Dear presidential candidates: If you have to lie to make your point, your point is meaningless.
Several media outlets have reported that Senator Ted Cruz is recycling a debunked story about a Texas teen who was allegedly threatened with jail time for wanting to pray. According to these sources, this same story was recycled from one of Newt Gingrich’s presidential runs. Seriously, how many instance of this sort of alleged discrimination can there be if only one debunked example can be found in our entire enormous country?
Here is the real deal, speaking as the stepmother of a child in Texas schools.
“This case has been catnip for presidential candidates for some time,” said Greg Lipper, a lawyer for Americans United for Separation of Church & State. “It makes a superficially appealing talking point if you’re willing to make up things. It’s understandable that they go out of their way to say we’re threatening to send students to jail if they say ‘Jesus.’ That sounds better than what they actually want, which is government-sponsored Christian prayer.”
Texas schools are infested with public prayers which kids have no choice but to endure or even participate in if they don’t want to be isolated and ostracized. Coaches lead kids in prayer before games, there are prayers over the intercom systems, and prayers before events. In addition to these exercises, in Texas and elsewhere, there is nothing that stops any school child from praying privately to themselves at any time, to include in the classroom, at lunch, and in school activities. But that’s not enough for Sen. Cruz and his ilk. They will not stop until they find a way to compel participation in their faith activities and if that includes lying, they are perfectly capable of that.
Hmm, I wonder what their bible says about telling lies.
This just emphasizes the point that this election year is incredibly important and it is more important than ever that atheists take the time to vote. Please visit AtheistVoter.org for more information.