Supreme Court Voucher Decision is a Victory for Parental Choice and People of Faith


Acton Institute, June 27, 2002:  Grand Rapids, MI- The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty issued a statement today commenting that Supreme Court’s decision declaring school vouchers constitutional was “a victory for parental choice and for all Americans who believe that choices made on the basis of faith are legitimate even in a pluralistic democracy such as our own.” 

In a statement, Rev. Robert A. Sirico, the president and co-founder of the Acton Institute offered his reflections on this landmark decision:

“I find it ironic that this High Court decision comes in the wake of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling which declared the ‘under God’ clause contained in the pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional.  A truly strange situation has occurred when on one day one court rules out the possibility of mentioning God in our nation’s pledge of allegiance and the following day the Supreme Court recognizes a parent’s right to choose a religious school for their child’s education.  These diametrically opposed decisions indicate that there is a deep divide in the way Americans think about the role of religion in our national life.  I do hope the Supreme Court’s decision, at least in the arena of school choice, will introduce some much needed clarity into the ongoing debate about the proper and appropriate role for faith in American public life.”

“There are many issues involved in this landmark decision and I do think it is a strong step in the right direction.  First and foremost the Court has recognized that parental choice should be the driving force in the education of American children.  Important also, is the recognition by the court that government officials should not discriminate against those parents who choose a faith-based school for the education of their children. Certain secular elites have tried to drive religion out of the public square under the guise of a flawed notion of religious neutrality.  The courts decision implicitly recognizes that within a pluralistic society, the choice of parents to choose a faith-based school is a legitimate option for parents seeking the best education possible for their children.  This decision is, indeed, a victory for parental choice and for all people who believe that choices made on the basis of faith are legitimate even in a pluralistic democracy such as our own.”

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