30.1.07

Freedom of Religion and School Vouchers

Silly separation of church and state.

More precisely, silly people who claim to support the separation of church and state. First off, the phrase never appears in the constitution, though people like to find the concept there. The constitution does grant religious freedom, which has the effect of limiting what religiously oriented actions the government can take, and that's a good thing. But it does not mean that the government can't have an interest in anything that anyone considers a religious issue, just that that can never be the sole rationale for a government action. For example, the government can ban abortion without running afoul of the 1st amendment, but only by determining that fetuses have rights, not by stating that it knows that a soul is given at conception.

The abortion issue seems likely to sort itself out just now, although it will take a while. Less likely to sort itself out is the issue of the religious rights of school children and their families. "But how are those threatened?" you might ask. I wouldn’t offer the question if I didn’t intend to answer it.

Let's start with the concept of religion. Religion cannot be limited to simply a church structure with clearly delineated beliefs and practices. Religion is much more inclusive than that. Atheism is a religion, or more accurately a set of related religions. Religion is any set of beliefs regarding the purpose and meaning of life, the definition and sources of truth, and the nature of reality, possibly including a clear judgment on the supernatural but maybe not. In this sense, everyone has a religion, and therefore everyone has religious rights to protect, and not just from unfair subjection to another's beliefs. This is an important definition because it makes it clear that freedom of religion is never freedom from religion, since no one is ever nonreligious. Everyone has a right to religious expression, and everyone has a religion to express.

There are two main places in our society where the church state issue comes up most frequently: government and schools. We get upset when a government official gives as a reason for doing something their religious beliefs, and we say something along the lines of "Well, he can't just force his beliefs on everyone else," as if his reason is more important than the action. It isn't. First off, the action is what counts, what affects the rest of society. His reason explains to the rest of us why he might take a particular action and what his goals for that action are, but the action is still the point. Second, as stated above, everyone has religious beliefs, and by the definition used above those beliefs will always influence every decision a person makes. Always. We elected people based on what actions we think they'll take, and we based that judgment on the beliefs they espoused. Well, we shouldn't be surprised when they actually act on the beliefs we chose them for (the whole money and lying politician issue aside). This is annoying to hear in public discourse as it is clearly not a well considered opinion, but we can ignore it and move past it, and it would never stand up in court anyway.

More problematic is the issue of schooling. There are two basic issues here: should schools be nonreligious, and can schools be nonreligious? The answer to both questions is no, but we'll get there. For the first question we have to decide is what schools we're talking about. Some people have argued that private schools should not be allowed, but they were defeated in the Supreme Court long ago, and not too many people care to revisit the issue. I think the majority of people agree that private schools have every right to be religiously partisan. Good, now on to public schools. We have decided that it benefits society greatly to have a large population of people with at least a basic education, so we publicly fund schools. This public funding becomes an issue every time someone wants to start the school day with prayer, and occasionally when a valedictorian wants to thank the God of their choice in a graduation speech. The argument is that to allow religion to enter into any aspect of public education is to trample the rights of the tax payers, who don't get a choice about what they fund and shouldn't be forced to fund religious activities with which they disagree. Fair enough, the argument is rational and honest. The argument does, however, favor the rights of some over the rights of others, at least in the case of the valedictorian's speech, although I think the valedictorian would be highly likely to win that case in court. Rights aside, what about the quality of the education provided? Is an education devoid of any values, not just moral but also intellectual, of any value whatsoever? And it would have to be devoid of intellectual value, since religion is the ultimate source of any determination of what constitutes a valid source of truth. Without a determination that experience constitutes truth, science means nothing. Without a decision to believe written sources, history means nothing. Math requires a reliance on logic, and literature is an open debate anyway. Education is, and should be, filled with this sort of existential discussion, and this is exactly the sort of discussion that cannot be had in a nonreligious environment. For this reason alone all education should be religious, even if that religion ends up being materialist atheism.

Then there's the consideration of the rights of the parents to instill their religious values in their children, which tends not to be successful when the people they are trusting for the construction of their understanding of reality are not holding the same basic suppositions about the world. And the rights of children to possess and express sincere religious beliefs, which properly should come up in an educational setting but would be highly disruptive in a nonreligious educational setting. Both of these rights are fully protected by the phrase "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," but discarded by the current interpretation of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." So, no, schooling should not ever be nonreligious, whether that school is public or private.

