by Edd Doerr
Peter Beinart, former editor of The New Republic, had a bizarre op ed in the Wall Street Journal of March 29 titled "The Jewish Case for School Vouchers". His whole argument was based on religion, on using public funds to preserve the Jewish religious/cultural heritage. Below is the response I posted in the WSJ on line -----
"Beinart's argument is as full of holes as a Swiss cheese. Here are a few responses -- 1.Tax aid for Jewish schools would also mean tax aid for Muslim and fundamentalist Christian schools. 2. US voters in 26 statewide referenda have rejected vouchers or their variants by a two to one margin. The 2011 Gallup/PDK poll showed opposition to vouchers at 65% to 34%. The referenda show that Catholic and Protestant and Jewish majorities all oppose vouchers. 3. Vouchers or their variants violate at least 39 state constitutions [and, I should have added, the US First Amendment, in the opinion of most legal scholars]. 4. Vouchers would fragment our school population along religious, ideological, class, ethnic and other lines, and destroy democratic public education. 5. By isolating Jewish kids in separate, religiously homogeneous private schools, anti-Semitism would enjoy a comeback. 6. Several years ago I debated vouchers with an Orthodox Jewish lawyer before an audience if Jewish high school kids from a Jewish high school in Philadelphia. At the end of the debate 100% of the students agreed with me that vouchers were a bad idea. 7. All major Jewish organizations, except the Orthodox, are opposed to vouchers and support separation of religion and government, which protects the rights of Jews and all other religious minorities.
"Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty"