Believers should never lie. Never. It is one of the Big Ten. Thou shalt not bear false witness is how the King Jim says it in Exodus 20:16. I checked several other translations just to verify. Yep. They all say the same thing: lying is a Big Time No-No.
The Alliance Defense Fund should know that lying is not a good thing ... after all, ADF was founded in 1994 by over 30 different ministries, including such prominent guys as James Dobson (founder, Focus on the Family), the late D. James Kennedy (founder, Coral Ridge Ministries), the late Marlin Maddoux (president, International Christian Media), & even Donald Wildmon (founder, American Family Association).
So when the Alliance Defense Fund tells a whopper, they should be called on it.
Here's the story.
Back in 2006 the Alliance Defense Fund defended the Wilson County Schools (TN) against a lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought against the schools with several claims, but the biggie was that a group called "Praying Parents" meets in the school cafeteria during school hours & drops off fliers in classrooms to let children know the group has prayed for them. The Praying Parents group is featured on the school's website. The suit also says that the school observed "National Day of Prayer" by holding a student poster competition and handing out "I prayed" stickers to students.
Since then, several other items were added to the suit & the towns people were not too happy with the anonymous parents who filed the suit. Of course, the ACLU was accused of all sorts of things when it brought the suit on behalf of the parent.
Then came May 2008 when the case was settled.
What is interesting is that the Alliance Defense Fund made the astonishing claim in their press release that the school/ADF had won & the parents/ACLU had lost. Here's the ADF press release ... it sure looks to me like the ADF is claiming victory & that the parents/ACLU had lost. Isn't that the way it looks to you? The ADF headline reads: ACLU fails to silence religious expression in Wilson County schools. Looks to me like they are claiming the ACLU lost, doesn't it?
Well, there is just one, wee-little problem. The Alliance Defense Fund is lying. That's right. telling the story with the Serpent Tongue.
Here's the actual quote from the ruling found at this link (page 58-59). . Let's see if it looks like the ADF/school won, or if the parents/ACLU won ...
The Does have proved by a preponderance of the evidence that they suffered a constitutional violation and they will suffer a continuing irreparable injury if they are not able to enroll their children in Lakeview because Lakeview is not complying with First Amendment religious freedoms. The Does do not have an adequate remedy at law because a damages award will not alleviate the burdens faced by the Does.
Accordingly, the Court will grant the Does limited permanent injunctive relief.
As explained in this opinion, certain practices at Lakeview Elementary School during the 2005-2006 school year did not have a secular purpose and were allowed or pursued to tacitly approve the activities of the Praying Parents, which had the primary effect of endorsing or promoting their Christian beliefs and programs at the school. In addition, the Praying Parents practices and programs at the school caused the Lakeview administrators and teachers to become
excessively entangled with religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. Therefore, for all of the reasons stated in this opinion the Court finds in favor of the Does and against all Defendants except the Board itself. The Does are entitled to a limited permanent injunction which will be set forth in a separate Order. The Intervenor-Defendants have not presented a justiciable controversy concerning whether their First Amendment rights have been violated by the Defendants.
An appropriate Order shall be entered.
But notice, please, how the Alliance Defense Fund twists the words & misrepresents the facts to bear false witness. Here's the first sentence of the ADF press release ... NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A court order issued Thursday fell short of granting the American Civil Liberties Union what it was seeking in its lawsuit against the Wilson County School System, according to attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund.
Carefully crafted, isn't it? Notice it doesn't say the ACLU won but that the ACLU didn't get what it was seeking. Now that is true, as the judge ruled one point as unintentional & another point was not a violation. Out of 6 points, the judge agreed with 5 of the 6. Looks like a win, but not everything the ACLU was seeking. Still, the ADF lied.
Notice paragraph two: ... “This is a win for religious freedom and, if not a total loss for the ACLU, certainly a hollow, shallow victory. The court acknowledged that Christians cannot be discriminated against for their beliefs and that personal prayer, mentions of God, and Christmas references are constitutionally appropriate in school,” said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum. “The ACLU hoped to wipe out every reference to God but walked away with a take-nothing judgment. ADF and its clients were successful in repelling the ACLU’s attacks.”
