The Instigator
SocialistAtheistNutjob
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
JasperFrancisShickadance
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Should religious schools in the United States be able to receive public(government) funds?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SocialistAtheistNutjob
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 518 times Debate No: 59685
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

First round is acceptance
Second/Third arguments/rebuttals
Fourth round is for closing arguments, no new evidence is allowed.
JasperFrancisShickadance

Pro

I accept, in arguing that the American government should fund religious schools.
Debate Round No. 1
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

I'm going to say right here that I will not be attacking religion as an entity and use what religious schools teach as an argument. This is going to be purely on the basis of politics, and I will attempt to be as respectful as possible.

Private religious schools should not be able to receive public funds. A law allowing this would breach the establishment clause of the first amendment to the bill of rights. The only way to nullify the establishment clause would be to create a new amendment to cancel out the clause.

The first amendment reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." (http://constitution.findlaw.com...)
This law specifically states that congress cannot favor any religion over the other, and cannot recognize religion in matters of governing.

If private religious institutions were able to receive funding, that would be very dangerous. It would make it much easier for the government to set up a national religion. If religious schools could be funded by the state, there would no doubt be religious discrimination in the favor of Christianity. While there are lots of religions in the United States, 90% of the people are Christian. As a result of this, Congress follows this demographic (http://www.pewforum.org...). The only republican in Congress that practices Judaism was just ousted in his primary election. What this means is that another Christian is going to replace him. (To any non-Americans who are not familiar with the term "primary elections" this video will give you a clear explanation in five minutes: https://www.youtube.com...)

As I stated before, the establishment clause makes it illegal for any religion to be favored by the government of the United States.

To summarize, private religious schools should not be able to receive funding because it would breach the establishment clause of the first amendment, and it would most certainly, over time, lead to discrimination in favor of Christianity.
JasperFrancisShickadance

Pro

Thank you for your opening arguments. I admire the way you will try to be respectful when arguing against the government funding of faith-run/religious schools, but I would like to mention that I will not be offended if you do attack religion anywhere in this debate--I would be happy to rebut them if you do.

P1 (premise one)
Our tax money goes to a number of organizations that do not agree with both parties (Democratic and Republican), nor does our dollars given to the U.S. government, but because most presidents of America are democrats the money do not go towards a place republicans want to fund. I'm not saying that only Republicans are religious, not at all! I'm also not saying that Republicans are against government funding for pubic schools. I just don't see why us Republicans pay for the teaching of evolution in public schools. And for other examples: some republicans don't agree with welfare and abortion, yet they have to give money to those causes. It would make it more fair if the government, which receives our tax dollars, also funded religious schools. [1]

P2
A faith-run school is still for kids, right? If the parents choose to put their children in a catholic school, why should their kids receive less funding than others? It is a let down for the constitution, because the first amendment does not say anything about the separation of religion and state or a 'wall of separation between church and state.' In fact it is constitutional to teach religion in a public school. In Abington v. Schempp, Associate Justice Tom Clark wrote for the Court:
"[I]t might well be said that one"s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment." [3]

P3
Atheism is not considered a religion. But I argue that it is, in fact, there are a lot of atheists who would agree with me! Can atheism be a church/religion, and why? Ask the "First Church of Atheism" and they will say that "a church is defined as an association of people who share a particular belief system, so yes, a church of atheism can really exist." [2] It seems to me that atheism requires a lot of faith, does it not? [4] So if we are arguing about faith-run schools (which in my opinion are the same as religious schools) then public schools should also not receive government funding since--after all--they preach children to have faith that evolution happened, faith that the Big Bang happened, etc. There are multiple examples of elementary school science textbooks which have flaws about evolutionism and the big bang (even though they preach those are facts in our universe). The faith/religious schools in the United States may be a wider variety of kinds than you thought. In 2008 the statistics shown 87,190 traditional public and 28,220 private schools. [5] If you think about it, that's a lot of families that the government aren't paying for normal, elementary-aged students' education and a lot of lucky kids who get free funding. Why? All I know is that the majority of the authority, or the mainstream, say religion doesn't have evidence therefore cannot be proven...but my opponent hasn't given any good reason to answer that question and I honestly don't have an answer either.

