Advice from a Creationist Teacher

This is a good example of what happens when someone with a creationist’s brain gets involved in other issues. We found it in The Horry Independent of Conway, South Carolina — the county seat of Horry County. They have a comments feature, but there aren’t any comments yet.

It’s a column titled Church Talk: Don’t park your faith at the door , written by Larry Deeds, who appears to be a regular columnist for that newspaper. It’s worth the effort to click over there to look at his picture. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

I was teaching science to sixth graders in the late 1970s. We had a lesson on origins that I outlined the tenets of all three of the major ideas of how the universe began. I had three areas on the chalkboard (for you younger folks, a chalkboard is like a “smartboard” except the teacher is the smart one), one for Darwinism, one for Biblical creationism and one for intelligent design. I discussed the various points and variations of each.

Ah yes, the three “major ideas.” What a great teacher he must have been! Hey — he was teaching intelligent design years before the Discovery Institute was founded in 1990. How did he do that? Anyway, he says:

One of my students, at the end of the lesson, asked which I thought was the way things came to be. I answered her that I believe that science and logic point to the Biblical design of God’s creation. [Hee hee!] Was I correct in doing this? Was I within my “rights?” Yes, and not only within my rights, but also my responsibility as a teacher.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! You may want to compare Larry’s opinion of his rights and responsibilities with NCSE’s Ten Major Court Cases about Evolution and Creationism. After that he tells us:

Last week we discussed the “rights” of students of faith in public schools. [He’s probably referring to It’s school time again, in which he calls separation of church and state “the greatest hoax ever played in America.”] Today, what rights to [sic] “teachers of faith” have in the public classroom? As quoted last week, the Supreme Court [case not named] has clearly articulated, “First Amendment rights, applied in light of special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years.” (1969)

Larry appears to be living in an alternate universe. If anyone in his community had protested, he might have received a better understanding of things — by becoming another John Freshwater. He continues:

A few short items: your employer cannot discriminate against you based on your religion. Your employer must accommodate your religious faith unless an undue hardship occurs. You are protected from harassment from co-workers and supervisors based on your religious beliefs.

But sometimes an employee gets a bit carried away. Then he becomes another David Coppedge — see David Coppedge Trial: Final Order Issued. NCSE has a good summary and links to all the court pleadings — see Coppedge v. JPL.

Larry describes a few more rights of teachers, and then declares:

In general, a public school or public school district cannot be hostile toward religious beliefs and practices.

Well, that depends. Defensive behavior by co-workers can be interpreted as hostility by someone trying to promote his religious views on the job. Coppedge is a good example. Larry finishes with this advice:

Teachers, know your rights but do not abuse them. As Christians, in the classroom we cannot “pressure” or proselytize students, but by our words and conduct, we can and must be “salt” and “light” to our students and our co-workers.

Okay, that’s it. Larry knows as much about the law as he does about science, and the appropriately named Horry Independent gives him a voice in his community. Conway, South Carolina must be a great place.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

12 responses to “Advice from a Creationist Teacher

  1. Michael Fugate

    As if Darwinism had anything to do with the origin of the universe…

  2. ” It’s worth the effort to click over there to look at his picture.”
    Alas, alas …. as too many Americans claim to value their freedom but don’t care about their privacy I’m robbed from this pleasure.

    “a chalkboard is like a “smartboard” except the teacher is the smart one”
    I guess Mr. Deeds was the exception confirming this rule.

    “your employer cannot discriminate against you based on your religion”
    I cannot wait for Mr. Deeds suing companies like Shell because they don’t hire creacrap geologists when looking for oil wells.

  3. Since this faux teacher was “teaching” religion in science class, one can easily accurately estimate how sound his “evolution” lessons were. Teaching ID before it existed? Biological evolution involves the origin of the universe? And this comes from a regular columnist for the paper? They should fix the name of their “newspaper” to be more accurate: “The Hoary Dependent”.

  4. Yes, I wonder what the Darwinian exposition of the origin of the universe.
    Or wht the Intelligent Design view before there was ID – or, for that matter, what there is substantial, positive to say today.
    But let me comment on the Biblical view, quoting from the beginning of Genesis
    “When God was about to create heaven and earth, the earth was a chaos, and on the chaotic waters’ face there was darkness. Then God’s spirit glided over the face of the waters, and God said, “Let there be light!”
    (based on translation by Chaim Stern, in “The Torah: A Modern Commentary”, revised edition, Union for Reform Judaism Press, 2006)
    I would be interested the water before God began to create.

  5. “451: Unavailable due to legal reasons
    We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact info@myhorrynews.com or call 843-248-6671.”

    A lot of American sites are now unavailable to us EU citizens since the new privacy laws took effect,

  6. In general, a public school or public school district cannot be hostile toward religious beliefs and practices.

    Is it “hostile” to refuse to teach religious beliefs about the origins and development of life and the universe in public schools? If so, creationists should take the issue to court.

    Oh, right. They already have, and keep losing every time they do.

  7. “We had a lesson on origins that (sic) I outlined the tenets of all three of the major ideas of how the universe began.”

    Larry the “smart one” needed not only someone to teach him science, but basic grammar as well. He may just as well have said to the reader: “Watch me shoot myself in the foot with my own dumb arguments.” With those triple chins, Larry probably can’t even see his feet.

    For those of you who can’t access the site and enjoy a glimpse of Larry, picture Jabba the Hut as a white evangelical Christian.

  8. Apologies to Jabba for misspelling Hutt. No apologies to Larry for the comparison.

  9. Americans do not have to be reminded of Jabba the Hutt.

  10. Well, you could argue that the concept of IDiocy is older than the term. Problem is that the word “concept” implies a lot more than IDiocy actually contains.

  11. We can and must be “salt” and “light” to our students and our co-workers.

    Or in other words proselytize.

  12. SC:
    “…he was teaching intelligent design years before the Discovery Institute was founded in 1990.”

    Yes, indeed. Makes his story seem apocryphal, doesn’t it? It’s a good bet he never actually taught this lesson; however, he probably did let his students know how he felt about evolution — and did so without being asked first by a student.

    Unfortunately, Larry is not rare among middle school/elementary teachers.
    When I started teaching, my school was a Junior High — 7th and 8th grade, and in the state I taught, was considered a secondary-level school, meaning the teachers needed to be certified in their field. In other words, science teachers needed a solid background in science in order to get a secondary certification to teach science.

    Later, a wing was added to the school, the sixth-grade classes were moved in, and the school was re-certified as a Middle School, meaning any teacher with an elementary certification could teach any subject. At least one of the sixth grade science teachers was quite the creationist, and others had scant knowledge of astronomy, geology, and even biology. Not all — but some. Making the school a Middle School made it easy for the principal — he could move teachers around to teach any subject, as long as they were elementary-certified. Consequently, about the only new teachers being hired were elementary-certified, and most did not have a strong science background.

    This is particularly bad for the earth sciences and astronomy, which are usually taught at just the junior high – middle school level, with the high schools concentrating on biology, chemistry, and physics.