Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue in a case that determines whether or not tax credits can be put towards schools owned or operated by a “church, sect, or denomination.” This case challenges an old anti-religious law promulgated by the Know-Nothing league. The Know Nothing Party was founded on anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic sentiment. Catholics were persecuted and thought of as illiterate Irish immigrants. Of the Know-Nothing league, President John F. Kennedy said “The Irish are perhaps the only people in our history with the distinction of having a political party, the Know-Nothings, formed against them.”
To overcome this xenophobic legislation would be a victory for truth. As Michael Gilleran has said “This is the civil right and religious rights issue of our time. In the times to come, just as with slavery, people will ask how the past age was so primitive before things were changed. Black, brown and inner city kids deserve and crave decent educations.”
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