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Texas public school district promotes Christianity with made up Ronald Reagan quote

Ronald Reagan (Edalisse Hirst/Flickr)

A Texas public school district is being criticized for not only posting Christian quotes on its walls. Many of the quotes are totally made up, according to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Mount Vernon Independent School District painted quotes on walls that include this: “It is impossible to govern a nation without God and the Bible,” attributed to George Washington, and this, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face,” attributed to Ronald Reagan. Both quotes are inaccurate, FFRF reports.

“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,” said FFRF’s staff attorney, Sam Grover, in a statement. “The district sets a poor example for its students if it cannot be bothered to fact check the messages it chooses to endorse.”

The FFRF sent the district a letter dated July 31 asking that the quotes be removed because they violate the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution.

“Courts have continually held that public school districts may not endorse religious messages, including text taken from the bible,” the letter reads.  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.”

The letter continues, “When MVISD manipulates historical quotes by removing context and isolating lines that promote Christianity or religion in general, it violates the right of conscience of its students.”

The letter was a follow-up to one sent in October.

According to its website, Mount Vernon is a small district with four schools in eastern Texas. They started posting the quotes in 2011, according to FFRF. There are about 130 of them on the walls.

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