By Scott Tibbs, February 1, 2012
When a representative from Hillsdale College spoke to the recently reactivated Friday Lunch Bunch on January 20, he said that Hillsdale does not take any government grants and is therefore not subject to government regulations. In fact, Hillsdale does not even allow students to use government loans to pay tuition because the Supreme Court ruled that subjects the school to government regulations.
Of course, this reminded me of my opposition to vouchers for private schools, something I have been vocal about for many years now. I have warned that with government money comes government strings, and I was proven right when a silly bill to regulate performances of the National Anthem contained an ominous provision:
|SB 122 sets specific performance standards for any individual or group performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at public schools — including schools that receive state vouchers — and state universities.|
This is how it starts. First, there will be piddly regulations tied to government strings, and then it will get much worse. Eventually, and those strings will become a noose used to strangle religious liberty. "Separation of church and state" will require schools taking vouchers to eliminate Bible classes and chapel services, and will require that all textbooks be from a secular perspective. This will probably happen after the schools become dependent on the government funds.
I've written a lot about this subject. See a random sampling of articles:
Below is an e-mail I sent to the author of that bill:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: With government money comes government strings
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:32:32 -0800 (PST)
From: Scott Tibbs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: S40@IN.gov, H61@IN.gov
I am sure you have gotten a large number of comments on your proposed legislation to regulate the performance of the national anthem. I wanted to bring to your attention another issue raised by your legislation: the fact that it applies to private schools that take vouchers.
In a way, you have provided a valuable service in demonstrating the fact that with government money comes government strings. But if this becomes law with the regulations on private schools intact, you will be setting a frightening precedent that has ominous implications for religious liberty in the state of Indiana.
I am convinced that vouchers will eventually become a tool to regulate what private schools can teach, as well as their hiring practices. I am positive that "separation of church and state" will eventually be invoked to limit things like Bible classes, and that there will be further restrictions on the freedom of Christian schools to operate as they wish.
I would strongly urge you to be careful with these precedents.