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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Tennessee Republicans realize bill doesn’t suck quite bad enough

Steve Benen:
[Religious bigotry is on display] in Tennessee, where a plan to transfer taxpayer money to religious academies is running into trouble as GOP lawmakers slowly realize that all religions will be eligible for public funds (via Adam Peck).
“This is an issue we must address,” state Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) said. “I don’t know whether we can simply amend the bill in such a way that will fix the issue at this point.”
State Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Tracy each expressed their concerns Friday over Senate Bill 0196, commonly called the “School Voucher Bill” and sponsored by fellow Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville), which would give parents of children attending failing public schools a voucher with which to enroll in a private school.
If Bill Ketron’s name sounds familiar, he’s the guy who complained about a mop sink he thought might be used in Muslim worship.
No, they can’t “simply amend the bill in such a way” as to exclude Muslim schools. Nor Jewish or Wiccan or atheist or Satanic schools, for that matter. The Supreme Court will put up with a lot from rightwing Christian fanatics, but I can guarantee that wouldn’t fly.

But imagine how completely removed from logic these people must be. Here they are, complaining that taxpayer money may go to a religion they don’t support or belong to, while trying to “fix” a bill designed to take taxpayer money and give it to religions those taxpayers may not support or belong to. And they seem to have no idea what would be the problem with that. It simply never occurs to them that they’re trying to do the very thing to others that they find so worrisome now.

Tracy and Ketron have almost literally been blinded by their own hatred. The people of Tennessee don’t need to be saved from Muslims, they need to be saved from American Taliban like their own Republican legislators.

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