A coalition of liberal organizations is relying on anti-Catholic legislation to defeat a voucher program in Colorado designed to help poor minorities. The program, signed into law last month by Colorado Governor Bill Owens, allows poor students attending failing public schools to attend private or parochial schools.
Fighting the law are Americans United for Separation of Church and State, People for the American Way, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Colorado chapter of the NAACP, the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented on this today:
“This is quite remarkable. The professed advocates of tolerance and diversity, who never tire of championing the rights of minorities, are shamelessly going to the well of anti-Catholicism to punish African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.
“They are relying on a clause in the Colorado constitution that was modeled after the notoriously anti-Catholic legislation of Congressman James Blaine. Written in the 19th century, the Blaine amendments were used by the Ku Klux Klan and others to force Catholic schoolchildren to attend public [read: Protestant] schools. Now they are being used by liberals to stop poor minorities from advancing.
“The Catholic League will now consider filing an amicus brief in this case. At play in this issue is an unseemly mix of religious cleansing and union greed. The liberal coalition can wrap itself as tight as it wants in the First Amendment, but at the end of the day what these activists are doing is promoting bigotry and retarding social mobility for minorities.”