Monday, December 18, 2006

Fundie teacher preaches in class.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: fundamentalist Christians love captive audiences who have no choice but to listen to them preach even when they don’t want to listen, even when they are violating the rights of others to do so.

Once again a fundamentalist has proven himself unfit to teach children. In this case the teacher was David Paskiewicz, who is also a youth minister at a fundamentalist Baptist church. The minister was supposed to teach about the Constitution but he didn’t. He violated it.

One student in the class tape recorded the “history” listens of the teacher to prove that the class was being used by him to recruit impressionable youths into the fundamentalist sect. In one recording the teacher told students that they would go to hell if they didn’t get converted and become fundamentalists themselves. If that wasn’t bad enough he also came up with the claim that evolution and the Big Bang are false, that Noah’s ark really existed and contained dinosaurs and only born-again Christians will go to heaven.

The student who recorded the lectures and filed the complaint has received death threats and been harassed by other students. One student in the class, who also is in the minister’s religious youth group, attacked the complaining student, Matthew LeClair. He claimed that Matthew was denying the teacher his “First Amendment” rights. If this is the kind of Constitutional theory this fundamentalist minister was teaching he ought to be fired for that reason alone. The First Amendment gives anyone the right to preach anything they want with their own property or that which is made freely available to them by the owners. In the case of a state school financed with taxpayer funds the teacher does not have the right to preach. To do so he uses the funds of taxpayers who don’t agree with his religion and he uses the power of the state to compel an audience to sit and listen whether they wish to do so or not.

Fundamentalists in the town and the school are supporting the teacher, of course.

Matthew says the teacher started preaching the very first day of class. He said the teacher was not just expressing an opinion but telling students they were damned if they failed to accept his teachings. Matthew began teaching on the second day of class.

The teacher initiated the discussions on religion in his class and Matthew, who is a humanist, questioned the teacher about what he was saying. Fundamentalist in the town are now claiming the boy “set up” the teacher. Considering the boy was tape recording the conversation it is unlikely that was what he was doing. Fundamentalist accused the boy of just wanting to get a settlement from the school. The problem with that is that when he wrote the school he requested that the preaching stop, that he apologize for doing so and that he correct any misinformation he gave in class. No request for a financial pay out was asked.

Expect the rabid Right to come to the defense of the preacher using the school to impose fundamentalist Christianity on the students.


Blogger Publius II said...

I don't think there's any doubt that this guy needs to be disciplined at least, and fired and fined at worst. He broke the rules pretty blatantly.

While I think he has the right to express his opinions regarding the subject matter that he's required to teach, this goes way above and beyond. He broke the law.

The question is, how much does it really hurt anybody to hear this sort of thing? In otherwords, how severe can the punishment really get with a case like this?

December 19, 2006

Blogger IConrad said...

Publius -- how much should you punish someone who systematically lightly slapped in the face 10,000 American citizens against their will?

This is effectively the same thing. This man stole perhaps a 1/10th of a penny from me, to preach a faith I detest.

December 19, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

And everyday, evolutionists preach a faith which I detest. What's the difference? I'm sure you (or NGZ) will come back with "but it's science, not religion," and once again I'll repeat myself in saying that the science that backs the theory of evolution is debatable at best, utterly false at worst.

December 20, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

And I will contend that you define words to fit your theology. You don't know the meaning of faith, science, or theory.

December 20, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

On the contrary, I am quite knowledgable of the definition and deliberately used the term "faith" because that's exactly what a belief in biological macro-evolution is. I can elaborate on that point if you wish.

December 20, 2006

Blogger IConrad said...

Publius ii -- I have but one thing to say, which I shall say in hyperlink format:

To paraphrase: Anyone who posits that believing in macrobiological evolution is mere "faith" is deceiving either themselves or those around them.

I'll one-up this conversation to another direction however... let's take something I am definitely certain you take on faith: "Religious societies are more moral societies than are irreligious societies, all other things being equal."

Examine that position in light of the following (from the Journal of Religion & Society):

Publius -- do keep on enjoying your delusion. :)

December 21, 2006

Blogger Publius II said...

Sir, you are quite presumptuous. I've never claimed, nor do I believe the statement which you seemed so sure that I believed - "Religious societies are more moral societies than are irreligious societies, all other things being equal." I've never claimed it, and I am quite positive that I would never believe such nonsense. In fact it's usually just the opposite, by a landslide. Of course, a religious society is not what I'm about.

As for your article on the mussels, are you really serious??? There's not even one thing about macroevolution in that article at all. It shows the adaptation of a species to its surrounding environment. Let me know when you find an example of a mussel becoming something else entirely, like a crab or a lobster or something similar.

And actually the article gives one piece of evidence that fits with Young Earth theories... the fact that it only took 15 years for this adaptation to occur, instead of thousands or millions of years.

December 22, 2006

Blogger Clay Burell said...

that's funny. i know of a teacher of European history who had his students put him on trial (class simulation) for teaching the dark side of Christian history, from the Gospels to the present, in the context of a Renaissance to Scientific Revolution unit.

The kids had never heard of the Inquisition, the "Satanic" telescope, the burning of the Library of Alexandria by Christian mobs, Galileo and Bruno, the blood of forced conversion that Christianized the world from Constantine to Charlemagne to the Americas and Philippines.

Never heard of it, these 15-year-old regular church-goers and children of devout parents.

They accused him of brainwashing so he put himself on trial.

The verdict? He was innocent, because he didn't tell them what to think, but only...that there's more to think about than what their authorities tell them.

The punchline? Many of the students added that if anybody was brainwashing, it was the churches that were telling them the "truth" when they were too young to think--and then telling them they'd BURN if they ever DID think about it.

Curious: what do you think of Spong's "Call for a Second Reformation"?

December 22, 2006

Blogger IConrad said...

Publius -- you argue in a very unique manner.

"There's nothing in this that shows macroevolution except for the entire article's demonstration of macroevolution!"

Evolutionary process as I'm sure you are well aware occurs in two major forms; spontaneous major mutation, and gradual accrual of characteristics.

In this case, a genetic-level modification was demonstrated to have occurred based solely on environmental factors.

Magnify this process by thousands of instances and thousands of thousands of years, and it is entirely possible that said mussels could become, say, yourself.

That's gradual evolution. Sudden-onset evolution... well, look at the fact that ligers are frequently viable to the breeding population, and get back to me there as well.

You simply cannot refute evolution because mussels don't spontaneously become earthworms. Evolutionary theory doesn't posit this as a possibility; your attempted refutation of it based on that is just plain silliness.

As I said; enjoy your delusion. It's amusing.

December 22, 2006


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