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.
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