Letter: Religious beliefs and your tax dollars

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Religious beliefs and your tax dollars

I am very disappointed that the New Hampshire House passed Senate Bill 193, the school voucher bill. The New Hampshire Constitution states, “No money raised by taxation shall ever be granted or applied for the use of the schools or institutions of any religious sect or denomination.” Yet SB 193, supported by Gov. Chris Sununu, would send millions of taxpayer dollars to religious schools via publicly funded vouchers.

The fundamental principle that taxes shouldn’t pay for religious education is based on the understanding that, in a diverse society, not all religious beliefs are acceptable to everyone. For instance, I wouldn’t want my taxes used to teach children that women are second-class citizens, based on someone else’s interpretation of the Bible. While I respect the right of parents to send their children to the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or other religious school of their choice, the government should not force me to pay for it.

The bill will now be studied by the House Finance Committee and then reconsidered by the House and Senate before being sent to the governor. If you don’t want your tax dollars used to teach religion, including ideologies that might conflict with your own beliefs, please let the House Finance Committee know.