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Religious bigotry could be behind the opposition to the school choice bill in Texas

Chris Salcedo
(hayesphotography/Getty Images)

The Texas state senate passed a controversial bill in favor of school choice on March 23, though not without opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Some argue that Senate Bill 3 favors private schools over total school choice and is, in that sense, not true school choice.

Today on "The Chris Salcedo Show," Chris Salcedo welcomed Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Dallas. They talked about the motivation behind school choice opposition and suspected religious bigotry. Dr. Jeffress asked "Did you know this phrase 'separation of church and state' not only doesn't appear in the Constitution, it did not appear in any Supreme Court ruling until almost 200 years after the founding of this country?"

Dr. Jeffress stated he believes in the public school system, as his mother was a school teacher. But in the 1947 Surpreme Court case Everson vs. The Board of Education of the Township of Ewing, public money going to religious education got tangled up in the idea of the establishment clause that prevents the creation of  a state religion. Salcedo believed money is at issue here as well, since "Schools are the top employers in their small towns in Texas."

Salcedo also agreed that frequent misinterpretation of the establishment clause of the US Constitution is at play. Jeffress added that Thomas Jefferson's famous letter to the Danbury Baptists was a "one sided separation to protect the church from government," and that Jefferson encouraged -- and participated in -- the church services that occurred in the Capitol building for nearly 70 years after the letter was written.

Salcedo felt that whether opposition to true school choice is about religion or money, education works better with the "money following the child."

To see more from Chris, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Chris Salcedo Show” weekdays 2–5 p.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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