Humanists Support Montana’s Enforcement of Church-State Separation at SCOTUS
For Immediate Release
Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Humanist Association legal team joined other nontheist groups in a Supreme Court amicus brief opposing public funding of religious education.
The issue at hand is a Montana scholarship program that provides a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for individuals and businesses who donate to private scholarship organizations, which in turn provide scholarships for religious schools. Through this program, the state would be diverting millions of government dollars specifically to religious organizations. The Montana Supreme Court struck down the program as unconstitutional in December 2018.
The brief, co-signed by major nontheist organizations, notes that, “This case is not about discrimination; it is about government-compelled support of religion. Above all, religious freedom means that no taxpayer is compelled to financially support a religion or religious education that is not their own.”
“It isn’t right or fair to allow the state to dole out funds to institutions that exclude many of the same taxpayers that made the funding possible,” argued Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association.
Monica Miller, Legal Director and Senior Counsel at the American Humanist Association, said “State-funded religious instruction violates the Establishment Clause at its core. Our founders would be horrified by such a flagrant enmeshment of church and state. It should go without saying that the state does not ‘discriminate’ against religion by supporting secular education without offering financial incentives for religious indoctrination.”
Read the brief in full here.