Saturday, May 2, 2009

Federal judge rules against telling the truth

The judge is James Selna; a U.S. District Court judge. Selna was appointed to his judicial seat by then President George W. Bush. So far as I can tell, Selna had no qualifications for the post other than he was a lawyer and a Repugnican.

James Corbett is a high school history teacher. He said something in class that I probably would have said under the same circumstances. He said Creationism is "religious, superstitious nonsense," in a classroom lecture in 2007.

One of his students, a christianist creationist by name of Chad Farnan, sued his teacher claiming that Corbett was consistently hostile toward Christians in class and advocated "'irreligion over religion'" in violation of the First Amendments establishment clause."

Huh? That makes no sense whatsoever. And who said little Christian fundys are to be "protected" against the truth?

The whole thing went to court and Judge Selna ruled, incredibly, that the teacher had "violated the First Amendment by disparaging Christians during a classroom lecture." The Judge said that the teacher had no right to state that Creationism was religious hokum and superstitious nonsense. And further, this should remind all teachers "of their legal 'boundaries' as public school employees."


So, a teacher can no longer tell the truth?

Evidently, Jesus didn't care, as he didn't strike Corbett down to protect the poor frightened christianist student.

Here's what an incredulous PZ Myers had to say at Pharyngula:

"I am astounded that Corbett was found guilty of anything.

"First of all, he told the truth: creationism is religious, it is a product of superstition, and it is nonsense -- it doesn't fit any of the evidence we have about the history of the world or life on it. ...

"Secondly, we are being told over and over again that Christianity is not equivalent to creationism. This teacher specifically said that creationism is nonsense, and the judge has equated a dismissal of a weird anti-scientific belief with making a rude remark about Christianity. So...where are all the Christians rising in outrage at the slander of their faith?

"Thirdly, and this must be said, Chad Farnan is a self-righteous moronic creationist wanker who deserves to have his stupidity pointed out publicly, in the classroom and out of it, far and wide. Spread the word."

And all the people said, Amen!

Orange County Register article here.

The judges 39-page ruling here. (PDF)

More on the judge here.

PZ Myers' article here.

If, perchance, you think creationism is not specifically Christian, watch the video. Have a barf bag close by!


A World Quite Mad said...

I remember when I was in high school, I had a science teacher who was new to the Bible belt, he had moved from California. He got to the chapter on evolution. He started teaching it, and a student, I don't remember her name, stood up, declared that evolution was a lie, and stormed out of the room. Well, he went on with his lesson. The next day, he skipped the rest of the chapter on evolution and spent the rest of the semester teaching his favorite subject which was seismology.

Apparently the fundies don't understand plate tectonics or how it shows us the earth is much older than 6000 years. In a subtle way, I think it was a stab at them, but they were too stupid to see it.

At any rate, he was never the same after. I'm sure he didn't want to lose his job, and did whatever the administration told him.

"It still moves."--Galileo, allegedly muttered under his breath after he had publicly recanted his "error" before the Inquisition, that the earth revolved around the sun

Jacob said...

Very interesting. I taught in South Florida...had a few fundies, but never had any problems...always tried to leaven the truth with a little humor...

A World Quite Mad said...

I don't think Florida has as high a concentration of insane fundies as where I'm from in NC.

and about the video...
Because crazy, knows no boundaries.

I think it's a shame that a micro-biologist can ignore the facts and teach such shit. I wonder what he thinks of MRSA. It *evolved* a resistance to antibiotics. It didn't exist in that form before.

The Bible also says that the earth is flat, that the sun can stand still in the noon sky for an entire day. These people are free to believe what they want, but when they start teaching it in public schools, that's just insane. I can't believe that no parents in the UK have brought suit against these public schools.

Bob Poris said...

Dere ain’t nuttin like freedom of speech and inquiry. Did the teacher ask for proof that Jesus rose from the dead or did he accept that people believe it but cannot prove it. Such questions belong in church not a public classroom.

James E Gambrell said...

People of low intelligence always resort to words like wanker,shit,moronic,etc when they don't have the understanding of complex concepts. For them truth can only be that which reflects their personal opinion, an opinion that they cannot coherently express. They can sometimes spot an apparent truth, sometimes understand a constant truth, but they will never have the mental capacity to grasp an actual absolute.
This primitive type of humanity will always be with us. The best we can hope for is to try to limit the number of them who make it into the educational and judicial system.
...James E Gambrell

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