The Price of Bigotry


(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Three cheers for George Will’s column today calling upon the Supreme Court to strike down Blaine Amendments:

Blaine came within 1,047 votes of becoming president when, in 1884, hoping his anti-Catholicism would propel him to victory, he lost New York by that margin to Grover Cleveland. A large multiple of that number of New York’s Irish and other Catholic immigrants had become incensed when a prominent Protestant minister, speaking at a rally in New York City with Blaine present, said the Democratic party’s antecedents were “rum, Romanism, and rebellion.”

Blaine paid a steep price for his bigotry. More than 13 decades later, schoolchildren in Montana and elsewhere should not have to pay for it.

I reach the conclusion by different legal reasoning (I think the key point is that Blaine Amendments inevitably create unconstitutional government discrimination against religious organizations, not that they would have been understood to do so in the 19th century). But it rounds up to three cheers!

One Response to The Price of Bigotry

  1. Tunya Audain says:

    Thanks for the timely information, Greg. This is the email I sent to George Will at his email address:

    Hi George Will,

    Your latest column is awe-inspiring! I am from Canada and these are my thoughts.

    Your column on the harm of “Blaine” restrictions will inspire families to pursue the best education they can for their children. With the growing movement toward education vouchers the choices become ever so much wider — private, public, faith-based, home education or unbundled specialized services. For children to be denied an appropriate education — whether due to poverty, disability or politics — is a 21st C shame. Montana programs where children are already thriving under the current scholarship program are threatened. Your words will encourage the forces that champion family choice in education against those forces that insist on the view that one-size-fits-all!


    To Greg, Jay, Matthew and Jason and rest of the family on this blog-site — I applaud you for all your efforts in the cause of family choice. And for maintaining this blog. For readers interested in the topic the suggested related topics are a goldmine! Thanks again, Tunya

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