The people of Louisiana love their governor, Bobby Jindal, and no segment of the population loves him more than the poor. That’s because Jindal is fighting for educational equality: his school voucher program, the biggest in the nation, gives the poor the same choice of schools that the rich can afford.
Leading the fight against the poor is the Interfaith Alliance, headed by Rev. C. Weldon Gaddy. In an August letter to Jindal, Gaddy said that by giving the poor options, the governor was waging a “ruthless attack on public education.” Not above Catholic-baiting, Gaddy raised a red flag when he noted that the governor chose “a Roman Catholic Church as the venue” to sign his legislation.
Gaddy was so angered over the voucher program that he even said that private schools are “not up to the standards” of the public schools. But if that were true, there would be no need to worry: no one would want to go there.
There is another issue involved here: the public expression of religion. The Interfaith Alliance is manifestly opposed to this right. Indeed, it has worked hard to stop “In God We Trust” plaques in Colorado public school classrooms. That the phrase is our national motto means nothing to them; what gets their goat is the prospect of dropping the dreaded “G” word in school. In short, they are no more a friend of religion than they are a friend of the poor.
We urged our members to contact Jindal’s office with support and they did. We received an e-mail from Jindal’s communications director thanking us.