Hmmm. A total loss for the ACLU? When the court order ruled for the parents in 5 of the 6 points? Nor is it true the ACLU was trying to remove God. Nope. Just the violations of the Constitution where the school gave special treatment to one faith. And notice how the press release said the court said Christians cannot be discriminated against. Well, yeah, but that is not really what the judge ruled nor what the case was about ... just a little misrepresentation on the ADF's part. But they did say "shallow victory" for the ACLU --- a serious twisting of words, wouldn't you say?
Then comes the Biggie:
The court order Thursday refused to grant the ACLU’s request to stop each of the following at Wilson County schools:
· The playing of a song with a religious reference in honor of a three-year-old cancer victim
· “See You at the Pole” student prayer event
· National Day of Prayer observances
· Meetings on campus by the group Praying Parents
· Christmas and Thanksgiving observances with religious references
“All of these things will remain constitutionally permissible at the school,” Kellum said. “The order specifically states that these types of activities may continue.”
More lies. The ACLU didn't ask the bullet points be stopped, only that the violations be halted. For example, the statement about the song with a religious reference. The ADF left out the facts here. It was a religious song that a parent had written & performed & sent to be given to a sick student. The class asked the teacher play the CD though she had not previewed it & didn't know its content. The teacher never played the song again. The court said it was a one time thing & was unintentional, thus no foul. But that is a far cry from the ADF's claim, isn't it?
The "See You at the Pole" & "National Day of Prayer." The ACLU did NOT ask these be stopped regardless of the lie of the ADF. Read the ruling for yourself. The suit was that the school no longer officially endorse the programs with poster contests & teacher/admin sponsorship. Far different than the ADF Big Fib, ain't it?
The Praying Parents were ordered to no longer be at school during the school day & to stop intermingling with kids without parental permission. The ACLU never asked Praying Parents be banned from the school, only be there before or after the school day. Another ADF lie.
The Nativity & religious references =were= allowed to stay as they should. The parents had claimed the Nativity Scene & sample prayer the Puritans might have prayed was endorsement of religion. The court said the sample prayer was not a prayer at all but an educational drama & the Nativity was small part of a larger school play (less than 1/3 of the play). Thus, these were =secular= & not religious at all. Again, the ADF lied.
Anyway, that's the long & short of it. I don't get why a group that claims to stand for Truth will just blatantly lie --- unless it is for power or money. Could it be?
I would STRONGLY suggest comparing the ADF press release to the ACLU press release & see which one is telling the accurate account of the court's ruling.
Now I will grant that on the current issue, the school, I think, missed it. It looks to me like they were overreacting. Then again, if they made a policy expressly to comply with the court order ... well, we'll see how that one works out.
But in the mean time, the lying by the ADF bothers me. The ADF is still claiming the ACLU lost the suit against the school. Wrong. Here is the newspaper article on the current issue. Strange: the article says the ACLU won & the judge ruled against the school.
Less than a year after a federal judge ruled that the school district had illegally promoted religion, the board faces a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in a dispute over religion at Lakeview Elementary. In 2006, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee sued the Wilson County school board for inappropriately promoting religion.
At issue was a group known as the Praying Parents, which met on campus and handed out notes telling students they’d been prayed for.
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Echols found the school board had given Praying Parents preferential treatment, and ordered the board to pay $171,000 for the plaintiff’s legal fees.
How is the whole world can realize the ACLU won but the ADF say it ain't so?
Who is lying here? Let's see: the judge said the ACLU won. The newspaper says the ACLU won. The school had to pay the legal fees. So I wonder who is lying here? Could it be, the Alliance Defense Fund just doesn't know it lost the case?
Seems the only people in the whole world that believe the ACLU lost & the Alliance Defense Fund won, is the Alliance Defense Fund. Tell a lie long enough & people will believe anything.