Recently Trump promised Catholic leaders that if he is re-elected, he would fund Catholic schools.

These two Christian leaders explain why that’s a terrible idea.

Valerie Strauss introduced the essay:

Late last month, President Trump had a phone conversation with Catholic leaders, educators and others, during which he promised to seek federal financial support for parochial schools to help them weather the coronavirus pandemic, according to Crux, an online website that focuses on news about the Catholic Church.
Trump also declared himself the “best [president] in the “history of the Catholic Church,” according to Crux, which quoted from what it said was an audio recording it had obtained of the call. And he promised to keep supporting issues that are important to the Catholic Church, such as opposition to abortion.

Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, have been supporters of expanding alternatives to traditional public schools, especially programs that use public funding for private and religious school education. The first school that Trump visited as president was a Catholic school in Florida in 2017, and he has repeatedly praised state programs that use public funding for religious school expenses…

The authors are Meli Barber, vice president of DignityUSA, a Boston-based organization that focuses on LGBTQI+ rights and the Catholic Church; and Charles Foster Johnson, founder and executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, an independent ministry and outreach group that comprises nearly 2,000 pastors and church leaders from across Texas.

Barber and Johnson write, and I quote only a part of their excellent essay:

By redistributing taxpayer funds to private religious schools, voucher programs threaten marginalized students, religious freedom, and public education. We are also deeply concerned about religious leaders from many traditions, including our own, who would accept or promote voucher funding for private religious schools.
As leaders in national Christian organizations, DignityUSA and Pastors for Children, we advocate for the universal education of all children provided and protected by the public. Voucher funding for Catholic schools violates this public trust.

For decades, DignityUSA has advocated for policies that respect the inherent worth and dignity of LGBTQI+ people. Public schools educate all students, in keeping with the inclusive vision of education laid out in the U.S. Constitution and Title IX. The U.S. Constitution “guarantees all people, including LGBTQ people, ‘equal protection of the laws,’” and Title IX “provides important protections to LGBTQ students.” According to the National Coalition for Public Education, directing public funds to private voucher programs could put the civil rights of LGBTQI+ students at risk.

Pastors for Children has long raised concerns about how vouchers harm religious liberty. These programs force the nation’s religiously diverse taxpayers to fund religious education we may disagree with. The differences between our traditions are crucial, and none of us should be compelled by federal or state governments to fund schools that promote religious teachings that violate our conscience rights.

I urge you to read their essay in full.