they provide religious education. Hooray for common sense!

In short, three families challenged Maine’s restriction on the use of K-12 education vouchers. The state, since 1873, has permitted school “choice”. Families living in a place without a public school (half the state) could choose to send their children to a public or private school, in or out of state. Simple, fair, good.

In 1980, a Democratic attorney general, chosen by a Democratic-controlled legislature — Maine is the only state where the legislature chooses AG — decided to add a “non-sectarian” requirement. It has upended 100 years of educational practice, forcing parents NOT to send their children to schools that teach religious values.

The parents in Carson v. Makin challenged this notion, asking, “If our neighbors have the freedom to choose a private school and receive tuition from our town, why are we denied that same benefit simply because we desire a religious education for our daughter ? ”

What these parents asked for — and the decision resolved — is of national significance. As public schools increasingly discriminate against students, parents, and faith families, restricting the free exercise of religion, pushing secularism above the moral values ​​taught by many faiths, parents oppose it.

Across the country, public schools – dominated by secular, increasingly unconnected, often left-wing teachers’ unions, many of whom are not disconnected from parents, some openly hostile to traditional values, objective history and unpoliticized, to basic math, to biology, to established schools law, even Title IX – are no longer the first choice of concerned parents.

Accordingly, a case challenging the rise of anti-religious and anti-denominational sentiment in public education was timely. Shouldn’t parents have the right to protect their children from indoctrination by leftist ideas, anti-religious teachings, racism via critical race theory, Title IX dumping – which has long given to biologically different boys and girls equality in sports and studies? Did they have no rights?

While the First Circuit sided with the state, effectively ignoring discrimination against the “free exercise of religion” by public schools, which often effectively “establish” a secular religion, the Court supreme took a closer look at the facts and applied a combination of texts and cases. law to overthrow.

What the Supreme Court said, without hedging their bets, is that all parents — not school systems, administrators, state lawmakers or left-leaning attorneys general — decide how their children will be educated. .

Going back to how education has been handled for most of our country’s history, not just in Maine but nationally, the Supreme Court has set the table straight. In a 6-3 opinion, split between judicially conservative and judicially militant lines, the High Court favored parental choice.

Citing previous case law, the Court concluded from Maine discrimination against schools providing religious instruction violated First Amendmentthe “free exercise clause”. The opinion is convincing, clear and convincing.

The majority writes, “…a neutral benefit program in which public funds are disbursed to religious organizations through the independent choices of private benefit recipients does not violate the Establishment Clause,” adding that prior cases indicate clear that the result revolves “on the merits of the protections of free exercise, not on the presence or absence of magic words”, such as words that restrict the right by State Law.

The point being made is that covering up discrimination against those who live life according to religious precepts, people of faith, by claiming to be “religiously neutral”, is actually a half-truth, a foil, a way of reject those of the faith, or make them “second-class citizens” – elevating those who disbelieve and teaching that it is appropriate. The Constitution does not call for believers to be demoted, merely that the government not not “establish” a religion for all, like the Church of England.

The dissent in this case is also telling. Using Jefferson’s warning that church and state must be separate, a concept often (perhaps intentionally) misunderstood, the dissent tries to split hairs. They say the money can go to a school of “religious character”, but not to a school that teaches “religious ideals”.

Returning is simple. The religious character implies ideals, and these are – by the way – the ideals that created, sustained and today hold society together. To claim that these ideals – specially chosen by the parents of a child for the upbringing of that child – are somehow evil, unworthy, wrong because they derive from a religious source, or insufficiently secular, is hokum.

The dissent’s idea that “religiously neutral” values ​​should be taught is a poor disguise for a secular, anti-religious political agenda. To believe that the teaching of “reveilism”, socialism, Marxism, racism and anti-faith is what parents have signed up to, want, have to accept is legal nonsense.

This case matters – because it throws wide the door to freedom, affirming the rights of parents, students, communities and all those Americans – more than 250 million – who believe in God, who believe that the values ​​taught by their faith count and who wish to transmit respect for these values ​​to their children, including at school. Moreover, it gets rid of the idea that atheism, statism, leftism and the bashing of religion are bottom-up. On the contrary, it is unconstitutional.

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