A state subsidizes the teaching of lies and superstition 24

There is a Republican faction, a very large one, which we disdain as much as we do Democrats and collectivists in general.

Here’s part of a report from the Freethinker, by Barry Duke, which demonstrates who these Republicans are, and why we despise them and fear what they do with power when it’s put in their hands:

Schools run along faith guidelines have hit the jackpot big time following Louisiana’s decision to siphon tens of millions of tax dollars out of public schools and into religious institutions where only creationism will be taught.

In what is described here as “the nation’s boldest experiment in privatizing public education”, the state will pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.

That should read: “miseducate children”.

Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.

Said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions:

We are changing the way we deliver education. We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.

We are for private education. We are for parental choice of schools. We know that the teachers unions are a hindrance to good education. We do not like the voucher system because it is a way of redistributing wealth. We are vehemently against tax-payers’ money being spent on teaching children superstition and lies. Christianity’s (which is to say Judaism’s) account of the origins of the universe is a lie.

Jindal is a devout Catholic, and this is what he believes:

As Christians, we’re secure in the knowledge that in the Book of Life, our God wins. He gets off that cross. He beats Satan. We’re not called to be despondent. We are called to be salt and light and to be planting the seeds of the gospel.

Small religious schools, including some that are just a few years old and others that have struggled to attract tuition-paying students, are cock-a-hoop over the plan. New Living Word in Ruston is especially chuffed over the scheme, and is willing to accept the highest number of voucher students – 314.

New Living Word has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such as chemistry or composition.

The Upperroom Bible Church Academy in New Orleans, a bunker-like building with no windows or playground, also has plenty of slots open. It seeks to bring in 214 voucher students, worth up to $1.8 million in state funding.

At Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier hopes to secure extra space to enroll 135 voucher students, though she now has room for just a few dozen.

Her first- through eighth-grade students sit in cubicles for much of the day and move at their own pace through Christian workbooks, such as a beginner’s science text that explains “what God made” on each of the six days of creation. They are not exposed to the theory of evolution. Heaven forbid, NO! Said Carrier: “We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children.”

Other schools approved for state-funded vouchers use social studies texts warning that liberals threaten global prosperity, …

They do. With that we have no quarrel.

 Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory, …

Even mathematics to be “Bible-based”? How? Please don’t answer!

…  and biology texts built around refuting evolution.

How they can “refute evolution” without “exposing” the children to it is a puzzle.

Angrily we declare: Better that children have no schooling at all than be taught to believe these absurd, gruesome, and immoral fabrications of primitive minds.

 

(Hat-tip, reader and commenter Frank.)

  • bixkitboy

    This is probably the wrong place to drop in uninvited but I was pleased to find an intelligent discussion of issues instead of people trying to be wrong the loudest. I’m a christian (probably the worst one you’ll ever meet) and have great friends from all sides. Your comments are mostly right on. The tax issue can’t be micromanaged; won’t work. The voucher idea has been bounced around for years and has been successful in most areas from what I’ve read. On a side note: My fellow Christians need to quit hating. The only thing that separates a Christian from a non-Christian is faith. My bible doesn’t preach hate: it preaches the golden rule which really covers just about everything. Do you want to be hated? Not me. etc etc.
    Question all things: including science.

    • Jillian Becker

      Yes, bixkitboy, scientists try continually to prove themselves wrong.That’s how science works, isn’t it? With experiment?

      Do you question virgin birth, resurrection, and so on?

      Thanks for your comment.

      In what sense are you “the worst Christian” we’ll ever meet?

  • Harold

    There is a danger of mixing up the arguments again.  The general feeling here seems to be that tax-payers money should not be spent on education.  This causes ire against public money going to these schools.   However, there is also, I think a general acceptance that public funding of education is not going to stop any time soon.  SO, given the fact that there will be public funding of education, then the voucher system should be prefered here.  That way, parents can choose – and surely choice is all important?  If they choose religious fundamentalists to educate their children, why is that a problem?

    I cannot see how it is a problem, unless you believe that the market will not provide a good outcome.

