It's an honest mistake, assuming that the Constitution only protects your own personal megachurch faith. But one Louisiana Republican is learning the hard way that religious school vouchers can be used to fund education at all sorts of religious schools, even Muslim ones. And while she's totally in favor of taxpayer money being used to pay for kids to go to Christian schools, she's willing to put a stop to the entire program if Muslim schools are going to be involved.
Valarie Hodges admitted that when she supported Governor Bobby Jindal's school voucher program, she only did so because she assumed the religious school vouchers could only be used for Christian schools. Religious freedom means that everyone's free to follow Valarie Hodges' religion! She explains,
I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America's Founding Fathers' religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools. I liked the idea of giving parents the option of sending their children to a public school or a Christian school.
As The Friendly Atheist points out, the brand of Christianity currently espoused by many in the religious right wing would be pretty unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers, who were pretty high on Deism and pretty low on Christian rock concerts/ talking about The Children's collective virginity/ having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But whatever. Facts are immaterial at this point.
Louisiana's Kenneth the Page governor had pushed pretty hard for the vouchers program, fast tracking it through the legislature early in the state's legislative session. But, according to the Livingston Parish News, as the measure was brought up for a vote before the full house, a Muslim school applied for the voucher program.
Whoa! Record scratch sound! Dishes breaking! Islam is a religion protected by the constitution, too? No one told Valarie Hodges anything about religions being equal under the law! She can't support any sort of anything that could learn to families using taxpayer money to educate their kids in Islamic schools. She added Bachmannesquely,
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.
A thousand. A thousand Muslim schools in Louisiana. Maybe that's why first-time jobless claims are decreasing there; all those Muslim school jobs at the thousand new Muslim schools that Valarie Hodges knows are out there just waiting to suck off the tax teat.
The voucher program, called Act 2, passed, opening the door for god knows how many non-Valarie Hodge's-religion schools that might interfere with her vision of America as a sort of Christian Saudi Arabia. At least one public school district has already filed suit in an attempt to keep the voucher program from being enacted.