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'Good Choices' Program Promoted By Scientologist 'Simpsons' Actress Debated In Springfield

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While her animated counterpart could use a lesson or two in good manners, the actress who has for years lent her voice to Bart Simpson is pushing Illinois lawmakers to bring her "Good Choices" character-building program to state schools.

The program is being promoted by Emmy Award-winning actress and Scientologist Nancy Cartwright, who reportedly said its foundation is based on a book written by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The Capitol Fax blog reports that Rep. Dan Burke (D-Chicago) sponsored a resolution praising the program.

“I’ve been assured it’s not a Scientology promotion,” Burke told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s a separate not-for-profit. It’s just basic good manners, good principles that kids sometimes don’t get exposed to in some of the more challenged areas of our state.”

The resolution would not require that the program be taught in classrooms, just encouraged.

When one Republican lawmaker learned of the program's Scientology link, he stepped away from the resolution--and apparently decided to compare the Church of Scientology to the Klu Klux Klan.

“Would we suggest the KKK for something like this?” Rep. Jerry Mitchell (R-Sterling) told the Sun-Times. “This might be something for a select private school, but I’m not sure it’s germane for a public school.”

Rep. Burke, however, told NBC Chicago the program teaches "basic good manners," not Scientology.

Cartwright will be in Springfield for a reception Tuesday, and testify on behalf of the program in front of a House panel Wednesday.

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