What Happened to ‘Thou Shalt Not Lie’?

The Free Market Foundation, the Plano-based Texas affiliate of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, has a new pitch for donations — and don’t expect much in the way of truth.

Near the top of the list of whoppers in Free Market’s letter is a claim of victory in a lawsuit over a Bible class offered by the Ector County (Odessa) Independent School District in West Texas. “The district will permanently have a Bible course, with the Bible as the textbook, and may use additional outside resources as well,” Free Market crows in its letter. “Our victory was a huge setback for the ACLU’s national plans.”

Well, no. The American Civil Liberties Union sought to forbid the school district from using an error-riddled, blatantly sectarian Bible curriculum that promotes the religious views of Protestant Christian fundamentalists over everybody else’s. The ACLU succeeded. During mediation, school officials agreed to drop the curriculum of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools and develop an alternative set of class materials. So long as the district uses a curriculum that neither promotes nor attacks anyone’s religion, the district may continue to offer the course. (The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released a report about the National Council’s dreadful curriculum in 2005.)

But don’t bother correcting Free Market Foundation — it’s too busy peddling a lie for donations.

Of course, the group’s silly letter doesn’t stop there. Recipients also learn that “one nationally-known pastor just wrote an article entitled ‘The Gay Activists Are Headed for the Churches’ describing their plans to protest, infiltrate and change churches, specifically naming a number of Texas churches on their list to target first.” Really? What “nationally-known pastor” said that? Free Market’s letter doesn’t say. What gay activists? We don’t know that either. Well, what churches have been targeted by these devious gays? They’re not saying, apparently. Sigh. What’s with all the secrets? Well, we suppose donors can rest assured that Free Market will be guarding our state’s churches from the alleged lavendar hordes set to march soon into the Lone Star State.