There are days when it’s best just to sit back and remember what Abraham Lincoln once said: “just because it’s a quote on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true.”
Thanks to right-wingers in Texas, that is rapidly proving to be true for public schools, as well. According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, one particular Texas public school — because of course it’s Texas — has taken heat not only for posting quotes that promote Christianity on the walls of the school, but because those quotes are apparently fake, as well.
Govern a nation with fake quotes
The Mount Vernon Independent School District painted quotes on the walls throughout the schools that included some falsy attributed to George Washington and Ronald Reagan. For instance, according to the school, Washington once said:
It is impossible to govern a nation without God and the Bible.
And Reagan supposedly claimed:
Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.
And while they sound genuine — Washington was a religious man; so religious he kept slaves, drank and played cards on Sunday, and got into a drunken fight with Ben Franklin using a chamber pot — they’re actually not, according to FFRF staff attorney, Sam Grover:
The district cannot even fall back on the argument that these quotes have educational merit, given the many examples of misquotes, misattributions, and entirely fraudulent quotes displayed on its walls. The district sets a poor example for its students if it cannot be bothered to fact check the messages it chooses to endorse.
In a letter dated July 31, the FFRF asked the district to remove the quotes because they violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It was a follow up to a letter sent in October.
It condemned the school district for manipulating “historical quotes” and for “removing context and isolating lines that promote Christianity or religion in general,” saying “it violates the right of conscience of its students.” The letter goes on to say:
Courts have continually held that public school districts may not endorse religious messages, including text taken from the bible. MVISD is a public school district and its schools should not be in the business of advancing Christianity by displaying bible quotes on district property.
There are about 130 of these fake quotes on the walls, according to the FFRF, and they began appearing in 2011.
Conservative “Christians” caught LYING to advance their bizarre agenda? How truly shocking.
Feature image via Wikimedia Commons