Is it okay to lie or misrepresent facts in a testimony to the WV State Legislature?

I intend to write an op-ed later about this, but I noticed a certain issue with Jeremiah Dys, the president of the Family Policy Council, and his final testimony to the West Virginia State Legislature. In his effort to prevent the inclusion of homosexuality as a protected status under anti-bullying laws, he tells a story about a child from over  a year ago.

He writes of a child who received an assignment – to finish: “Christmas means:______.” According to Dys, the child was reprimanded for  answering the question with Jesus’s Birthday:

A day or so later, he received his wide-ruled paper back from his teacher. On the face of the assignment over the words he had written, “Jesus’ birthday,” were 3 black lines. His teacher informed him that his simple answer was a violation of the separation of church and state. One  teacher deemed the simple words of a first grader’s assignment to be “offensive speech” and  took it upon herself to censor it.

He does not source his fact. But, the internet gives the opposite view. Almost a year ago, The Elkin Tribute ran an article featuring statements from school children who answered the same assignment.

This is a clear and sad misrepresentation of the facts by Mr. Dys. There may be a child who this happened to, in West Virginia; however, without a source, and then sources to counter what he has said, it makes me wonder if Mr. Dys knew what he was actually talking about.

Read the testimony here: 11-27-12 – Final Testimony


Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

2 thoughts on “Is it okay to lie or misrepresent facts in a testimony to the WV State Legislature?

  1. As a teacher, I would have a hard time believing this would happen, the teacher part, not the “lying for Jesus part”. Especially in 1st grade. Teachers are happy with anything a student writes in first grade. And if it did, he or she needs to find a different occupation.

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