Republican Kasich Forces Public Schools To Partner with Religion Or Lose Taxpayer Funding

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Bradley Sabin
American children, and their parents for that matter, should be thankful they live in a nation that prohibits religious indoctrination in the public school system. In many Islamic countries, the government forces religious instruction on every student using taxpayer money that is just the price those poor people pay for living in a harsh theocracy controlled by religious extremists.

Of course, the religious leaders in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and many others assert that “faith plays an important role in shaping the lives of young people,” and their justification for forcing religion on students is because “god has a purpose for each and every one of them (students) and we’re helping them find it.” That is the case in wide swathes of Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State (ISIS) closed down “infidel schools” and forced teachers to undergo religious instruction training or lose funding, and likely their lives, unless they learn to teach religious extremism. Many Americans are likely thinking, “thank dog we live in America where that kind of religious edict is illegal and un-constitutional,” but they would be wrong in thinking America is not on pace to become a harsh religious theocracy.

Obviously, there are Christian extremists in America who believe, like the Islamic State extremists, that it is the government’s duty to force religious instruction on public schools, and this week, Ohio Governor John Kasich made that “religious extremist duty” mandatory in Ohio. Kasich issued a statement through a spokesman informing Ohio schools that if they fail to align with Christian organizations, they will lose funding. It should disabuse any American of the idea that this sad country is exceptional; unless they consider theocracy a la ISIS exceptional.

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A new mentoring program funded with taxpayer dollars requires ALL Ohio school districts to become partners with a faith-based organization (church) and a corporation in order to have access to the public school money. The initiative is the brain-child of religious Republican Governor John Kasich and provides funding to mentor at-risk students, but only if the schools allow a church and corporation to control the program. According to the initiative, “failure to incorporate a faith-based non-profit (Christian church) will eliminate a school district’s eligibility for the taxpayer funding.”

When asked why Kasich is forcing public schools to spend taxpayer money for incorporating religion in schools, his spokesman said, “The governor believes faith-based organizations play an important role in the lives of young people. The Good Lord has a purpose for each and every one of them and we’re helping them to find it.” And, any Ohio district that thinks for a second that using taxpayer dollars to insert religion in public schools is wrong will not get funding. ISIS leaders would be proud of Kasich because there are no exceptions according to one of Kasich’s theocratic advisors. The United Way of Greater Cleveland President Bill Kitson said if any school district expects taxpayer dollars for their program, “You must include a faith-based partner.”

Another one of Kasich’s theocratic underlings, and senior policy analyst for the Ohio Department of Education, Buddy Harris, broke the good news to a gathering of church representatives that they are now firmly entrenched in, and will soon control, public education. He said that any school district’s application for taxpayer money must include a corporation and place of worship in its partnership. According to Harris, any “partnership” that dares exclude a faith-based group (church) will not qualify for public school tax dollars because “faith is clearly at the heart of the vision of the governor.” Translation; religion runs the program with corporations, and schools are subject to oversight of the “senior partners.”

Kasich’s theocratic initiative is part and parcel of the religious right fundamentalists’ “Onward Christian Soldier” campaign to eradicate  “deviant schools and replace them with institutions that will propagate Christian family values by issuing government edicts that all education will be handed over to the church,” and funded with taxpayer dollars. It is now the law in Ohio that joins several other religious Republican states using taxpayer dollars for public schools for Christian religious instruction in private, charter, and public schools.

Sadly, since the Vatican-5 on the Supreme Court deconstructed and demolished the Establishment, Separation, and Free Exercise clauses in the First Amendment, there is little redress for any American opposed to their child suffering religious indoctrination against their will. Despite the, soon to be abolished,  provision that public school dollars could not be used to pay churches to control curriculum and indoctrinate students, Republican governors and legislatures across the nation are violating the provision with impunity. Like the Internal Revenue Service’s abject fear of challenging evangelical clergy violating their 501 c tax-exempt status by campaigning from the pulpit, the Department of Justice, state and federal, are terrified of enforcing the law because of the unwritten mortal sin prohibiting challenging evangelical Christians.

In states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, to name but a few, Republicans are blatantly funneling public school money into religious instruction with impunity. In Louisiana, for example, the State Supreme Court ruled that religious Governor Bobby Jindal’s scheme of diverting public school funding to private religious schools is “unconstitutional and violates the Louisiana Constitution.” However, since Jindal refuses to acknowledge that the state, or federal, Constitution has supremacy over theocratic edicts, the taxpayer dollars continue flowing freely for religious instruction.

In fact, across America, taxpayers are spending over $1 billion on religious instruction in public charter schools alone with no government accountability due to the official terror of violating that despicable “unwritten mortal sin.” It is that government fear of theocrats that empowered Ohio Governor Kasich to force public schools to “partner with” churches to qualify for taxpayer dollars for public schools; or in Ohio’s case, corporate Christian madrassas.

If any American believed this nation is not rushing toward an ISIS-like theocracy, with apparent government support, they have been in a coma. Kasich’s move is the most blatant sign to date that the U.S. Constitution, or Founders’ intent, prohibiting religious control of the government or public education was a nice idea that will likely be as extinct as secular schools are in Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan.

37 Replies to “Republican Kasich Forces Public Schools To Partner with Religion Or Lose Taxpayer Funding”

  1. GOP governors are denying citizens the earned dividends from their tax dollars. Taxes are a means of pooling resources to make our lives better.

