A recent Kentucky news article caught our eye because of Memphis and Shelby County Governments’ questionable decisions to fund the chronically financially ailing Lemoyne-Owen College.

In a lawsuit in our neighbor to the north, a judge ruled that a public appropriation to a religious college violated the separation of church and state.

Or put another way, it’s illegal to take public money and give it to a nonpublic religious institution.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

At the time of the Memphis City Council, we raised the question of city funding to a religious college – regardless of whom its alumni include – but the train was already charging down the track, and Council members weren’t listening to any contrary points of view.

The political payback was too tempting and the expediency too obvious to turn back, so church/state issues never received the attention they deserved, nor did the even more pertinent questions of whether this was just one more stop-gap bailout for the college when a real plan for improving its curriculum and finances were what was really needed.

In Kentucky, the lawsuit resulted from a $10 million state appropriation to a Baptist university, University of the Cumberlands, to build a pharmacy school. “This is exactly the ‘entanglement’ between government interests and religious institutions” that the Constitution prevents, the judge ruled.

We couldn’t have said it better when it comes to the money for Lemoyne-Owen College.