    • George

      I agree Harold that public money for education is not going to stop anytime soon.  To address your position and even the position of C. Gee , please allow me to elborate my point.    If the government subsidy of public education should end all of a suden it would create utter chaos and it would be a disaster. You would have the great majority of school age yoths roving the streets getting into trould while their parents were at work. Even if they didn’t work , to control them would be almost futile.  As C. Gee pointed ,we as taxpayers are NOT obligated to support other people’s children at our expense but by the same token that argument could be used in a parrallel situation. For instance , a person who works and pays taxes has his/her tax money to pay for highways and roadway systems and bridges . Suppose that taxpayer says — ” but I am a parapalegic and can’t drive and I don’t even have a vehicle so therefore I am paying to support drivers use of roadways when I don’t even drive myself ” .
                          A person could argue that I am a “live aboard” on my large boat and yet my tax money is paying for the fire department service and my boat is kept  in the anchorage far away from fire dept reach so therfore I’m subsidizing other people’s fire service when I have no access to such service myself.  The argument itself cuts into a two way -street delemma. So therfore i see your point Harold and I also see the point of C. Gee. If we get too far  into nitpicking every detail we could end up having the government scrutinizing each taxpayer to see what services each requires and if you think our tax code now is a mess ( when filing income taxes ) to deal with , this could be a social nightmare in the making.

      • George

        Harold—

        Sorry for the typos again.  I really must be getting older as usual and the eyes are getting worse  again. I meant to say  “sudden” ( 4th line ) , “youths”  ( 5th  line ) , “trouble” (6th line ). I know you understand what I meant but it is rather an embarrassment .  I guess you can call it a bad case of  OFS ( Old Fart Syndrome ).  Considering I grew up during  the Flinstone era , I have got to check it better.   Anyway , take care Harold.

        • George

          I’m going to post some excerpts on this matter from my files at a much later time when I dig them out of storage . See , I even mispelled — ” Flintstone ” .    My eyes are actually like a bat and I have to get a new ISP that won’t boot me off line when  I’m idle for only a few moments ( this is why I rush to type before it happens ).  I’m under eye strain like crazy . I’ll refrain from  posting any more today so that I don’t tie up the posting [ current posts list ]. My apology. Thanks for the patience .

        • Harold

          George, It is rather disapointing that “yoth” was a typo – I thought it a very poetic phrase: “yoths roving the streets”.  My posts are full of typo’s and spelling errors too.

          Opting out of taxes is not possible.  Currently, were obligated to provide education.  I personally think that Govt. should provide education in some form – modern society requires an educated population.  However, that is for a different discussion.  I think that the type of school discussed above would NOT attract the numbers they say they are hoping for.  I think people are wiser than that, and will opt for a more sensible schooling for their children.  However, if they did chose this type of appalling education for their children, this is what the market will provide.  I do not see how one can criticise this outcome whilst believeing in the market as the provider of optimum solutions.  Of course, this may be because I have missed some point.  C.Gee says that the fact that the funds come from Govt. means there is no market, but I don’t agree with that.

  • Liz

    “We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children.” 
     Yes, as the old saying goes, “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”  Heaven forbid!

  • Andrew M

    Here in these comments, I’ve frequently called for public education to be abolished and replaced with private education. While I support the right for Christians to place their monies into private schools, I would hardly call these institutions of religious propaganda to be “schools”.

    It is in the nation’s interest that its children receive an education. It is how citizens deal with existential threats to their freedom. This is why there is such stiff opposition to the abolition of public schooling, even though they also make a mockery of the term. An independent academic circuit which accredits basic educational institutions and private teachers, similar to the Underwriters Laboratory which tests consumer electronics for safety, is the least we should ask for our children.Yes, it’s not enough to simply say “privatize the schools”. You have to make sure they are actually, you know, schools. Judging the quality of primary and secondary educational institutions is impossible without a national discussion on early child development and proper parenthood. An education of flimsy lies is child abuse and deserves to be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.I see no difference between depriving a child a sound education and depriving a child necessary medical care. A distinction, yes, but both of these profane acts emerge from the demonic faith of that child’s caretaker – and both deprive the child of his happiness.

    The only question left to answer is which set of foster parents should adopt children caught in those nasty webs of lies.

  • OldFan

    The results of voucher programs at other locations were:
    1) Significant decline at the worst public schools
    2) Intense shopping around for best value by parents
    3) Improved education because of innovative private schools
    4) Some of the private schools were religious, but many were not
    5) Major adjustments by the remainder of the public schools that actually
         improve their product
    6) Many children of the poor received a better education than the broken
          public school system could deliver

    Item #2 is decisive factoid:  parents with vouchers in hand tend to be a lot more picky than you give them credit for.

