Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Governor Kasich puts the Bible (and Koran) Back in Ohio Schools

SOMETIMES IT JUST DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER when talking about Governor Kasich and his plan to remake Ohio schools. He’s a good Christian. Everyone knows that. 

He’s the jobs governor too. 

His plan—and the plan of Republicans in the legislature—is to increase the number of vouchers available to parents and let more and more parents “escape” failing public schools. Praise the Lord Let children go to religious schools!

Did someone say: “Praise Allah?” 

I’ve been thinking about this for some time. But a story in The New York Times makes me feel prescient. That is: if you give parents vouchers to send children to Christian schools, where do you draw the line? 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a life-long fan of the First Amendment.  

I just can’t wait to see some of our political weasels try to chew their way out of the sack they’re currently sewing. I want to see what happens when someone wants to create a Muslim school in Dayton or Cleveland and get their hands on state money?

Put the Bible back in schools? What about the Koran? This is going to be a hell of a mess for conservatives to sort out.  

Bill Cunningham, the voice of WLW radio in Cincinnati, who delights in calling the president “Barack HUSSEIN Obama” may have to re-calibrate his message. And do we know Kasich’s middle name? John R. Kasich? Does that “R” stand for “Rashid?” 

Of course, it would be stupid to mix education, politics and religion, but Kasich and his boys do.  

Giving state money to private schools, an idea popular with the Holy Trinity of right-wing education reform, (Kasich, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Chris Christie in New Jersey) carries risks they blithely ignore.

Pick up the February 2010 issue of National Geographic, for starters. Read about the Jessop family. They’re good religious folk, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. With communities spread across the Southwest and north to Canada, the church has thousands of children who could benefit from a voucher program. 

Of course there are flaws in this picture. The church practices polygamy and Joe Jessop leads the show. The man has multiple wives, 46 children, and 239 grandchildren. He could have an elementary school all his own.

Two wives and maybe nine future vouchers for state-funded education.

I remember reading an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer some years back, about a goofy church over in Adams County. The “minister” was shown in a photograph at the pulpit wearing a Nazi uniform. The story went on to highlight his Jew-baiting sermons. Today, he’d be eligible for state money if he set up his own school. 

Now, for the love of God, or Allah, or The Great Whomever, a shady Muslim organization is moving in on voucher programs. (A shady Muslim organization would be the same as a shady Christian or shady sectarian organization; the word “shady,” not “Muslim” is key.) Want to know where we’re headed? Think:  Harmony School of Innovation, run by the Cosmos Foundation, a charter school operator down in Texas, with offshoots in Ohio. A company called TDM recently won a contract for $8.2 million to build that school. And so you have everything Governor Kasich could possibly desire! Voucher money for kids. Religion back in school. More jobs for Texans—and Ohioans, when we bring this model north!

What could go wrong? 

First, the Cosmos Foundation (which runs 33 Texas charter schools and gets $100 million in taxpayer funding), is a business run by Turkish immigrants. Secondly, many of the founders and operators are followers of Fethulan Gulen, a charismatic preacher of a moderate brand of Islam. If that doesn’t make Kasich choke on his conservative Wheaties, nothing will. 

Remember how law-makers insisted that private enterprise would only increase efficiency in Ohio education? Down in Texas, there have been complaints from numerous local construction companies. Even when they bid lower, TDM and Turkish-owned firms win almost every contract. Out of 35 jobs worth $82 million, since January 2009, Turkish-controlled entities won all but three, worth only $1.5 million. 

Well, what did you expect? If you’re going to insist that business and education are Siamese twins, you want to make a profit, right?

You’re not going into the education game to lose money! 

I’m a liberal. And I absolutely support equality for members of all religions, not to mention members of none. I think you’re an idiot if you don’t know that most Muslims are just as firmly opposed to terrorism as most Christians are.

Still, if you think Kasich is the worst governor west of New Jersey, this story gets better: At one San Antonio school run by Cosmos the entryway features a turquoise arch and the ceiling lobby shows a sun, a star, and crescent moon, clearly Islamic decorative devices. At least some of the female students wear head scarves and all but a few of the 33 principals in the system are Turkish men. Of 1,500 employees at Harmony schools, 292 are on special “H-1B” visas meant to allow skilled foreign workers to fill needs unmet by U. S. workers. 

A professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, Dr. Ronil Hira, explains the Harmony schools’ preference for hiring immigrants as a matter of economics. They can pay them less; and for the immigrant teacher it’s a step toward a green card. 

If I’m a crazy right-wing person what does all this prove? Tune in to Fox News at 5 p.m. and watch as the King of Blackboards, Glenn Beck, reveals the truth.  

Governor Kasich is in favor of madrassas in Ohio!!!! 


  1. Excellent post as usual. And the line cannot be drawn at any religion- that is where people so gung-ho on prayer in school etc etc fail to think through.

    My Christian friends often think I am an evil pagan when I say in rebuttal to their desire of having prayer back in school: "hell no! That is crazy! The second you allow that to happen you open up Pandora's box of lunacy!"
    I do think those who want to go to religious schools should go. (minus vouchers and help from the state/taxpayers) And I too believe everyone should do their own religious 'thang' unharrassed/unpersecuted but I do not want just anyone teaching my kid anything about religion. That is my job and my job only til it becomes his own responsibility to seek on his own.

    But just in case this is a money making opportunity I am going to open up a Scientology School and a Wiccan School (oooh imagine the uniforms at the Wiccan school....)

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Interesting food for thought, John. Keep going...

  4. Great post!!!! Food for thought.

  5. Any Saudi Wahhabi schools in the U.S. yet?

    These Islamic schools teach that anyone who doesn't practice this form of Islam are heathens and enemies.


    And if you read the next piece, you will discvoer about the Wahhabi Invasion of America, and now it looks like tax dollars that once supported our public schools are going to pay for our own demise.

    Until now, Saudi Arabia financed these Islamic Centers in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Fresno; Chicago; New York; Washington; Tucson; Raleigh, N.C. and Toledo, Ohio. Now our own citizens may end up financing these breeding grounds for Islamic terrorists.


  6. Sadly, I note that the ad program used by this blogsite ends up placing ads on my posts that conflict with the message, itself. (If I complain about corporate education, for example, I get an advertisement about some for-profit college. My apologies to any readers.

    I am not computer saavy enough to know what to do about it.