Home > Uncategorized > NH Catholic Bishop’s “Sub Rosa” Campaign for Education Savings Account Legislation is Unseemly

NH Catholic Bishop’s “Sub Rosa” Campaign for Education Savings Account Legislation is Unseemly

Bill Duncan, the Advancing New Hampshire blogger, wrote a post yesterday describing the efforts of the New Hampshire diocese to solicit parishioners support for SB 193, an education savings account bill under consideration in the NH legislature that would provide a means for parents opting into Catholic Schools to secure more funding for their “choice”. The post included an email from the Bishop to parishioners that included a sample letter they could send to their local legislator that included this verbiage:

As your constituent, I write to urge you to support SB 193, the bill to create Education Savings Accounts in New Hampshire. We should continue to support our local public schools, and we also should empower families to make the best decisions for their children. These are not mutually exclusive concepts. An ESA program would support families trying to find the right academic setting for their children but struggling to afford it.

As Mr. Duncan noted, there was no mention of the rationale for this desire to “..empower families to make the best decisions for their children”, which is clearly to transfer taxpayer funds from public education to religiously based education. This lack of explicit connection between the desire of the Catholic church leadership to seek more taxpayer funding is disingenuous at best.

At the end of his post, Mr. Duncan concluded with this:

There’s nothing wrong with the Bishop campaigning for SB 193, but legislators receiving those calls and emails should be clear about the source.

I did some quick Google research and was surprised to fund that even organizations that advocate a bright line between church and state acknowledge the laws on lobbying for legislation from the pulpit or from the Bishop are nebulous. But it seems to me that Biblical laws on honesty and helping the needy would come into play here. I found these 25 verses by entering “Bible Verses on Honesty”, the top one of which came from 2 Corinthians Chapter 8, verse 21:

For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.



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