    • Jillian Becker

      Obviously. We said we are for private education. If vouchers promote that, well and good. Nevertheless, the system is a form of redistribution. We have that reservation about it. The case you make does not need to be made to us. What we’re against is teaching the bible as historical or scientific truth, on anybody’s dime.

  • cheongyei

    When I try to explain to fiscal conservatives why religious social conservatism is not about freedom, some of them get it, but some are still addicted to their faith-based conservatism.  It is frustrating how similar the religious conservatives are to the the secular liberals in terms of not applying reason to the matters of our society.

    • George

                      I have had the same experience Cheongyei as well.   I see conservative Christians who demand logical proof for everything and are so rational and resonable on so mnay things in general but when it comes to their faith-based belief system of Christianity they lief their rational thinking, reason and logic at home . Then on the other side of the coin , we have liberal atheists who support all these “political correctness”  and socialist agendas and some of the most degenerate lifestyles and behaviors inmaginable and yet call themselves rational thinkers. It isn’t [ freethought ] at all but liberal left-wing politics masquerading as secular freethought in disguise. 
                            I agree with what C. Gee stated and I had to correct myself ( my bad )  . What I believe will happen if the government should pull the funding or financial subsidy plug in funding public schools is that you will have  (IMHO) liberals ( and even a few conservatives ) that will start screaming their heads off with accustaions that we are hurting the children and depriving the children of a basic education and we would have widespread societal chaos.  And we thought “Occupy Wallstreet was bad. Just imagine if we have  [ Occupy  School System  ].  People have been existing for so long at other people’s expense that they actually have this mentality of entitlement and a mentality that they have a  RIGHT to be supported at government–read – TAXPAYER ) expense.  People will not be putting their kids in any school because they don’t want to pay for it themselves and then again the economy is in shambles and this will compound things when we have massive unemployment which they will also use as an excuse.
                         The problem with home schooling ( in SOME cases )  is that not everyone is qualified to home-school their children in a thorough basic education curriculum.  What if you have parents who are illiterate or under-educated ? How are they going to home-school their childeen when they are a bunch of under-educated dummies themselves ? In quite a few cases home school kids excell extraordinarily because highly EDUCATED  parents do not have the restrictions or have to follow government dictates in basic education.  Many home school students have excelled on tests , and education contests.  I certainly wouldn’t want  SOME  ghetto or trailer-park illiterate teaching children ( notice I said – “SOME”  ) so as not to be accused of stereotyping . People need to be taught in our society the rule of self-responsibility which is surely needed ut when anyone publicly state this they get attacked venemously.  Good point Cheongyei !

    • TyS

       The simple fact of the matter is that anyone who advocates for the implementation of theocratic principles in government, including the school system, is by definition, NOT a small-government conservative.

  • George

            Tax payers should not be paying for any private school education– PERIOD .  And if I were a religious person I also would not want taxpayers to pay for an atheist education center in reciprocal. The tax money should be used to fund simple basic education—such as math/arithmetic, science, history, geography, chemistry, etc. and not any form of indoctrinated dogma .  Of course there is a reciprocal argument to be made as well . For instance, taxpers are funding currently public school education and as such tax money is therefore paying for children to attend schools  by taxpayers who themselves do not have children. So , using that argument, it can be said that childless taxpayers are currently subsidizing children that are not their own. Even with vouchers , citizens can take tax money and pay for a private school education ( often religious oriented centers ) that is in reality a front for a  religious based indoctrination center or disguised secondary church operating under the guise that it is just another education center.   The argument can be made both ways just as I heard that tax money funds highways , even by taxpayers who do not drive cars or utilize such roadway systems.  However there is indeed a difference. For example , even if you do not drive per se , you still have access to such if needed and the use of such system is a priviledge available for EVERYONE  ( non-discriminatingly ) if not abused or violated . 

  • Harold

    Presumably Muslim schools are free to accept vouchers, if any parents wish to spend them there.

    You may not like the voucher system, but I take it you prefer it to the current one.  If parents wish to educate their children in a particular way, who is anybody else to criticise?  If there is no market for extreme religious views, then these schools will just wither away.  If there is a market, then they should deservedly thrive.

