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.


Speaking of Rep. Justin Harris, Sen. Johnny Key

  • The coming political fallout on gay marriage

    April 12, 2014
    We could be fast approaching a national decision on gay marriage from the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court disallows states from banning gay marriage "the political fallout will be enormous," writes Paul Waldman at the Washington Post. Republicans in Arkansas and elsewhere might hope to take advantage of a base-motivating backlash — but that's a strategy that could come with long-term costs. /more/
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    February 8, 2012
    Also a good week for crushed hopes riding on the shoulders of a teen-ager and a new low. It was a bad week for Rep. John Burris, Rep. Justin Harris and government transparency. /more/
  • Legislator: State-paid Bible classes sent to attorney general

    November 18, 2011
    It sounds like the Department of Human Services has sent another hot potato to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. /more/
  • More Bible study with tax support UPDATE

    November 7, 2011
    John Lyon of Stephens Media advances the story about religious instruction in state-financed pre-schools with news that Republican state Sen. Johnny Key of Mountain Home also provides religious instruction in his pre-school, which receives almost $200,000 a year in tax dollars. /more/
  • Your tax dollars at work — teaching Bible

    November 5, 2011
    I'm sorry to say that Republican state Rep. Justin Harris has cut off my access to his Facebook page (after I asked him there about his animus to Scooby-Doo) and he won't return calls or e-mail messages. /more/
  • From whom all blessings flow

    June 1, 2011
    We've written before about Rep. Justin Harris, the government-cutting Republican from West Fork who took offense when a public records request revealed the extent of state support for his "faith-based" daycare center and the possibility that this basher of illegal immmigrants might be receiving public money for caring for same. /more/
  • Redistricting: inside baseball raps Ross UPDATE II

    March 24, 2011
    The Blue Arkansas blog throws down on U.S. Rep. Mike Ross for standing in the way of a supposed redistricting plan worked out between Democrats and Republican Sen. Johnny Key. /more/
  • Congressional redistricting: One man, one vote

    March 18, 2011
    I had a short discussion yesterday about emerging partisan proposals for congressional redistricting. Surprise, each party has a plan that best suits its interest. /more/
  • Justin Harris' hissy fit

    February 26, 2011
    Talk about a waste of government time and paper, not to mention outrageous. Rep. Justin Harris, the West Fork Republican and heir apparent to Mark Martin in that strange political corner of Arkansas, has already made headlines for his government-financed church school (which might offer to service to undocumented children) as he inveighs against government spending and illegal immigrants. /more/
  • More »


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