This becomes a moot point as soon as we consider the second question: can education be nonreligious. Just as no one is ever devoid of religious beliefs, even if they do not choose to define them as such, no education can be devoid of religious values. Those same value judgments on the sources of truth that provided the argument that schools shouldn't be nonreligious proves that they cannot be. No school can educate a child without making these judgments, and we cannot pretend that these judgments do not constitute religious decisions. In the end, rather than be nonreligious, all a school can do is choose its religious values. Public schools are religious institutions, just not of any religion that holds organized church services. That is not adequate fulfillment of the requirements of the argument put forth by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, among others. Since their argument does not have an appropriate solution, another way must be sought.

We have two options if we want to be institutionally neutral towards religion. We can either not fund education, in recognition that all schools teach religious values, or we can fund all religions schools evenhandedly. Since we believe that education is a public good, the first is not a good choice. That leaves the second. Yes, this involves giving government money to explicitly religious institutions, but it's only different in that explicit bit from the current situation. Since the government should not be running religious institutions, that means these schools will have to be privately operated. That means school vouchers. The ACLU and the Americans United should be supporting school vouchers, not opposing them, which brings us back to my opening statement.

Silly supporters of separation of church and state.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is my first post I'd love to thank you for such a terrific quality forum!
Just thought this would be a perfect way to introduce myself!

Sincerely,
Monte Phil
if you're ever bored check out my site!
[url=http://www.partyopedia.com/articles/football-party-supplies.html]football Party Supplies[/url].

Anonymous said...

deadhead dating [url=http://loveepicentre.com/]free dating love site[/url] dating tall married women http://loveepicentre.com/ gay teen dating

Anonymous said...

Predilection casinos? experimentation this firsthand [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com]casino[/url] commander and wing it humiliate online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at www.realcazinoz.com .
you can also into our blooming [url=http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com]casino[/url] orientate at http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com and snowball the overcharge the clue pucka folding spondulix !
another up to the shake [url=http://www.ttittancasino.com]casino spiele[/url] grouping is www.ttittancasino.com , in the rule of german gamblers, slip in well-wishing online casino bonus.

Anonymous said...

You could easily be making money online in the underground world of [URL=http://www.www.blackhatmoneymaker.com]blackhat seo forum[/URL], It's not a big surprise if you haven’t heard of it before. Blackhat marketing uses alternative or not-so-known avenues to generate an income online.

Anonymous said...

medical information on the philippines [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/paxil.htm]paxil[/url] erection panties pink http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/septilin.htm otc treatment fungal infection http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/buspar.htm
fake non stress test [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/viagra-plus.htm]viagra plus[/url] genetic disorder types [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/tenormin.htm]self funded health plan pmpm rate[/url]

Anonymous said...

http://rxmeds.in/abilify
[url=http://rxmeds.in/premarin/naia-premarin]levitra cialis viagra[/url] illegal drugs pills [url=http://rxmeds.in/cyclophosphamide/cyclophosphamide]cyclophosphamide[/url]
levitra cialis comparison http://rxmeds.in/actos/bontril-actos-flomax-index-php
[url=http://rxmeds.in/altace/altace-and-its-side-effects]kids that are drugs abouse[/url] online pharmacy order [url=http://rxmeds.in/acai/mona-vie-acai-berry-juice]mona vie acai berry juice[/url]
typhoid vaccine pharmacy http://rxmeds.in/prilosec/appetite-poor-prilosec
[url=http://rxmeds.in/exelon/exelon-corp-webmail]discount viagra cialis levitra online[/url] drugstore beauty products trump all [url=http://rxmeds.in/decadron/decadron-hcpcs]decadron hcpcs[/url] best depression drugs [url=http://rxmeds.in/yohimbe/yohimbe-rush]yohimbe rush[/url]

Anonymous said...

http://www.flt4.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=373230 http://probekbarkod.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=170790#170790 http://forums.3mina.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10711 http://studyforum.parthenonmysterytemple.com/index.php?topic=13543.new#new
http://www.natxoz.com/foro/index.php?topic=296684.new#new http://www.angelsvsdemons.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=253020 http://hearmyhands.org/smf/index.php?topic=52529.new#new http://twilightvinculum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=144694
http://www.ictbaltic.com/smf/index.php?topic=106835.new#new http://www.ruta.org/foro/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=102446 http://www.thisismyindia.com/my-india/upload/viewtopic.php?pid=68075#p68075

Anonymous said...

cause diabetes symptom htm [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/avodart.htm]avodart[/url] following low carb diet helpful to alcoholics http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/medrol.htm breast reduction surgery preoperative smoking cessation http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/cok-n--energy-and-sensory-enhancer-.htm
vitamin 12 deficiency [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/metformin.htm]metformin[/url] school programs dental health [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/bystolic.htm]future medicine password[/url]

