posted on June 22 - 08:30 AM
By Joe -

Pastors for Texas Children decries the decision today by the United States Supreme Court to allow Maine tax dollars to underwrite private religious schools. We find the decision not only to violate Maine’s constitutional qualification that no public dollars be used for sectarian purposes, but also to chip away at the American doctrine of the separation of church and state.

This decision undercuts the principle of religious liberty, which is an eternal and universal moral truth of God. All authentic faith is voluntary and free. God has ordained it to be so. It can never be legitimately advanced or endorsed by human government. The proper function of government is to protect a free expression of religion devoid of any governmental role.

This protection of religious freedom is the foundation upon which our nation was founded and continues to be the civic value that holds our diverse population in national union and concord.

Religious schools neither need nor deserve the help, assistance, or preferential treatment of the State. Its teachings should be sustained only by voluntary investments. To require Maine taxpayers to fund a religion contrary to—or consistent with-- their beliefs is a violation of basic human liberty.

Of particular concern to us is the interference of the government into the voluntary faith assemblies of Maine religious schools. The public dollars channeled from the state treasury to those religious institutions will invariably be followed by the burden of accountability of those public expenditures, opening the Pandora’s Box of governmental intrusion into the private affairs of that religious school. Avoiding this oversight is the reason the religious school was started in the first place.

The decision today will inevitably empower voucher proponents everywhere, including Texas, where our citizens have rejected voucher plans for decades.

Therefore, we say loud and clear: We pledge again as pastors to prevent any private school voucher proposal from passing the Texas State Legislature.

And we call on all Texans of goodwill to unify around their moral and constitutional duty before God to “make suitable provision for public free schools.”