The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
“The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a Maine tuition program that does not allow public funds to go to religious schools,…
“The vote was 6 to 3, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. writing for the majority and the court’s three liberals in dissent.”
“’There is nothing neutral about Maine’s program,” he wrote. “The State pays tuition for certain students at private schools — so long as the schools are not religious. That is discrimination against religion.’
“Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the dissenters, answered, ‘This Court continues to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build.’” “Supreme court-Maine-religious schools”
Where public funds are provided to support the education of our children, they should not discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs. That is what the separation of church and state means to me. I don’t understand Justice Sotomayor’s position. Public funding of all schools except religious one is religious discrimination pure and simple. It is the State interfering in religious choices.
In my opinion, the relevant government authority choosing to support the education of children should provide the parents of each child with a tuition voucher that can be used at any certified school (including home schooling). As an aside, while I defend the right of parents to school their own children at home, I think it is a mistake to do so as the school experience is more than what is in the text books. Quite clearly, banning the use of such vouchers at Catholic, Hebrew or other religious schools would be discriminatory and should not be allowed (as the Court ruled).
I also support a Universal Basic Income. “Our social safety net” Disallowing its use to send your kids to a religious school would violate fundamental principles of equal treatment and religious freedom that we hopefully all believe in.