Louisiana Was Totally Cool With Paying For Kids To Go To Religious Schools Until Other Religions Show Up

  fighting select forms of indoctrination

"Math class"We told you last week about Louisiana’s new plan for educating its youth, which is to stop having a plan for educating its youth and just dump everybody into classrooms owned by private companies that replace teachers with Moses Explains Algebra on VHS.

They’re set to steer tens of millions of dollars into the new privatization program, which pays for vouchers that parents can use to send their children to religious schools. Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state was “changing the way we deliver education,” which is a lot like Domino’s saying it’s changing the way it delivers pizza by locking up the store and telling everyone to buy a Hot Pocket from the Vatican. In any case, Louisiana Republicans loved the plan. Until a group of folks showed up to ruin the whole thing: Muslims.  

Yes, apparently when you shove through legislation that allows religious organizations to receive state funding, Christians aren’t the only ones who want it — an Islamic school was one of 38 institutions approved for the voucher program, which is a huge problem for people who believe religion helps children so long as it is the religion of the swamp people they are representing. From the AP:

Rep. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson, objected to including the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans in a list of schools approved by the education department to accept as many as 38 voucher students. Havard said he wouldn’t support any spending plan that “will fund Islamic teaching.”

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“I won’t go back home and explain to my people that I supported this,” he said.

“It’ll be the Church of Scientology next year,” said Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin.

Carter, R-Baton Rouge, said the Islamic school withdrew its request to participate in the voucher program.

“They’re not interested. The system works,” he said.

Yes! We’ve intimidated a state-certified school from teaching students because we’re scared of brown people. The system works. And fuck Scientology, too! You don’t think complex educational systems should be slapped together all willy-nilly while a room full of blender salesmen and guys named Sherman decide which religion is best? Then move over to the Florida panhandle, hippy! (Heads-up: The teachers there are allowed to hit you.) [AP]

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172 comments

  1. Barb

    Muslim schools in Louisiana would be great!

    Would the thobe or kufi be acceptable in camouflage color?
    "Assalam Alaiykum ya'll."
    They wouldn't even have to put names under the girl's photos in the yearbooks. Who can tell who's who with a burqa on?

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Well, they could put the names there, but it's certain that if they fucked up the picture placement no one would know.

    2. chascates

      Honor killings would become shotgun marriages.

      Haven't figured out that 'halal' boudin thing yet.

          1. sbj1964

            Just a typo sport.Texting comments on your phone from work while the boss is around will do that.Spell check Nazi's?

          2. CapnRadio

            Spell check Nazi's what?

            Seriously, as much as I am willing to be so, no one is looking to proofread all the posts. But come on, man, you don't pass up comedy gold on the Wonk!

          3. not that Radio

            You go to wonket with the punk rock song you have, not the Marx Brothers movie you may want or wish to have at a later time.

          4. not that Radio

            [swoons]

            I'm speechless. I'd like to thank the Academy, and of course my agent.

          5. MittBorg

            Hey! As the soon-to-be-officially-announced Weedlord Bonerhitler fer reals and stuff … oh, wait, it's my mentor and deityparent, notThatDeweyRadio.

            Carry on, then.

  2. Estproph

    Religion=fundamentalist dominionist Christian Identity Baptism. All other beliefs are Of The Devil.

  3. Goonemeritus

    Which is a lot like Domino’s saying it’s changing the way it delivers pizza by locking up the store and telling everyone to buy a Hot Pocket from the Vatican

    You can criticize the Roman Catholic Church for a lot of things but in all the time I spent at the Vatican I never witnessed anyone eating or procuring a Hot Pocket.

    1. cheetojeebus

      The italians invented the frikkin hot pocket. Calzone is a hot pocket, it just took a multinational food conglomerate to ruin it. The word is even means pants leg.

  4. CapnRadio

    which is a lot like Domino’s saying it’s changing the way it delivers pizza by locking up the store and telling everyone to buy a Hot Pocket from the Vatican.

    I'd be careful when ordering. "Hot Pocket" has another, completely different meaning in the Catholic Church.

      1. CapnRadio

        See what happens when I wake at a reasonable hour? Tonight I'll drink some NyQuil before heading off to bed, I promise.

  5. bureaucrap

    It says right there in the constitution, "Freedom to be a fundamentalist christian baptist white male shall not be abridged."

    1. chicken_thief

      Everyone knows what Jesus and Ronald Reagan meant when they collaborated with Tommy J.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      You'd only think that if you were educated—no, indoctrinated–in the government schools.

