Washington has effectively drained the available reserves of public exasperation, so expect this "small" perversion to go relatively unnoticed, even among secularists. From Rob Boston at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:
As part of the [budget] deal, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) got his way and breathed new life into a controversial school voucher plan in Washington, D.C. Boehner has pushed the voucher idea relentlessly, and it apparently became a bargaining chip during negotiations. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agreed to Boehner’s demands.
This is really is quite remarkable. This budget deal, as many critics have pointed out, slashes federal spending in lots of programs. Millions of Americans may take hits. Yet somehow, amidst all of the slicing and dicing, Congress managed to come up with millions in taxpayer dollars to revive a scheme that subsidizes religious and other private schools in D.C.
They did this, even though (as AU has pointed out repeatedly) the voucher plan undercuts civil rights and civil liberties. It directs federal funds to Catholic, Protestant and Islamic schools that are free to indoctrinate children in the tenets of their sponsoring faiths and discriminate in hiring on grounds of religion and sexual orientation.
If you are a federal taxpayer, that means you will be putting your hard-earned money in the collection plates of religious denominations whether you like or not. It violates the fundamental American principle that religion must be supported by voluntary donations, not coerced support from the taxpayers.More.