Anonymous said...

automobile accidents us http://automotoportal.in/maserati/maserati-newport s 500 mercedes 201gps
[url=http://automotoportal.in/maybach/maybach-apparel]cost of automobile[/url] how to detail ypur automobile [url=http://automotoportal.in/romeo/alfa-romeo-brera-northampton]alfa romeo brera northampton[/url]
moncton mercedes http://automotoportal.in/porsche/porsche-928-colours
[url=http://automotoportal.in/motor/butler-motor-tours]mercedes lynn[/url] detroit auto show 2008 future [url=http://automotoportal.in/royce/yahoo-asia-royce-chang]yahoo asia royce chang[/url]
auto steering wheel spinner http://automotoportal.in/pontiac/saint-james-hospital-pontiac-illinois
[url=http://automotoportal.in/motorcycles/cradley-heath-motorcycles]free ebooks haynes auto chevy truck[/url] automobile gas gauge repair cost [url=http://automotoportal.in/panoz/donal-and-nancy-panoz]donal and nancy panoz[/url]

Anonymous said...

custom airbrushed clothes http://luxefashion.us/white-navy-blue-long-sleeve-tops-color75.html outlook window fashions [url=http://luxefashion.us/white-navy-blue-red-men-color101.html]polaris fashion place[/url] wrestling shoes
http://luxefashion.us/roberto-cavalli-page2.html designer homes [url=http://luxefashion.us/men-page52.html]designer tees[/url]

Anonymous said...

candy shoes http://www.thefashionhouse.us/goffo-jack-brand74.html zara clothes [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/m-one-ply-windbreaker-jackets-size5.html]shoes for orphan souls[/url] chanel logo necklace
http://www.thefashionhouse.us/frankie-morello-brand19.html domnatricks shoes [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/peach-color94.html]ballarina shoes[/url]

Anonymous said...

baseball truff shoes http://luxefashion.us/iceberg-men-brand30.html warmbat shoes [url=http://luxefashion.us/shoes-page14.html]merrell shoes[/url] free preview of a fashion show
http://luxefashion.us/-casual-tops-dolce-amp-gabbana-category48.html chanel charm necklace [url=http://luxefashion.us/richmond-sweaters-brand18.html]shoes are firmly attached to soles[/url]

Anonymous said...

taco chanel flange http://www.thefashionhouse.us/36-jeans-cut-pants-size14.html download screensaver designer [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/leopard-print-women-color9.html]working conditions for being a fashion designer[/url] designer womens clothes
http://www.thefashionhouse.us/grey-black-dolce-amp-gabbana-color61.html fashion photographer seattle [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/blumarine-casual-jacket-for-women-grey-blue-item2191.html]clothesfree[/url]

Anonymous said...

invented a machine in which shoes are firmly attached to soles http://luxefashion.us/-stretch-jeans-dolce-amp-gabbana-category80.html discount clothes [url=http://luxefashion.us/prada-sport-brand10.html]hsn and shoes off[/url] dipsetclothes
http://luxefashion.us/48-long-sleeve-tops-size1.html photoes of chanel [url=http://luxefashion.us/grey-roberto-cavalli-color1.html]fitness equipment designers and manufacturers[/url]

Anonymous said...

bally bingo pinball http://wqm.in/betting_college-football-betting-game-of-the-week-4 lottery missouri
[url=http://wqm.in/joker_pascal-picotte-joker-helmet]largest lottery winners[/url] lottery in spain [url=http://wqm.in/jackpot_jackpot-hotel]jackpot hotel[/url]
adolescents gambling addictions facts http://wqm.in/online-casinos_vegas-casinos-with-highest-payout
[url=http://wqm.in/slot_card-colors-memory-million-port-slot-usb-sony-vaio-omschrijving]arizona lottery results[/url] betting terminology [url=http://wqm.in/lottery_vania-lottery]vania lottery[/url]
blackjack ii forum http://wqm.in/baccarat_rules-baccarat gambling horse spitzer patrick slots casino indian internet [url=http://wqm.in/poker-online_places-to-play-poker]places to play poker[/url]

Anonymous said...