    2. Dashboard_Jesus

      we're talkin' Louisiana here, not the good 'ol USA…hell they don't even speak Ingles down there

  6. randcoolcatdaddy

    Well … the court cases by the ACLU and the Justice Department should be quite fun to watch in Louisiana over the next decade.

  7. JackDempsey1

    "private companies that replace teachers with Moses Explains Algebra on VHS."

    I'm pretty sure that Moses only teaches the section on Roman numerals, and it's pretty confusing because of all the "shalt" and "shalt not" business. Plus, he's got a short fuse. It's not an atmosphere conducive to learing.

    1. Dashboard_Jesus

      everyone knows that Jesus saves while Moses invests, and that kinda thing takes some fancy math learnin' (at least that's what Bernie Maddoff told me)

  8. Mumbletypeg

    Moses Explains Algebra on VHS…
    …which is a lot like Domino’s saying it’s changing the way it delivers pizza by locking up the store and telling everyone to buy a Hot Pocket from the Vatican

    I felt my pockets get hot just reading this scintillating representation of allegory and irreverence. Hope you stick around, Wonkette Jr.? I have a whole lot of stuff to not get done at work today!

    1. Doktor Zoom

      I'd send my kid, but I need him to help with the harvest. Little brat's always whining about going to Toshi Station to get power converters. Kids these days…

  9. johnnyzhivago

    BTW, though I am no longer Catholic, I did attend Catholic schools and I don't remember one instance where other religions were put down the way these people put down Islam, etc…

  10. CapnRadio

    “They’re not interested. The system works,” he said.

    And thus the peek into the conservative mind: the system that we typically want less of works, provided we can game it.

    1. IncenseDebate

      And if they don't get what they want, the system can be fixed with the Second Amendment.

    2. tessiee

      "provided we can game it."

      and often enough, they're so dumb and incompetent that they can't "win" even when they cheat.
      It's like the guy in "The gang that couldn't shoot straight" whose car dealership couldn't make a profit, even though he stole the cars.

  11. arihaya

    yes yes, but did these wingnuts succeded in removing those scary Arabic numerals and foreign sounding lessons like Algebra from Jeebus schools?

  12. BaldarTFlagass

    I'm kinda disappointed that the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans backed off. It would have made things much more interesting if they hadn't.

  13. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    I was gettin' all clouded up and mad about this, then realized "You're an atheist, Chicken… it's a success if a religious group pulls its request to the state." Maybe the Baptists will pull their application because the Methodists or Pentecostals beat them to it.

    And because they're morons, fuck the people who send their children to private Christian schools for protection against science, anyway. Also.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Christians are morons, yes, but they're apparently well connected with the floaty pen industry. I have seen some CLASSICS! In my own collection are: Baby Moses "floating" down the Nile in his basket; Jesus "floating" on water; and the loaf of bread being passed or "floated" down the length of the table where are seated the disciples during the Last Supper.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        I prefer the ones where the lady's bathing suit "floats away" when you turn it over.

    2. tessiee

      "fuck the people who send their children to private Christian schools for protection against science, anyway."

      And If only we lived in a just world, sending your kids to a particular school to avoid exposing them to knowledge would carry its own punishment.

  14. Baconzgood

    I home school my kids through the Church of the SubGenius. Their slack and knowlage of Devo lyrics has improved immensely since I pulled them outta of public school.

    1. ChernobylSoup

      Last week I heard my 5 year old say "ooh, that's my favorite Clash song" and I've been weeping tears of pride ever since.

      1. Baconzgood

        Last year I took my 7 year old to the record store and gave him $20 to buy some CD's for a car trip to Chicago. He bought Tom Waitts, The Blues Explosion and The Cramps. The girl behind the counter looked at him and said "WOW! You have some really good taste in music." I shook my head and thought "yep, the most kick ass 1st grader in the school district".

        1. Baconzgood

          P.S.

          His brother kinda dropped the ball. He bought Tom Petty and Potus Head (not my first choices). He was going to buy a John Melloncamp but I forced him to buy a Man or Astroman CD. Now he loves surf rock.

      2. eggsacklywright

        Sounds like a promising young feller. I lean towards "Charlie Don't Surf", but I'm only 65.

    2. Steverino247

      Granddaughter's (age 7) favorite song: Werewolves of London
      Grandson (age 9) can name Pink Floyd tunes in about four notes.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        When Kid Zoom was but a wee tot, his preferred sing-along songs for bathtime were "Werewolves of London," "Old Time Rock n Roll," and "I Wanna Be Sedated."

        That last one was largely a dad's wishful thinking.

  15. BaldarTFlagass

    While these people probably don't believe in evolution, they certainly are on the fast track to devolution.

