Monday, June 19, 2017

Should an Indiana Christian School Be Permitted to Discriminate - With Tax Dollars

Lighthouse Christian Academy
Lighthouse Christian Academy of Bloomington, Indiana publishes an admissions brochure that says the school has the right to decline to enroll LGBT students. According to the brochure the LGBT “lifestyle” is prohibited by the Bible. The Lighthouse brochure states that the Bible does not allow homosexual, bisexual or “any form of sexual immorality” and if a student’s “home life” violates biblical rules, the school can deny them admission or expel them.

About half of the school's students receive taxpayer funded vouchers to help pay an annual tuition of between $4,500 and $6,000. during the 2016-2017 academic year the school received nearly $700,000 in tax dollars. As far as I am concerned the school is free to discriminate within the limits of the law. Just not at the expense of taxpayers. Some of those taxpayers are gay or have gay children (or both). The same logic that applies to the Hyde Amendment (prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion) should apply to discrimination.

Moreover, how does one define what an LGBT student is? Does “home life” include a child being raised by a gay couple? Suppose a child has been attending the school for two or three years and then comes to terms with his or her sexuality. Is he or she at risk of being expelled?

Brian Bailey, an attorney who is serving as the school’s spokesman, said in a statement. “For a real choice and thus real liberty to exist, the government may not impose its own orthodoxy and homogenize all schools to conform to politically correct attitudes and ideologies.”

This has nothing to do with political correctness. Discrimination is antithetical to American values and should not be permitted, in effect, by the government. Christianity is an ideology. LGBT fairness is not.

Schools used to preclude attendance by African-Americans due to biblical beliefs. Federal law now makes such conduct impermissible.

Lindsey Burke, director of education policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, disagrees:
Racism was based on identity and skin color and had no reasonable basis. This is about whether a student, a family is going to live out their communal beliefs of the school that they have chosen to attend. These are intentional communities that are built upon a moral code that they have decided on.
What makes Burke think that discrimination based on sexual orientation is any more reasonable than racism? Racism, too, was about “communal beliefs” that white people and black people should not mix and those beliefs were supported by religion. Furthermore, segregation was part of a “moral code.” In the final analysis what Burke is saying is that sexual orientation is, unlike race, a choice. That is pure ignorance.

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