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Tax money to fix religious schools

March 10, 2007

Re "Religious schools win legal victory," March 6

Demands from supporters of private schools, especially sectarian institutions, for state money to repair their facilities would simply be seen as a strange hoax were it not for the court ruling in their favor.

The Republican base, long controlled by the wealthy and the religious right, has made the destruction of public education its primary mission. So, when parents decide that their children attend private schools, they usually declare that public schools are not fit to educate their loved ones. Well, when they voted into Congress men and women dedicated to cutting taxes that support constitutionally mandated public education, failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In fairness, there are many fine private schools, and, if you have the income or the willingness to enlarge your debt load to afford it, that's up to you. Just don't expect the rest of us to pony up the big bucks to help you or your school pay for the privilege.

DAVID OHMAN

Irvine

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The laws that separate church and state were instituted to protect the right of individuals to practice any religion they want. Once you have a state-sponsored religion, as there were in many European countries when this country was founded, anyone not adhering to that religion was subject to persecution.

It was ingenious of our founding fathers to allow all religion but to promote none. Once my tax dollars, or yours, are used to finance a particular religion, my faith is compromised. I am Christian but do not adhere to all the interpretations of what it means to be Christian.

The state provides general education that allows anyone to advance according to his or her talents. Churches provide spiritual guidance. Let us not confuse the two.

FRAN SAMPSON

Oak Park, Ill.

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