    1. tessiee

      Here I always thought they were morons who compounded their basic stupidity by going through life wtih a Bible strapped over their faces — it only now occurs to me that they don't believe in evolution because they've never seen any evidence for it.

      Nah, I'm giving them too much credit; they're assholes.

  16. chascates

    So Louisiana taxpayers of the Islam faith won't have to pay to support these 'Christian' schools, will they?

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      I was going to say that there was some kind of physical constant at work where you have one blue oasis of sanity in every red sphinctroid state; i.e. Santa Fe-New Mexico, Flagstaff-Arizona, Austin-Texas, but then I ran out of examples.

        1. BaldarTFlagass

          Well, in my defense, I didn't know about Ann Arbor being that way, and up until the last couple of years I always thought of Wisconsin as being pretty blue.

  17. OneYieldRegular

    Time to go down to the Voodoo Museum in New Orleans and buy some new pins for my dolls.

  18. BaldarTFlagass

    I wonder if the good Baptist people of Louisiana know that their state is named for a Catholic monarch.

  19. mavenmaven

    "Moses teaching algebra" has been superseded, you don't need all those rules, axioms or proof anymore because Jesus. Just have 'faith' in the numbers Paul Ryan presents and pay your tithes.

    1. Ruhe

      You see, what you do is modify your immigration policy so that you get a cycle going where you import engineers and scientists from south-east Asia. Then they have kids and those kids must, by law, attend Christian schools where they are properly indoctrinated. They convert, then next generation they're brown but basically American. Meanwhile you import some more brown engineers for the next project. Q.E.D….whatever that means.

  20. Terry

    Karl Rove let the city of New Orleans stay underwater without National Guard help just to avoid situations like this. Clear the city of minorities and ethnics and the God fearin' (Christian) decent people (Republicans) will be able to shape the State into the theocracy of their dreams. Seems like old Karl missed a few minorities and ethnics, doesn't it?

  21. not that Radio

    I have filed paperwork for the "St Bertrand of the Sacred Teapot Academy". So crazy, it might just work.

  22. Beetagger

    Louisiana is obviously where our next generation of Christian rocket scientists will be coming from.

  23. Baconzgood

    Unrelated to this post.

    *Cring*

    "Meeting that Baconz has to attend" with the top brass and the new Department Director Dale. This could be a pain in the ass.

  24. Scavok01

    Louisiana just conveniently forgot that the Mooslims gave us such high learning as math, the alphabet, and medicine. Why should we fund that junk when we can spend on our money on saurian themed creationist fantasies?

  25. Slim_Pickins

    When Louisianians finally figure out that the voucher system will devastate high school football and other interscholastic sports, they are going to be really, really pissed.

    1. PubOption

      One of the redneck states (Texas?) allows homeschooled kids to sign up with a high school football team.

  26. Generation[redacted]

    You know, they may be able to send muslims running in fear for their lives, but if the Scientologists get wind of this money-making scheme, they won't roll over so easy.

    1. chicken_thief

      I read that the Mormons were already strapping their dogs to the roofs of their cars and headed that way, too. Also.

      1. Warwhatgoodfor

        It's been a matter of contention within the faithfull for several years now. There is a move to heal the breech by offering gluten free pasta as a compromise, but the semonola traditionalists refuse to give in.

  27. Ruhe

    Actually having the Church of Scientology get into the educating business is a very scary unintended consequence. Those guys are damn good at marketing and organizing…and they have their own navy.

    1. glamourdammerung

      Louisiana sure likes to take their money while whining about how awful they are. Kind of like "red states" do with productive parts of the United States.

      But yeah, the feds would never allow that to happen because it is the only thing stopping the rest of the state from becoming even more of a third world country than it currently is.

  28. SayItWithWookies

    How long did it take these fuckers to realize that their religion isn't the only one in their state, and that even the bunch of rich old white men who wrote the Constitution knew about this potential consequence more than two hundred fucking years ago?! These are the same idiots who are always yelling "Read the Constitution," right? Okay, read it, but not like you read the Bible, where you're just looking for exceptions and outs for all your idiotic behavior. It's far less of a mystery if you just read it like it was written in plain English instead of having a secret subtext that only favors you.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      This is so excellent but I hate to break the bad news to you — with your amount of logical examination and gift for cross-comparison and incisively revelatory acumen, there is no way in Hades-on-a-Posicle-Stick that you will ever be invited to become one of Chucky Kraut's learning aides.