    • Liz

      It would probably end up as pockets of religious groups, like the Amish, who don’t get any bigger, but never really go away.  They just insulate themselves from the rest of society.
      If public schools would just be limited to the basics, and avoid indoctrination, they would work.  But since they get money thru the government, political agendas always seep in.  Evolution should not be considered a “political” topic, but the religious have made it one, also. 

      • George

        You are absolutely right Liz in that the public schools have indeed engaged in indoctrination by  government oriented agendas just as the  religious based private schools have been promoting a theologically oriented or influenced curriculum. If private schools teach a mythologically based education , then the idea of it being a true basic education becomes a farce , and the public (government ) schools will be producing pupils who are robots of government based propaganda.  Do you agree ?

        • Liz

          Yes.  This dilemma seems impossibe to resolve:  If schools are private, they can teach what they want, which in theory is great, but in reality it’s going to mean alot of religiously indoctrinated creationists ignorant of evolution. But public education has also proved to be a bad idea and a waste of taxpayer money.
          Maybe it would work to allow the various outcomes from private schools to compete in the real world and the better educated will win out.  Political agendas and religions are so entrenched, however, that it’s an iffy proposition.

    • C. Gee

      “Who is anybody else to criticize?”  Taxpayers. But unlike George, I do not think that tax revenues should fund education – simple, basic or any other kind.  

      There is no “market” where there is state subsidy. Vouchers are state subsidies. If  education were not state funded, the “market”  – – employment, college entrance – for graduates in religious fundamentalism will tell us if these schools thrive. Not sure how “deservedly” fits in. People buy stupid ideas more often than they buy rotten goods. 
      Traditionally, many people preferred private religious schools to state schools because they taught academic subjects better. The God aspect was seen as not detracting from secular credentialing. With creationism now being taught in place of evolution, that will no longer be the case. 

      • George

        C. gee , I was in error in part of my previous statement and I must correct myself.  You are correct indeed  that TAXPAYERS should NOT fund education ( basic or any other kind ) .  My bad — I mis-spoke in that respect and I stand corrected on that  , and  we are indeed in agreement.   Taxpayers should NOT be required to subsidize or fund ANYONE’S  learning or education at all.    The private schools have been preferred because they do and have taught basic education better because the private schools were not under the overwhelming restrictive regulations that the public (government) schools were and especially in the area of classroom discipline ) .  We therfore are on the same page here and indeed in agreement .  Everyone’s education must be at the expense of the person trying to attain that education. No one is required to pay for another’s education of any kind. I get your point  and I am in agreement with everything you posted above . I should have simply stated that the current education system is in need of a major overhaul but the forces against us will be enormous because people generally want things at other people’s expense ( i.e.–government funding which is in reality taxpayer funding in actuality ).  I agree totally. 

    • George

      Harold , I couldn’t reply to your last post prior to this. My comment to C. Gee was in response to C. Gee stating that NO government ( citizen tax money ) should be used ( or rather required/forced ) to subsidize any form of education whatsoever ( at least that is the way I interpret his statement ). I agree with that but there is also a flip-side to that point as well–and please allow me to explain . My comment regarding that is that while we as taxpayers have NO obligations to subsidize other people’s kids ( and C. Gee is correct here ) , the idea that “pulling the plug” on tax funded public education the way we have the system set up now would indeed be a total disaster and lead to mass chaos.  This transition needs to be gradual with a proven ,  known , or pragmatic replacement structure  implemented in it’s place ( not just a hope and a prayer –please excuse  the pun ) .You both have acknowledgeable points  and I am trying to elaborate further on my position on this as best I can. As the old saying goes — [ Six in one hand and a half-dozen in anotherf ].

  • Liz

    I wonder what is going to happen when the Muslims get the same bright idea and start setting up schools and demanding money for them there?  They’ll not only be teaching against evolution, they’ll be teaching against civilization, period.
    The Christians just might suddenly get a revelation that separation of Church and State might not be such a bad idea, after all.

    • George

      Hi Liz. That will probably be the ONLY thing that will turn the Christians around and drive them to supporting [ separation of church and state ]. In the Christians case, they will be pushing the [ separation of mosque and state   ] , but either way they  ( Christians ) will still hate atheists because we are NOT religious in any sense.