    Taxes aren’t tithes. I expect a return on my investment. Now.

  2. Seriously, what don’t they understand about “Prohibits the making of any law establishing a religion”, 1st Amendment.

  3. Wonder if schools had any choice what church to partner with, or did they have to choose from an exclusive list?

  4. This is what the people of Ohio voted for. They had the chance to vote Kasich out of office last month and, instead, they re-elected him.

    ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES!! When are people going to learn that?

  5. This arrogant SOB doesn’t care that what he’s doing is illegal, unAmerican and wrong. Those issues have never bothered any theist is pursuit of the goal of inflicting religion upon everyone.

    This jerk should be removed from office, arrested, and spend a few years in a Max-Max penitentiary.

  6. Not “NO” but “Hell, no”……this is just a money grab of federal funds and it’s as crooked as a barrel of snakes. I funnel federal education money to the churches and you and your members vote for me in the next election……

    And as far a Louisiana goes, their schools already have low state ratings because of believing that religion rates higher than their children’s education. Most all states that children rate low in testing are Religious Right thinkers who believe you don’t have to study because God will help you pass the test. It’s the easy way out instead of the students being told that they have to pass the test and God has nothing to do with that.

    It’s very sad that these RR folks are so naive and allow politicians and the top 1% to dupe them into voting against their own best interests to succeed in life and keeping their children backwards.

  7. When I hear that Christians are demanding that schools pair with Mosques, then I will at least know that they are not being hypocritical.

    Either way, it is illegal…

  8. The mechanic who works on my cars seems to think that we should not have freedom from religion, he thinks that the statement freedom OF religion guarantees the freedom of Americans to chose whether or not we have religion in our lives. I tried to explain to him how wrong that feeling is. He’s not stupid by ant means he is a very intelligent person who has simply been wrongly influenced by a conservative Christian lifestyle. K-SUCK will never get this passed, even the republicans in this state will see the un-lawful demands of this fascist bill.

  9. Yes, it is. But since when did Teabaggers believe in the rule of law OR the Constitution?

    They’ll break the laws every time they get a chance if doing so will control their fickle constituents. People who choose faith over facts are easily controlled.

    Religion in this country, I’ve noticed, is used by the lackeys of the wealthy and well-connected to bludgeon rather than benefit the American people.

  10. The answer is quite clear; establish new religions to fill the voids created by existing religions. If, in his legislation, there are no recommended religions – a list of acceptable religious organizations – what is to prevent the creation of new, secular churches? He could not possibly be so stupid as to flagrantly violate the Constitution by permitting only churches he deems suitable thus, the solution. The Church of What’s Happening as an example. I am an ordained minister in The First Church of God the Father, whatever all of that means. I was ordained in a bar in Anaheim, CA in 1969. I would be happy to open a branch in Ohio should any school district need an affiliation. And yes, I can perform marriages, LOL….

  11. Sort of like Obamacare.

    The Republicans contest that only certain states will be able to get the money, if they are part of the Exchange, yet…

    You have a the state (acting like the fed) pressuring school districts (acting like states) to adopt their system or be cut off of funds (which are partly their own tax dollars coming back).

  12. This is the GOP, we are for the constitution but only our interpretation of it and we don’t need to follow any part that we don’t agree with.

  13. I don’t recall a religious test being mandated by the ACA. You mean other than that, Kasich’s mandate is just like Obamacare?? [WINK]

  14. All religions including Muslims, Hindus Unitarians and even the Satanic Temple need to step up to this and crowd out the evangelical cults that inspired this. Real religious diversity would scare the perpetrators of this abomination enough to insure repeal.

  15. How is it whenever the Republicans come up with a dumb ass idea, the first thing you want to do is try to compare it with an Obama program. One thing has nothing to do with the other. This is your dumb ass program, stand by it.

  16. Serious typo in second paragraph as it says “thank dog we live….. Our country is definitely backsliding because of the idiocy of a group of people that no longer employ the use of common sense. Sadly our younger people subscribe to these theories.

  17. Exactly. Like, what would happen if a public school decided to partner with the Church of Satan? Would they still get taxpayer funding? It is a faith based group after all.

  18. SURELY Constitutional scholars, whether secular or religious, will voice the horror/terror that this illegal act evokes in them. If there are no repercussions for this tyranny, our nation and especially the State of Ohio, are leaderless indeed.

    Colleen

  19. Yahweh, Caesar and Mammon plainly long ago had a quiet three-way “same-sex marriage”.

    As for the “dumbing down” of American education on behalf of plutocracy and theocracy, any student who makes it to the age of majority and has been denied a competent scientific education should sue his parents, school-district and State for fraud.

  20. I wonder if a devout Muslim school teacher at a US public school in a red state decided to incorporate Koran teachings into the curriculum what would the conservatives think? Fair is fair correct? I mean I have read the US Constitution and don’t recall any verse on Christianity or any religion for that matter. It may mention God but whose God? Wow! Does this infuriate me as an atheist.

  21. This shows that Christian politicians and churches have forsaken their moral and spiritual duties in favor of malignant materialism, personal desires, and political ambitions. They care little about the children other than as pawns in their nefarious schemes to wrest power from the people. The combination of religious extremists and Wall St. greed will destroy this nation.

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