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Are voucher plans subversive?

 
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Lonz
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Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 5
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Are voucher plans subversive? Reply with quote

Yes, home schooling could help some kids, and wake up some public schools, and administrators, who would wonder why people had abandoned them. But, will Americans tolerate their tax dollars going to religious schools?


Our founding fathers though separation of church and state STRENGTHENED religion. And, you know, the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by the US government in the early 1800's, flat out says, in writing, that the United States of America is NOT founded upon the Christian religion. In those exact words.

The British army, or navy, used to set a chest of gold coins out on the sidewalk, with a recruiter standing by them. Young men could sign to get a coin. The catch was that they were thereby enlisted. Some cried trickery. Today, we have a saying which comes from this:

He who accepts the king's coin.

I think religious groups will one day be shouting trickery, when the state tells them what to do. But, we secularists will say . . we told you so! He who accepts the king's coin.

That's all. Just my 2 cents on the matter of vouchers.

Lonz
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Mark
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Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: North of DFW Texas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, the only seperation issues addressed by the founders of our
nation were to see to it that there would be no official national religion to
which one must belong.

Secondly, it would depend upon the voucher system in place.

Third, it would depend upon whether or not a religious school would
accept the govt money.

Fourth, most Americans I know could care less what school their tax
dollars went to support as long as the kid gets an education.
Special interest groups, on the other hand, get rather bent about it
going out of their control.

Finally, homeschool has the potential to help most kids if parents have
a chance to do it and realize that it is not impossible to do.

Mark
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

This was from a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, reassuring them that the federal government would not mandate any one state religion (as some European countries had at the time) It was not an assurance that the schools would be made totally secular - even Jefferson, one of the least religious of any of our Founding Fathers, wasn't hostile to Christianity per se - he just hated the Baptist clergy. And again, the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The federal government was prohibited from making any rules regarding religion whatsoever, though the individual states did have that right. And again, from Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance, under which a number of new states were signed into the US:

Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

It's kind of hard to interpret this one as meaning remove all religion from the schools.

Now, all that having been said, our helpful federal government seems to have taken the incorrect position that "Separation of Church and State" (which isn't even in the Constitution) means removing any mention of religion from our public schools - especially if it's any form of Christianity. I don't know why the federal government has any position at all, given that the First Amendment clearly bans them from doing so and leaves it up to the states, but the situation is what it is. The big question is, will this extend to you also only being allowed to apply school vouchers to secular schools? If so, then school vouchers will be, as you say, just the "king's gold" - but then again, the public school system is already largely secular, so you'd at least gain a better education from the voucher system while not losing much in the way of religious tolerance. In fact, you might gain some religious tolerance, since funding would be controlled by school clienteles rather than the government.

Personally, I don't see how vouchers can possibly make the religious situation worse, and I'm 100% convinced they will massively improve the quality of American education while also significantly cutting costs to the taxpayer. The only way to effect change in the schools is to put control of school funding back in the hands of the community, which is a lot more religion-tolerant than our liberal public education system.
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FLMom
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Joined: 05 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) I do not like the voucher system in place in my state.
2) I do not believe tax money should fund religion education.


Now, having made those two comments I think you are missing the mark on a couple of points.

A) But, will Americans tolerate their tax dollars going to religious schools?

You are assuming that reason is why people are upset about vouchers. Most people where I live are upset with vouchers because there are severe income restriction on those who qualify, not because they can be used at a religious institution. If the gov't feels that the PS system is so bad, why are they giving a better option only to the poor. I'm not poor, but still can not afford 20k per year to send my kids to private school. And yes, that is what it costs here. And honestly, if the gov't recognizes that PS is bad, why pay to send kids elsewhere instead of fixing the problem. We live in a choice district, it's not a matter of being forced to attend you local failing school. I couldn't care less if school money went to any sort of religiously affiliated school so long as it was equally available and provided a better academic option for the child. (with qualifiers) It's not feasible to apply vouchers to everyone, so lose them all together.



B) Our founding fathers though separation of church and state STRENGTHENED religion.



I firmly believe in the separation of church and state and have absolutely no idea how you can apply this statement. I think any religious person over the age of 50 can attest to the DECLINE of active religious followers over time, and not a strengthening. On a humorous side note, my father (methodist pastor) blames the decline in religion, and society as a whole, on the garage door opener.


C) I think religious groups will one day be shouting trickery, when the state tells them what to do.[/i]

No, they'll just withdraw from the program. But from my understanding the vouchers are for the families and not the school. I don't see a relationship between the state and the school. But I could be mistaken.
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Lonz
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a few thoughts related to the responses to my post:

They say religion is weak in Europe because of entanglement of religion and politics/government. Centuries of this has created cynicism.


As for tolerance of vouchers:

Wait til the first cult is found to be getting tax dollars. Or, a David Koresh, or a mosque which preaches anti-American thoughts. The public will be angry. Also, feminists, atheists, pagans, etc. will oppose the Roman Catholic church getting tax dollars, when that church opposes them in the political arena.

Yup, religious groups will rue the day they took the king's coin.

But, as for home schooling, it has merit. It's a good way to protest the nonsense going on in public schools. When school administrators see the students and money they are losing, they will change their ways.

Lonz
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, if a voucher system is implemented, and none of the schools we're allowed to apply the vouchers to is a place we want to support, then it's no skin off our nose - we're already homeschooling Smile
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Mark
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
Yep, if a voucher system is implemented, and none of the schools we're allowed to apply the vouchers to is a place we want to support, then it's no skin off our nose - we're already homeschooling Smile
Cool Cool Cool

oh and one side note of interest.. most of the pagan's I know couldn't care less
which schools would use the vouchers if it was set up that way. Smile

mark
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as a school is offering an adequate education to its students, I don't see why the state should care what its policies on religion are anyway. Leave the choice of whether to support a school or not up the parents. I don't really care if, for instance, school vouchers go to support a Muslim school or a pagan school, so long as it's the parents who get to make that choice, and they're also allowed to apply their vouchers to Catholic or Christian schools. Practically speaking, it makes for somewhat less strife if schools are segregated along religious lines anyway, or at least catered to the demographics of their students - rather than the current situation of one or two complainers being able to shut down just about any holiday celebration, no matter how popular or innocuous, by threatening to sue. Think how much nicer it would be if the complainers basically had a choice between shutting up or taking their vouchers elsewhere, rather than being able to sue over the slightest little things. Once people have a choice over where to go, then they have no excuse for using the courts to try to force their existing school to do what they want. They can always move to a school that better represents them, or start a new school of their own.
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