In Grove City, Ohio, the city council set up a scholarship fund for students in the community. Students who apply are eligible for up to $1,000 per semester to go to the local school of their choice, and they have three options: Columbus State Community College, Harrison College, or Ohio Christian University.
It’s that last one that raised eyebrows at the Freedom From Religion Foundation:
“Grove City taxpayers shouldn’t be compelled to fund religious educations,” said the attorney, Patrick Elliott. “I don’t know how anybody who is not Christian would attend that college. If they were to (go to) any college in the U.S., that would be a different story.”
And just in case there’s any doubt about whether this is government endorsement of religion, here’s a glimpse at the school:
The campus is located inside a megachurch. Many of the institution’s degrees and courses are heavily infused with Christianity. For instance, the university offers a B.A. in leadership and ministry that requires many courses in Christian theology and teaches students how to “demonstrate skills in communicating the gospel.” But even seemingly secular options have a lot of religion in them. So, students who pursue a B.S. in nursing are taught to deliver “holistic Christian care,” while students who pursue an associate’s degree in business or human services must take a core of “Bible/Christian worldview classes.” All graduates of the university are expected to “articulate a Christian worldview,” to “confirm an understanding of a saving and sanctifying knowledge of God through Jesus Christ as savior and lord,” to “affirm the Bible as the only infallible guide for Christian faith and practice,” to “demonstrate God’s love for humanity through a selfless life that seeks to reconcile the world to Christ,” and to apply “Bible-based moral values in their daily life.”
There’s nothing wrong with that if you want to pay for it yourself, but taxpayers shouldn’t be funding your religious education.
FFRF points out that the city giving away scholarships for this school would violate the state and federal constitution and they want to know what the city will do before any funds are disbursed. Grove City has the option of offering the scholarships for just the two public schools — or getting rid of the program altogether.
Let’s hope they choose the former over the latter. The third option is sticking with the program as is and losing money in a lawsuit. It’d be absolutely irresponsible not to make a change.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)