blue devils bingo concord calif http://lwv.in/jackpot/virginia-mega-millions-jackpot results for 122 skl german lottery
[url=http://lwv.in/bingo/new-online-bingo-sites-2008]phoenix az casino[/url] poker online gambling gaming [url=http://lwv.in/slot/fairys-fortune-slot]fairys fortune slot[/url]
best internet casinos play blackjack games http://lwv.in/casino-playing-cards/illusions-in-art-playing-cards
[url=http://lwv.in/blackjack/free-adult-strip-blackjack]boomtown casino bossier city louisiana[/url] online betting guide [url=http://lwv.in/betting/betting-odds-calculator]betting odds calculator[/url]
fix my sound in bingo http://lwv.in/baccarat/rules-baccarat create your own bingo cards [url=http://lwv.in/poker-online/law-home-poker-new-york]law home poker new york[/url]

julia f. Baca said...

buy viagra

viagra online

generic viagra

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon! check
[url=http://pussy.hqporn.us/][img]http://pics.hqtube.com/gallery/double_dip-her_3_sc4_3.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://shemale.hqporn.us/][img]http://pics.hqtube.com/gallery/naughty_little_nymphs_2_sc4_1.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://pussy.hqporn.us/][img]http://pics.hqtube.com/gallery/pink_eye_2_sc8_1.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://lesbian.hqporn.us/][img]http://pics.hqtube.com/gallery/over_eighteen_10_sc5_2.jpg[/img][/url]
Category: FREE > Other > Porn For Women [url=http://www.hqtube.com/?5736000000/]free porn king [/url] , free porn videos lesbian [url=http://lesbian.hqporn.us/]youtube porn [/url] or amatuer porn video [url=http://japan.hqporn.us/]movies porn free [/url] , porn rentals online [url=http://teen.hqporn.us/]rapidshare porn [/url] or black women porn [url=http://granny.hqporn.us/]rachel starr porn [/url] , linux porn [url=http://squirts.hqporn.us/]pigtail porn [/url] and mobile porn [url=http://squirts.hqporn.us/]handjob porn [/url] or porn x tube [url=http://squirts.hqporn.us/]adult porn games [/url] , Fun times at this pool party when it turns into groupsex cluster fuck. [url=http://cssra.phpbbserver.com/post95530.html#p95530]love hina porn [/url] . 4 clips of Cumshots : raven gets a big shot of cum load in the face by monster cocks [url=http://www.lovelongandprosper.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=199354#199354]porn studios [/url] . More is better with Adult Gold Access. For a $1 trial sign up, you get access to a variety of sites, 6 sites to exact. Each site is amazing and huge. You get access to a range from nude celebs to erotic comics to the biggest best tits you’ve ever seen. Check it out Adult Gold Access, you will be pleased. [url=http://phpbb2.altric.com/viewtopic.php?p=53342#53342]watch free porn online [/url] . 13 pics of Blowjob : alexis love playing with big dildo on the bed [url=http://rknights.lt/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=65686]nicole mason porn [/url] . 15 pics of Amateurs : picture collection of wasted amateur chicks [url=http://engsci.utoronto.ca/old/punbb-1.2.15/viewtopic.php?pid=129347#p129347]porn stars of the 1980 s [/url] , 4 clips of Anal : dick-sucking sweetie gets wild [url=http://tube.hqporn.us/]free porn katie morgan [/url] , free latino gay porn [url=http://granny.hqporn.us/]wet beaver porn [/url] or free porn mpegs [url=http://pussy.hqporn.us/]gymnastics porn [/url] , amiture mom porn on youtube [url=http://squirts.hqporn.us/]free porn video sharing [/url] or straight male porn stars [url=http://tube.hqporn.us/]free porn videos boysfood [/url] , free mp4 porn videos [url=http://pussy.hqporn.us/]free bizarre porn [/url] and rss porn [url=http://shemale.hqporn.us/]realty porn [/url] or jesica alba porn [url=http://tube.hqporn.us/]latine porn [/url] , F Virgin No More new [url=http://lvps92-51-130-117.dedicated.hosteurope.de/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=377707#377707]adult porn video free [/url] . Wanna join the best teen, pussy, asian, mature paysite but dont know which one to choose? Browse ultimate collection of X-rated paysite reviews. [url=http://willises.org/bb/viewtopic.php?p=152260#152260]crazy james porn [/url] . P Breast Palace new [url=http://1st-bod.dk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=172299&p=580556#p580556]free sexy porn games [/url] . Nurse in tights getting hard-core sex and other gallery about TS in nylons who bangs male. [url=http://orgazm.bajerancki.be/viewtopic.php?p=207685#207685]bizare porn [/url] . 4 clips of Amateurs : horney mom fucked her sons friend eat his ass and swallows cum [url=http://www.seleuropa.com/foro/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=253370&p=446787#p446787]psp rss porn [/url] , of good purchases.....