Rebuttals next round I assume, so thank-you and that's all for now.

SOURCES
[1] http://www.daveramsey.com...
[2] http://firstchurchofatheism.com...
[3] http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org...
[4] http://www.ncregister.com...
[5] http://nces.ed.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

"Most president of America are democrats..."

Stop right there. Since Harry Truman, there have been Nine terms of Republicans and Nine terms of Democrats. I'm using terms to avoid the complications of the JFK assassination and the Nixon Resignation. I'm using Truman as the base line because any farther back and it becomes iffy about what each party really believed. The Democrats and the Republicans flipped values some time ago. Even if Pro's statement was true, Every President ever has identified as Christian.

"I don't see why us Republicans pay for the teaching of evolution in public schools."

I'm pretty sure that Republicans wouldn't be too happy to see Satanist private schools, or (even scarier for them) Muslim private schools popping up either. Either every religion would be getting monetary support, or none would. I shall address this later.

As I stated above, I didn't want to target the curriculum of religious schools, but Pro has dragged me into it.

The reason that evolution is taught in public schools is because it's science. Creationism is not science. The scientific method cannot be applied to bible stories. If it was a scientific consensus that seven day creationism and Noah's Ark were true stories, I would be in favor of having those be taught to students. However, this is not remotely the case.

"A faith-run school is still for kids, right? If the parents choose to put their children in a catholic school, why should their kids receive less funding than others?

At Nolan Catholic High School it costs $13,660 per year, plus $800 in fees, and a $500 Registration fee along with a $75 application fee. (http://www.nolancatholichs.org...)
The Charles E Smith Jewish Day School costs $15,100 per semester. (http://www.cesjds.org...)
Only 7/50 states give more than $14,000 per student to public schools. (http://www.governing.com...)

"The first amnendment does not say anything about the separation of religion and state or a wall of separation between church and state"

This is the exact wording of the 1st amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."(http://constitution.findlaw.com...)

The part that I highlighted is the part where the wall of separation is implied.

Pro seems to have misunderstood the quotation in P2.

"[I]t might well be said that one"s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment."

Let us break this quote down. "It might well be said that one's education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization."

This part means that it's a good idea to study many religions, not just one.

"It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities."

Notice how he said nothing about the religious aspect of the Bible. He claims that we should analyze it from a historical and literary standpoint.

"Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment."

I assume this is where the confusion came in. The definition of secular is "of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred." (http://dictionary.reference.com...)
This is referring to a non-religious purpose of studying the Bible. I can read the Qur'an any time I want, I've even read it in my religion class at school. That does not mean my teacher was leading Muslim prayers while we analyzed it.

"Atheism is not considered a religion. But I argue that it is, in fact, there are a lot of atheists who would agree with me!"

This argument doesn't hold any water. Just because there are groups of people that claim Atheism is a religion doesn't make it one. I could organize ten million sandwich lovers and we could create the first church of Sandwiches. We'd create our own Sandwich god, and give him a whole story about how her created the universe my dropping a piece of tuna. Does this make us a religion? Technically it fits the definition: "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." (http://dictionary.reference.com...).

"It seems to me that Atheism requires a lot of faith, does it not?" Atheism is literally the disbelief in a higher power. (http://dictionary.reference.com...). Aside from that, there's no faith in Atheism. There's no faith that evolution happened, there's no proof that it didn't happen. There's also no faith in the Big Bang, we can see the aftr effects of the Big Bang. All of the things in the universe are moving away from an epicenter. That tells us that everything was once in that very spot.

"A lot of lucky kids that get free funding."

There are two things wrong with this statement. First, they are not lucky for this. Their parents chose to not send them to private school either because they couldn't afford it, or because they chose not to. Second, nothing is free. Public education is subsidized by taxes.

