Skip to comments.Bishop Gene Robinson Considers Vouchers to Religious Schools a 'Tragedy'
Posted on 11/20/2012 9:40:38 AM PST by SeekAndFind
WASHINGTON Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop in The Episcopal Church, believes that voucher programs that benefit religious schools are a "tragedy." The controversial bishop of New Hampshire told The Christian Post on Monday his views on vouchers at an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress on the issue of poverty reduction.
"I am a believer in public education and I believe every dollar diverted from public education either by religious schools or by charter schools is a tragedy," said Robinson.
"[A voucher] takes away from this great mission that is so embedded in the life of this country I just favor full and un-diverted support for those public schools."
Robinson also explained to CP that he made such conclusions from his own experience as a "product of public schools" and president of two private schools established by The Episcopal Church.
"Frankly as the bishop of New Hampshire, I am the president of two private schools and my heart isn't in it," said Robinson.
"They are not particularly religious schools. They had their beginnings in The Episcopal Church which is why I sit on the board."
Robinson's remarks come on a day when he was part of a panel on efforts to reduce poverty sponsored by the Center for American Progress. Titled "The Right Choices to Cut Poverty and Restore Shared Prosperity," the event featured a three-person panel on the issue of poverty reduction as well as other guest speakers.
The other two panelists were Lloyd Lamm, regional banking executive of the Capital Region at First National Bank of Pennsylvania; and Deborah Weinstein, executive director for the Coalition on Human Needs. Wade Henderson, president and Chief Executive Officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, moderated the panel.
In an interview with CP, Henderson commented that he did not feel vouchers to religious schools were the issue per se, but did express concern about regulation of said practice.
"I think that voucher programs too often siphon money off of the public system without evidence that the new program being funded is substantially better," said Henderson.
"I think the question now is how do you provide quality public education for students, whether it's in the public arena or in the charter arena." The CAP event spotlighted the progressive organization's annual report, known as the "Half in Ten" report, which focuses on how the United States is doing in reducing poverty and creating economic opportunity.
"On November 19 the Half in Ten campaign will release its second annual report that answers this question, tracking the nation's and each state's progress toward cutting poverty in half over the next decade through indicators relating to good jobs, strong families, and economic security and opportunity," reads a press release.
"The report also outlines a pathway forward, outlining a set of policy priorities and explaining that poverty reduction can be achieved hand-in-hand with long-term deficit reduction if we make the right policy choices." While a major theme at the CAP event was the need for government programs such as SNAP and unemployment benefits, both Henderson and Robinson told CP that they believe the private sector is a necessary component to poverty reduction.
"I think the private sector can have a very significant role in reducing poverty," said Henderson, who felt that businesses "could motivate the federal and state governments to invest in issues like education and training as ways of preparing a work force for the jobs that the private sector has today and will have in the future."
"I think that the private sector is obviously where most of the jobs will come from," said Robinson, who added that "we are all in this together and that every dollar put in the pocket of a poor person is a dollar spent."
In addition to the panel, there were several other speakers at the event. This included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, who gave the keynote speech, and Angela Hutton, a mother of two who detailed her harrowing experiences going from wrenching poverty to middle class status and a good college education with the aid of government welfare programs.
The Gay Bishop speaks...
If this is the case then I agree. These schools are not religious schools at all.
Hey! Don’t just whine, bishop! Fight back!
Why don’t you found an all-gay/transgendered Episcopal School, run by lesbian clergywymmen?
I guess China needs to send us some examples of the forms they use to approve churches. We have the idea down, we just need to formalize the process. Line 33.a enter the name of your messiah - note your messiah must be from the approved list on form SCM-666 - if not on the list please submit...
“They are not particularly religious schools. They had their beginnings in The Episcopal Church which is why I sit on the board.”
Is the Episcopal Church still a religion anymore? I would argue that it isn’t...
I bet he’s all for grants for illegals to go to college. Why is vouchers for grade and high school kids the worst thing ever.....but the minute they can go to college it’s a right?
“They had their beginnings in The Episcopal Church. They are not particularly religious schools which is why I sit on the board.”
What he probably meant to say. Indeed, they sound like a waste of the bishop’s valuable time.
What’s the count of former members of Bishop Robinson’s diocese that are now Anglican Rite Catholics?
Lots of us :o)
At the risk of offending my Episcopalian friends, are the sole qualifications to become a BISHOP in your denomination a requirement to being full of BS and not being qualified to work at IHOP?
The poverty rate was falling since the 1920's and fell to 19% shortly before the "Great Society" programs were initiated under LBJ. Had the poverty rate continued its trend it would have fallen to 12% whether the great society programs had been initiated or not. Since then qwe have spent trillions of dollars on "poverty programs and the poverty rate has gone up compared with the mid-sixties.
Oh and by the way payments such as WICK and food stamps are not taken into account in calculating the poverty level.
Katherine Hancock Ragsdale (born c. 1959) is an American Episcopal Priest based in Massachusetts and president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School. Before becoming dean she was director of Political Research Associates from May 2005 through June 2009. She is an American progressive, and was a priest at St. David's Episcopal Church in Pepperell, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Ragsdale has served for 17 years on the national board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She is also on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice America, The White House Project, the Progressive Religious Partnership, as well as the bi-national advisory board of the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence. She presented to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in 2004. She was named president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School (Massachusetts - 1 of 11 Episcopal seminaries) on July 1, 2009. Her appointment was criticized by some religious conservatives, who have been particularly critical of her endorsement of the "blessing" of abortion. She is the editor of Boundary Wars: Intimacy and Distance in Healing Relationships and the author of numerous articles, including The Role of Religious Institutions in Responding to the Domestic Violence Crisis and Hannah, a short story. She is openly lesbian. On January 1, 2011, she married Rev. Mally Lloyd at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. Bishop M. Thomas Shaw performed the ceremony.
Draw your own conclusions why this individual is so interested in children.
In fairness to Episcopalians, we Catholics have our share of dopey priests. However, because the Catholic Church hasn’t caved on issues such as homosexuality, our versions of Gene Robinson don’t climb high enough up the clerical ladder to be as visible as Robinson.
By their fruits you know them, and I don’t mean that as a pun.
If a “bishop” says he thinks taking money away from religious education is s good thing, and giving it to secular humanists, then he can’t be a Christian, can he?
Vicki Gene's "theology" is none of my business and I leave that struggle to Episcopalians. His political views are another matter entirely.