Today in fundie dumb@ssery, for sure. Louisiana State Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Watson), like many bible-thumpers who believe your tax dollars should fund their
“Christian” indoctrination centers schools, originally supported Governor Bobby Jindal’s voucher program to send students to schools run by religious groups included non-Christian faiths, specifically Islam. Oh noes!
“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.
Hodges, who represents District 64 on the northwest side of the parish, and another freshman lawmaker in the local delegation, Clay Schexnayder from Dist. 81 in the southwest, voted with the House majority in favor of HB976.
The school funding mechanism, however, did not come up for a vote until the end of the session. By then, a Muslim-based school had applied for support through the new voucher system.
During debate over the MFP (Minimum Foundation Program) funding formula, Hodges learned more about the consequences of the educational changes. She voted against the new MFP funding formula; Schexnayder voted for it.
“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.”
Someone this ignorant has no business being a legislator. Oh wait, if that were the bar, some of these legislative bodies would be ghost towns? You best believe Americans United for Separation of Church and State was all over this.
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.
In Washington, D.C., where House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican allies in Congress have established a federally funded voucher program, most of the schools taking part are Catholic, but two Muslim schools have been among the recipients.
As it turns out, the Muslim school in New Orleans has since withdrawn its request. But it’s probably only a matter of time before another one applies to enter the Louisiana program.
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.