School funding violates the separation of church and state

OPINION AND COMMENT

Editorials and other opinion pieces provide perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our news editors.

No to the state religion

I recently read about the $1.5 million federal donation to Greenville Christian Learning Centers. I’m fairly new to South Carolina (2018) and I’m wondering the best way to express my displeasure.

There are so many dangerous precedents in legislation and jurisprudence that affect our lives today. We don’t need more.

Hopefully a court case will nip this in the bud, but I think voters should also be loud and clear to thwart anyone else trying to do the same.

Especially in South Carolina and upstate, there are so many Christians that many forget that they have non-Christian neighbors and that this is an important point of separation of church and state – we have no “official religion” of the state of South Carolina.

Catherine Moore, Greer

Exhale briefly?

South Carolina residents can breathe a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court ruled 5-0 to block Senate legislation banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, passed after the Roe v. Wade came into effect.

This injunction is of particular importance given the many extreme proposals the House is currently considering.

A recent poll of South Carolinans in SC Senate Districts 31, 33 and 41 found that nearly two-thirds support abortion rights and oppose a statewide ban on abortion. See: https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/report/south-carolina-support-abortion

There is no decision more personal than whether or when to have a child. This decision should be left to the family and their doctors.

This legal interference violates the constitutional rights of South Carolina residents to privacy, due process and equal protection under the law.

This legislature is on a slippery slope that violates our individual rights and freedoms. I am grateful today that the SC Supreme Court has shown a way to protect our rights.

Toby M. Levin, Sun City

High cost of higher ed

President Biden’s new plan to forgive students some college-attendance debt is sparking debate over its cost and fairness.

As tuition exceeds inflation, students must borrow more to fund their education. But why are tuition fees increasing? Should the blame fall on a greedy college institution?

An important factor that is often ignored in the debate is the decline in government support for public colleges and universities over the past 30 years (over 30% in South Carolina alone since 2008).

As government support dwindles, colleges and universities are forced to increase tuition to cover the actual cost of tuition. At the national level, students who once paid a third of their education costs now pay half of those costs.

Higher education, once a public good for all, is increasingly viewed by our legislators as just a private good. Is this a wise divestment in our state’s future and a burgeoning knowledge economy? Ask your representatives and governor.

David Ericson, Hilton Head Island

Theocracy or Democracy?

Almost 250 years ago, our country was founded in part to escape religious persecution. Now we have a Supreme Court composed of six Christian zealots, an SC legislature full of religious sycophants rabidly keen to force anyone who becomes pregnant — rape, incest or otherwise — to give birth to the baby to wear.

What about the unconstitutional use of public funds for a religious school? That’s fine according to the governor and legislature.

The difference between this and Iran – theirs is a Muslim theocracy, ours is a wannabe Christian theocracy. Both with madmen at the top.

Gary Cadle, St Helena Island

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