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Pious con artists


Counter-complaining against those who've complained about him getting public money for a school that teaches his religion, state Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, said, "They don't have freedom of religion. Their whole deal is freedom from religion." Which is another way of saying, "Their whole deal is belief in the First Amendment." Of course, the First means that the people can't be clubbed into supporting religion — freedom from religion, if you will. Legislators ought to believe it too.

But the Arkansas legislature includes Christian hustlers like Harris and Sen. Johnny Key, R-Mountain Home, who've conned state government into subsidizing the religious schools they operate rather than hold real jobs. The state Department of Human Services and the state Education Department should never have permitted this to happen, and, thanks to the complainers, they're now considering rules to at least restrict the flow of public funds to church schools. Freedom-loving Arkansans should let these agencies know that tough rules are needed. This is America, not Iran.

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