I was surprised to read that David Harsanyi, the (usually) free market writer for the Denver Post, endorsed the teaching of creationism in tax-funded schools. He writes:
Why are so many allegedly tolerant and science-loving Americans aghast at the notion that their beliefs will be scrutinized in schools? …
The most sensible solution, of course, would be to permit parents a choice so that they can send their kids to a school that caters to any brand of nonsense they desire — outside of three core subjects.
The left will never allow any genuine choice in our school systems. So it seems highly disagreeable and political to trap kids in public schools and, at the same time, decide where schools fall on controversial issues.
Hold on there a minute, partner. Parents are already “permitted” to send their children to private schools, including ones that teach creationism. The problem is that parents who send their children to private schools are also forced to continue to subsidize tax-funded schools that they don’t use. But notice that Harsanyi does not condemn the forcible collection of wealth to fund political schools. Instead, he longs for “genuine choice in our school systems” — by which I take it that he means “genuine choice” funded by forcible wealth transfers. If we want genuine choice, then people must be permitted to decide which schools — if any — they wish to fund.
Obviously on a free market politicians would properly have nothing to say about what schools teach. But tax-funded schools, as part of the government, must preserve the separation of church and state. Parents who send their children to tax-funded schools are welcome to teach their children creationism at home and at church. But don’t use my tax dollars to fund religious nonsense.