This morning I came across a different spin on the school voucher reforms passed in the Louisiana legislature earlier this year. In case you’ve forgotten, HB976, passed as Act 2, allows families to use school vouchers to go toward tuition at religious schools.
Well, it seems that Livingston and East Baton Rouge Parish Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, after voting for the bill, realized that could include (Gasp!) Muslim schools.
“I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools,” the District 64 Representative said Monday.
“I liked the idea of giving parents the option of sending their children to a public school or a Christian school,” Hodges said.
So apparently, she’s only OK with vouchers being used for tuition at the right kind of religious schools. With right=Christian.
“Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion,” Hodges said. “We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.”
Now, I’m actually OK with vouchers being used for private and religious school tuition because I believe parent and student choice over the schools they attend should be the top priority in education. But, Rep Hodges, seriously? I mean, really? Fortunately, you did everyone a favor and were explicitly clear in your bigoted views which is something that the religious right isn’t always. I would implore you to go ahead and really think about what religious freedom truly means. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t just apply to Christians.