The left's objection to even one tax dollar finding its way into the hands of a church is legion. It is (apparently) a matter of even greater concern that we might engage in tax policy that accidentally encourages others--by allowing them to keep more of their own money--to give some of it to a religious group.
Such is the current quandary, pressed into the arms of the New Hampshire Superior court judiciary; if a business owner is incentivized by the state to give their own money for a k-12scholarship to a non-profit that manages such scholarships, and some kid or their parents just happens to use their qualified scholarship award at a school run by a religious group, has the state shown an establishment of religion?
While progressives, secular humanists, and left-wing political pundits nod wide-eyed, in unison, like bobble-head donkeys peering out the cloudy rear window of the hopey-changey bus, let us consider instead what the state may have actually done. It may have committed a crime much worse. It may have permitted an establishment of "encouraging children not to attend public school." They may also have encouraged the act of doing something selfless with your own money for the good of the community in place of the all-caring State; 'educating' minors (see also; education camps) is still one of the lefts greatest 'greater goods' regardless of how their government-institutionalization has ruined it, by first running it through the kidneys of the bureaucracy and the teachers unions.
And there in lies the true problem. The Democrat establishment, of which both the ACLU and Barry Lynn's Church of The Separation of Church and state are a prominent part, are really just carrying water for Democrats who are beholden to teachers unions and the government monopoly on k-12 education. Everyone on the left demands the primacy of government run schools but they do not necessarily want the potential PR disaster of having to answer the question: "why won't you let poor kids have scholarships to better performing private schools, because it sends a message that there are better performing private schools and, hey--why is that anyway?
The answer to that questions is...because of the government bureaucracy and the unions, but left wing blood is thicker than water. The Progressive Family, however dysfunctional, comes first. And in reality, Democrats don't give a damn about education, all they care about is the teachers unions and preserving the state monopoly, and it matters very little which level of government you peer into to confirm that observation. Democrats kill scholarships every chance they get, regardless of whether a kid might seek attendance at a religious school or not, because it threatens their iron grip on your kids.
Ironically, one of the more likely reasons why home school kids are so much more adept at civics than their homogenized bricks-and-mortar counterparts could be because their parents have to keep driving to the state House to defend their right to home-school them. The act in itself is a teaching experience denied the chattel of the public education monopoly, who are instead favored with dynamic class schedules, Orwellian named curricula, all passed down from distant left-wing wizards, sequestered away in impenetrable white-towers into which no contrary statistic or weal of common sense can penetrate.
And while I'm ranting (and talking about lunch) it is the left who complains so much about childhood obesity...but who had the bright idea to stop sending kids to gym class five days a week after just a semester or two in High School? I had Gym every day for four years straight. We ran, played sports, worked on exercise equipment, did track, archery, soccer, floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, did something every day we were in public school, it cost less, and there were more of us.
Modern educators, at least in my district, send them to gym on all manner of odd schedules, up until their freshman year and then excuse them from it the next three. My kids didn't have to take any phys. Ed. once they became sophomores. And I bet if you left lunch alone, and went back to putting them in gym shorts five days a week, we'd see some changes.
And if educating kids in public schools is so damn important, and so much so that feckless (#!*&!)'s like Barry Lynn can file suit in our state, to overturn a law on the outside chance that a private business owner, incentivized by the opportunity to keep more of the money he made from actually being taxed, gives a scholarship donation to a non-profit, that gives it to a kid, who ends up attending a private catholic school, how is childhood obesity not the fault of white-tower education professors who convinced local school districts to stop sending kids to phys-ed the last three years they are nestled in the bosom of governments taxpayer-stuffed decolletage?
And how is it that these private schools, secular or religious, manage to produce better-educated (and probably healthier) kids on significantly lower overall budgets and costs per student? And if the government is not the best place to put your money when it comes to education what are the odds that it is not the best place to put your money for much of anything else? Not good. Even the liberals who pledge un-ending fealty to the secular super-state take every opportunity to pay as little in taxes as they can.
And it is no coincidence that given the means, the same liberals give as little of their kids over to their government run schools as well.
And maybe Barry Lynn and his church of the separation of church and state should first ask why it is acceptable for the state to use taxpayer dollars to accredit religious schools if he objects so strenuously to business owners funding scholarships in exchange for not getting burgled by the state.
Personally, I think this presents an opportunity for New Hampshire Republicans. The "separation of church and state" is a shibboleth of the left. An out of state left-wing influence, with the help of the ACLU, has come here to tell us that business owners cannot use their own money to fund scholarship programs for underprivileged kids in exchange for not being taxed as much. They don't want to let the "greedy bastards™" give of themselves to help families in need. And they have intentionally filed suit to overturn the law in the county most likely to get them what they want.
Why? What do Democrats have against business owners using their own money to help kids get the best education possible?
Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012