Internet Chatter: Freshwater and Springboro

At a website named Plunderbund there’s a headline that looks very tempting, except that we don’t know anything about Plunderbund: Springboro creationism agenda may get help from right-wing lawyers. Because the source is unknown to us, we weren’t going to write about this — even though it involves not only Springboro, but also John Freshwater.

You know about the Freshwater case. Our last post on his endless litigation was Freshwater Oral Arguments Today. That was back in February, and we’re still waiting for a decision from the Ohio Supreme Court. Freshwater is contesting the loss of his job as an 8th-grade science teacher in Ohio. He was accused of burning a cross on a student with a Tesla coil, teaching religion in his science class, and failing to follow the school district’s orders.

Other than being in Ohio, what’s the Springboro-Freshwater connection? It’s creationism, of course. We’ve been writing about the Springboro School Board’s struggle to teach that phantasmal subject. Our post just before this one was about the School Board’s creationist chairman: Kelly Kohls Is Retiring.

According to Plunderbund, one of the Springboro Board’s other creationist members, Jim Rigano, got a phone call from Freshwater. They say:

Freshwater, still in the middle of an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court over his firing, reached out to Rigano to recommend his own attorney, Rita Dunaway of the right-wing Rutherford Institute.

Plunderbund claims to have the email that Rigano then sent to Dunaway. They don’t say how they got it. Then they tell us:

But the board decided to use the services of different far-right, Christian organization, the Liberty Institute, to help them push through their policies. According to their website, the Liberty Institute is “focused solely on protecting and restoring religious liberty in the United States.”

They have a lot more information, but none of it has been reported in any traditional news source, so this is the sort of thing we usually ignore because we regard it as unverified internet gossip. But Richard B. Hoppe has just posted about it at Panda’s Thumb — and his reporting about the Freshwater case has been excellent. Here’s his post: Freshwater: Advising Springboro creationists?

We have no problem recommending anything Richard writes. Click over to Panda’s Thumb to see what he says. Then, if you like, check out Plunderbund. Your Curmudgeon has no idea what’s going on between Freshwater and the Springboro Board, if anything. We’ll know the fate of Freshwater’s litigation soon enough, when the Ohio Supreme Court issues a ruling in his case. Maybe he’s reaching out to Springboro to look for a job.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Internet Chatter: Freshwater and Springboro

  1. SC: Doesn’t it bother you that, whenever a headline goes out of its way to say “right wing” – or “conservative” (note: same holds for “left/liberal”) that it will always be about the most extreme? If you go by the popular sound bites – and that’s what an attention-challenged public will do – conservative (and/or religious) people who accept evolution, and liberal (and/or non-religious) people who deny it don’t exist. Ironically, that to me is “creationist thinking.” Reducing continuums to “kinds,” and cherry-picking examples to “sell” the caricature.

    Maybe it’s the scientist in me, but I always like to hear about the exceptions to the rule. And in this “debate” they’re much more common than most people think. The truth is “messier” than the cartoon caricature, but that actually helps our case – or would if the word ever got out.

  2. SC: “We have no problem recommending anything Richard [B. Hoppe] writes.”

    You trust the one guy who could be the ID movement’s savior? 😉

  3. Way off-topic for this post, but (as your e-mail is on the fritz), giving you a link here as possible fodder for the next Intellectual Free-Fire Zone: Bacteria give lessons in investment economics

  4. Megalonyx anachronistically says: “your e-mail is on the fritz”

    No longer! My absurd, cruel email exile is ended.

  5. Can’t resist: They’re still bacteria! That’s what free-market capitalism does. Just like “Darwinism,” only “microevolution.” What they need is some government “intelligent design” to turn them into H. sapiens. 😉

  6. Curmy says optimistically, “My absurd, cruel email exile is ended.”

    But can you be sure? I’ll send a test email to you.

  7. I don’t know anything about Plunderbund, either, but the documentation, albeit with unknown provenance, looks plausible. I would like to know how they got it. From a dissenting Board member? Be good to know.

  8. RBH says: “I don’t know anything about Plunderbund, either, but the documentation, albeit with unknown provenance, looks plausible.”

    The author of the post sent me an email (it came from him at, which says: “The mention of John Freshwater came from an email I obtained through a public records request to Springboro schools.”

    He also says: “Plunderbund is the oldest, largest and most influential progressive political blog in Ohio.”

  9. Thanks, SC. That increases my confidence in it. I compliment the author for his industry. I wonder what other gems were in the docs he obtained.