          1. SayItWithWookies

            Krauthammer opposed purely "humanitarian intervention" (with the exception of overt genocide). While he supported the 1991 Gulf War on the grounds of both humanitarianism and strategic necessity (preventing Saddam Hussein from gaining control of the Persian Gulf and its resources), he opposed American intervention in the Balkan wars on the grounds that America should not be committing the lives of its soldiers to purely humanitarian missions in which there is no American national interest at stake.

            That graf speaks volumes about Krauthammer's ethical consistency — attacking Iraq to save the oil-rich Kuwaiti emirs was strategic and humanitarian, while saving Europe's ass from decades of chaos and refugee spillover and ethnic cleansing was just humanitarian. Notwithstanding of course that one invasion was started by a Republican and the other by a Democrat.

  29. GeneralLerong

    Y'know, maybe it's time to open Louisiana exclusively to Somali immigration. Pay their airfare here. Hardworking people, plus they know their way around automatic weapons.

  30. ttommyunger

    "Carter, R-Baton Rouge, said the Islamic school withdrew its request to participate in the voucher program. " ''They’re not interested. The system works,' he said." If, by system, he means waking up with a severed head in your bed, then yes.

  31. Stevola

    Wouldn't want the kids being indoctrinated into some wacked-out desert religion, now, would we?

  32. finette_

    Pffft, they're allowed to hit you here in Louisiana too, silly! (Of all the really whacked-out shit in this state, the near-universal approval of adults hitting children is my major culture shock moment.)

    To be fair, many Democrats in the Legislature (though certainly not all!) were against the voucher program from the start, partly because of that pesky "state-sponsored religion" thing. So Rep. Jones' comment may be of the "Duh, y'all should have seen this coming" variety, but I'm too lazy to go check right now.

    But here, read a little about the "approval process" for the program: http://theadvocate.com/columnists/2987597-55/loui

    1. real_dc_native

      In Texas they were allowed to SHOOT you until today. Or I had that backwards, in Texas your were allowed to shoot the teachers until today.

  33. poorgradstudent

    According to the film "Skeleton Key" everyone in the Deep South should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of voodoo. How are they going to get that when the only funded religious schools are fundy and Christian, Louisiana?

  34. owhatever

    Then there were problems within the First Alligator Church of the Redeeming Lord and part of the congregation left to start their own Reformed Alligator Church of the Redeeming Lord, and is now suing to get half of the voucher money for their own school, the Oh So Christian Academy of the RACRL, instead of letting the rich Christian Academy of the FACRL take everything while God's true chosen people of RACRL are left with an all-white football team (The RACRL Isrealites) that can't win shit and no girl to enter the Miss Louisiana Pageant.

    1. tessiee

      "Then there were problems within the First Alligator Church of the Redeeming Lord and part of the congregation left to start their own Reformed Alligator Church of the Redeeming Lord"

      And a smaller group split off from that and formed the Independent Reformed Alligator Church of the Redeeming Lord.

      eta: Hey, I figured out how to make italics! *proud*

  35. homas123

    I think people may be misunderstanding Hot Pocket. The Vatican Hot Pocket is the place in their robes where they have choirboys put their hands.

  36. tessiee

    I'm now imagining "Moses Explains Algebra", possibly as a Mel Brooks movie.

    Also, how pissed-off would he be that it uses Arabic numerals?

    1. Warwhatgoodfor

      Don't worry, be happy, and every little thing is gonna be alright, and instead of $, we be gettin' some fine ganja.

  37. tessiee

    As much as I enjoy a mean-spirited laugh at the expense of idiots like these when their bigotry backfires on them, as it so often seems to do…
    I think the net effect of this will be to get them to write a law saying that everyone's tax money has to go to fund Protestant Christian schools, and because it's the South, it will actually pass.

  38. scvirginia

    So now I need to table my plans to open a Madrassa/Yeshiva in Natchitoches? Damnit- what do these guys have against freedoms… something, something, enterprise… something, something, mutter, mutter…?

  39. extreme_left

    The Christians can't handle people who follow the teachings of that wack job Abraham.

  40. owhatever

    Yea and verily, the Lord God sayeth, whensoever x plus y equals z, then forsooth, the z also is the equal of x plus y.

  41. MittBorg

    I'm a lot older than you and went to school in a different country. From the nuns, we heard, "the Jews killed Jesus." From the priests, the other students, and the kids in the various church organizations, we got detail. The Catholic Church in America is relatively tame by comparison. Our nuns gave us our discipline with softball bats across the backside.

  42. GSanders

    At what point did "freedom of religion" become "freedom to be any kind of Christian you want, but no one else is welcome"? sheesh.

  43. thetimchannel

    The Scientologists won't roll over so easily and I can assure you they will be trying to milk that government teat as quickly as possible. No mention at all of the Mormons? Enjoy.

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