Christopher J. Ortiz
The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Supreme Court has
ruled that the states can withhold public scholarship money from
students pursuing religious studies.
In his holding, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote, “It
does not deny to ministers the right to participate in the
political affairs of the community. And it does not require
students to choose between their religious beliefs and receiving a
We feel as an editorial board that students deciding to go into
theological studies should be eligible for state scholarships. The
state is not endorsing any particular ideology or religion as long
as students are allowed to enter any theological studies.
The case was Locke v. Davey, named for Gov. Gary Locke and
Joshua Davey, who studied religion at Northwest College, which is
affiliated with the Assemblies of God. He did not become a
minister, deciding instead to attend Harvard Law School, the Times
Our country has set precedent on this case by allowing state
dollars be used for vouchers going to private schools.
We understand the concern for separation of school and state,
but as long as the state doesn’t endorse any particular religion,
students should be allowed to use state scholarships for
theological studies. Religion is a huge part of our culture and
anybody – religious or not – interested in studying should allowed
equal opportunity for a scholarship.