To the Editor:
Michael Mayo is right on target by exposing the "subterfuge" employed by the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission ("Sneaky school amendments might pull fast one on Florida voters," Aug. 7, some editions), but funding to religious schools is just the tip of the iceberg.
Amendment 7's deceptive title, "Religious Freedom," misleads Florida voters to believe they are voting to safeguard religious liberty in Florida. In reality, Amendment 7 would fundamentally alter and poison the relationship between church and state in this state.
Since 1885, the Florida Constitution has safeguarded religious freedom for all Floridians through its No Aid Clause. If Amendment 7 passes, it will remove the existing protections and signify a draconian step backward and a huge mistake.
Amendment 7 would legalize taxpayer-funded religious discrimination and proselytizing. It would require that religious institutions and organizations — including universities, schools, social service organizations, philanthropic organizations, broadcasters and, of course, houses of worship — be eligible for virtually all grants and contracts with the state of Florida, without any restrictions on these funds.
Mayo wrote, "If the goal is to mislead and confuse voters as much as possible, mission accomplished." We couldn't agree more.
Andrew L. Rosenkranz
Florida Regional Director