"When you think about it, that's a lot of families that the government aren't paying for normal, elementary aged students' education"

Private school is optional. There's no law forcing these people to send their kids to private school. People do because they want their kids to be indoctrinated into their faiths. In 2012, 76.4% of all private schools were Christian. 19.8% were non-secular. 5.5% were Jewish. (http://www.statisticbrain.com...).

As my final argument of this round, I would like to jump back to Pro's argument about what the courts had decided: "[I]t might well be said that one"s... consistently with the First Amendment."

What is said in this quote is what studying religion should be like. Learning religion should always come from a secular point of view, and for it to come from another point of view is to introduce bias.

I'd also like to note that Pro never really addressed the constitutionality of this idea.

Pro seems to think that giving religious schools government money would be a good idea. I'm sure you've heard of the FSM but I'm sure you don't know his origins.

"Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him... I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. (http://www.venganza.org...)

I await Pro's responses.
JasperFrancisShickadance

Pro

JasperFrancisShickadance forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

Pro has forfeited her final chance to make rebuttals.

Closing statement: I believe that religious schools should not be able to receive funding because what is taught is not science. Nothing is looked at from a secular point of view, and everybody has the same worldview. Also, it would impede on the idea of separation between church and state.

I would like to thank my opponent for a thought provoking debate, at least until she disappeared.
JasperFrancisShickadance

Pro

I am sorry but I have been quite busy lately.

Judging by the way my opponent wrote this debate, I do not see any reason religious schools should not receive funding because of an opinion that what is taught is not science! First, he said he would not attack the beliefs of the religious schools. Second, religion is a belief system just like Evolution. I pointed how atheism and believing in evolution takes a equal, easy amount of faith as Christianity, this cannot be argued except for that you would get votes from the majority who oppose. Creation versus Evolution is a completely different debate. But if I won against my opponent due to my good arguments, would that add more credibility to this debate? Perhaps, because I would've proven that Creationism has a great deal of evidence, too: scientific, observable, historical. I'm sick and tired of a country where there is no respect for both sides of the coin, because there is a good chance that evolution didn't happen, yet most kids are taught that it is fact...because, well, because...it is written in a textbook.

Public education is subsidized by taxes, says my opponent. Guess what? We ALL have to pay taxes, no matter what school we go to and what parents have to pay for their kids' education, and those taxes that EVERYONE has to pay go to government funding for the teaching of evolution and atheism. That money goes towards Planned Parenthood and other stuff that the Right side most-likely doesn't agree with. So that doesn't prove your point in any way.

This could be a debate about creation being taught in public schools, for all I care. I am only debating for the rights of religion. It shouldn't be spit on, and the public needs to have a better understanding of the proof there is for Creationism.

Thirdly, there is no constitutional rule that says there must be a separation between church and state. [1] This should not have anything to do with anything. If you realized that atheism was a religion, it would be obvious that church and state are not separated right now at all, as atheism is taught in public schools (in a lot of ways). [2]

I honestly don't even think I needed to post rebuttals in R3--this is good enough.

Thank you for this debate, and God bless.

[1] http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com...
[2] http://reason.com...
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by SocialistAtheistNutjob 3 years ago
SocialistAtheistNutjob
27 minutes before Pro forfeits her last chance to make an argument. Will she make it?
Posted by SocialistAtheistNutjob 3 years ago
SocialistAtheistNutjob
To make it clear to voters, as the instigator I have the burden of proof to show that religious private schools should not be able to receive government money.
Posted by JasperFrancisShickadance 3 years ago
JasperFrancisShickadance
Please re-instigate it, I was gone earlier my apologies :}
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
SocialistAtheistNutjobJasperFrancisShickadanceTied
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Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments had some significant problems. However, Pro's attempts at rebuttal of those problems failed--in particular, his attempts to handwave away the constitutional argument were simply not credible. I actually think that Con's constitutional argument was incredibly weak--I just think Pro's rebuttal was weaker. Conduct for the forfeit. I'm on the fence about nulling arguments, but I came down on Con's side just because, though I didn't find the argument compelling, Pro's rebuttal was so lacking that it actually winds up standing. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.