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Elizabeth Warren Opposes Tax Credits for Donations to Schools With Christian Views of Sexuality

01-28-2020
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (AP Photo)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (AP Photo)

Senator Elizabeth Warren has weighed in against any tax dollars going to private schools, especially if they have a biblically-based view of sexuality. The Democratic presidential candidate tweeted on Sunday that " States should focus on funding public schools, not private ones - especially not ones that maintain anti-LGBTQ+ policies. We must ensure that every kid - especially LGBTQ+ kids – can get a high-quality education."

CNS News reports that along with her tweet, Warren included an article from The Huffington Post that raises concern about a current Supreme Court case (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue) involving tax credits given to taxpayers - both individuals and corporations - who donate to private schools and scholarships. 

According to CNS, The Huffington Post then describes as "public funding" private donations that are eligible for a tax credit. 

The HuffPo article takes private religious schools to task, saying they "actively discriminate against LGBTQ staff and employees." The article goes on to cite sections from school handbooks it finds concerning, statements that affirm Biblical views of marriage and sexuality like "'God created marriage to be exclusively the union of one man and one woman,' and 'students and campus visitors must use restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities conforming with their biological sex.'"

CBN News asked Senator Warren's campaign to respond as to whether Christian schools have a right to hire staff and uphold standards for their students true to their deeply-held beliefs even if they run counter to the LGBTQ+ agenda. As of this writing, there has been no response from the campaign.

Senator Warren is not the first of the Democratic presidential candidates to express disdain, and even outrage, at those who hold Christian views. 

Back in June, Senator Bernie Sanders attacked President Trump's nominee for the Office of Management and Budget, Russell Vought, for a blog he'd written earlier about Muslims and Christians. In the blog, Vought had stated basic Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. 

As CBN News previously reported, Vought wrote the post last year defending his alma mater, Wheaton College, when the college came under attack for forcing out a professor who said Christians and Muslims "worship the same God."

Sanders asked him if his comments were Islamophobic.

"Absolutely not," replied Vought.

"I'm a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith. That post … was to defend my alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian school that has a statement of faith that includes the centrality of Jesus Christ for salvation."

Sanders interrupted Vought asking, "Do you believe that people in the Muslim religion stand condemned?"

"Again, senator, I'm a Christian," began Vought, "and I wrote that piece …"

"I understand that," said an agitated Sanders.

"I don't know how many Muslims there are in America. ... Are you suggesting that all of those people stand condemned? What about Jews? They stand condemned too?"

"Senator, I'm a Christian ... ," Vought began again.

Sanders interrupted again, this time shouting, "I understand that you are a Christian!" 

"There are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?" Sanders continued.

Vought responded, "as a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs."
 
Sanders ended his questions to Vought saying, "This nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about."

"I will vote no."

Last spring, on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared to compare Christians to radical Muslims.
 
As CBN News reported at the time, during the interview Hewitt asked Buttigieg about the threat of Islamic extremism.

"Do you find Iranians' variant of Shia extremism to be more dangerous to the world than the Sunni variant that we see in the Taliban and perhaps in Hamas and some of the more radical elements of Wahhabism?" Hewitt asked.

"Well, you know, not unlike Christianity when it is motivating someone to do something extreme," Buttigieg responded, "it can have a thousand different flavors."

On the campaign trail, Buttigieg, who calls himself a Christian, touts his homosexuality and his marriage to a man. He has blasted Vice President Mike Pence's cultural and religious conservatism, saying "He's nice...but he's also fanatical."

Last summer, former Vice-President Joe Biden told the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign that the Equality Act would be his top legislative priority. The Equality Act would enshrine LGBTQ protections into the nation's labor and civil rights laws, but critics warn it would result in slashing constitutional protections for Christians and other religious believers.  As CBN News reported earlier, those opposing the Equality Act say it would force religious believers to violate their faith or conscience if they complied, with far-reaching repercussions like forcing faith-based adoption and foster agencies to place children with same-sex couples; requiring Christian florists and bakers to fill orders for same-sex weddings, even if they believe it is wrong; forcing doctors to perform sex-change surgeries against their consciences, and prescribe drugs to block normal growth in children confused about their gender. But as one Democratic lawmaker said in support of the bill, "We cannot allow claims of religious freedom to be used to discriminate against an LGBT individual."

 

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