This in response to your editorial titled, “Let’s stop the religious debate over vouchers.”
You state that the First Amendment meant that the government could not favor one religion over another.
Both Jefferson and Madison, the author of the amendment, did not want to even declare a national day of prayer. Moreover, Indiana vouchers do favor some religions over others, insofar as most private schools are Catholic, Lutheran or fundamentalist. So Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodists and Presbyterians, who do not have schools, do not get this government aid.
Second, you state that parents have the choice. Not necessarily, as private schools maintain the right to refuse certain children, such as those with special needs. Public schools provide signers for the hearing impaired. Do the parochial schools? Can they reject a kid with a legal record, low IQ, or of a different faith, race or ethnic group?
Third, you state that vouchers grow in popularity because more parents use them. But is this due to the latest expansion that makes more students eligible? Polls show that a majority of Hoosiers do not support vouchers.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, vouchers are taxation without representation. My tax money goes to schools over which I have no control as I do not vote for their school boards or whoever runs them.
If I do not believe in the Catholic, Lutheran, fundamentalist or Muslim faiths, for example, I should not be forced to support them out of my pocket. Jefferson wrote something very similar to that.
Vouchers were pushed on us by politicians beholden to special interests. It is time we vote them out next November.
Kerry A. Miller