Michigan Teacher Caught Proselytizing Students

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists has caught a teacher in the small town of Hart, Michigan who has been proselytizing their students by handing out Christian tracts and routinely discussing the Bible and God. They’ve written a letter to the administration. Here’s one of his handouts:

hartteacherreligioustract

Holly Huber, one of the leaders of MACRA, also noted that this is strictly forbidden by school policy:

Hart Public Schools has a policy regarding religious expression which includes: “Official Neutrality Regarding Religious Activity: Teachers and school administrators, when acting in those capacities, are representatives of the State and are prohibited by the establishment clause from soliciting or encouraging religious activity and from participating in such activity with students. Teachers and administrators also are prohibited from discouraging activity because of its religious content and from soliciting or encouraging anti-religious activity.”

Clearly not enforced. I suspect it will be now, willingly or unwillingly. Why did the teacher think they could get away with this? Because they always have, I’m sure. They’ve probably been doing this for years and years and no one ever blew the whistle on it.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • dugglebogey

    There really needs to be standards for punishment for breaking the law like this, doesn’t there? Whenever it happens there seems to be a slap on the wrist, a warning to never do it again, and then they go on with their lives, probably continuing as before but more secretly.

  • Sastra

    Why did the teacher think they could get away with this?

    Because they’re humble before God.

    “In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that — and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison –you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people and, of course, if you are always looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

    Wow, it’s like CS Lewis is describing every atheist, ever. Now the students are armed against the pride of atheism! That’s not religious or anything. There’s no mention of Jesus. It’s character-building.

    I hate it when people promote CS Lewis as a tolerant, reasonable apologist for Christianity. This is nasty.

  • tbp1

    I’ve never understood the fundamentalist/evangelical near worship of C.S. Lewis. I read a bunch of his stuff in high school and, while I enjoyed the snark of The Screwtape Letters, he doesn’t make a single argument that holds up to the slightest scrutiny. If I could figure that out as a teenager, why can’t other people?

    I am certainly not qualified to critique his work as a literary scholar, but the weakness of his apologetic arguments makes me wonder about that too.

  • mikey

    Geez, what a wanker Lewis was. I think his weird concept of pride describes not other people’s faults, but his own, which he believes everybody shares. Being rightly proud of one’s accomplishment does not entail diminishing or denigrating someone else’s. Why on Earth would it?

    Honestly, I’ve never read anything by that guy that wasn’t six kinds of wrong.

  • raven

    Xpost from Pharyngula:

    All that proselytizing students doesn’t seem to being doing them much good.

    America

  • raven

    I’ve never understood the fundamentalist/evangelical near worship of C.S. Lewis.

    Yeah, CS Lewis is an idiot.

    He is like WL Craig. Lies, logical fallacies, and really dumb arguments on every page.

    I haven’t read too much. It would just be a waste of time and an insult to my brain.

  • grumpyoldfart

    #3 writes: I’ve never understood the fundamentalist/evangelical near worship of C.S. Lewis.

    We’ll never know exactly how it happened, but there came a time when people just accepted that C.S. Lewis was the man of the moment. In earlier times the preacher had only to say, “It’s in the book…” and the congregation would accept it (even if it wasn’t in the book). These days the flock think that a quote from Lewis is a much more scholarly way of making a point.

  • raven

    FTB bug. Try again (preview OK)

    Xpost from Pharyngula

    All that proselytizing has’t done them much good.

    Americas Largest Christian Bookstore Chain Files for

    www. christianitytoday. com/…/family-christian-stores-files-bankruptcy-chap…

    Feb 12, 2015 – CEO: ‘We have carefully and prayerfully considered every option.’ CEO Chuck Bengochea explains Family Christian Stores’s bankruptcy. Family Christian Stores (FCS) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    GOOD NEWS!!!

    Americas Largest Christian Bookstore Chain Files for bankruptcy …

    One of the smaller ones did also.

    1. To be sure, most of this is due to changing retail patterns i.e. sales over the internet.

    2. But not all of it. The local xian newspaper had an article on it. The local churches are all having falling memberships and falling revenues. They don’t have the money they once had to spend in xian supply houses. Oddly enough, they don’t have the slightest idea why their memberships are falling.

    It has a lot to do with repetitively calling women, gays, scientists, Democrats, Moslems, Pagans, Obama etc. Nazis, commies, spawns of the devil, demons in human flesh, and so on. The xian terrorism doesn’t help either. Fox NoNews with their constant hate against “nonbelievers”, that 30% nonxians doesn’t do them any good.

    3. I’m sure I’ll come up with some way to celebrate all this. It’s definitely worth celebrating. Maybe the summer equinox.

  • raven

    In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself.

    Gibberish from CS Lewis.

    God babble. Assertion without any proof, which may be dismissed without any proof.

    My cat is far more powerful than his gods. She at least exists and catches a mouse every once in a while.

  • Al Dente

    CS Lewis was a best-selling author, an Oxford don and a friend of JRR Tolkien. He converted to Christianity from atheism and became a Christian apologist. We may not be impressed by Lewis but his credentials are excellent as far as Christians are concerned.

  • eric

    I’ve never understood the fundamentalist/evangelical near worship of C.S. Lewis.

    Me neither…from a theological perspective. The guy wasn’t fundamentalist. The Great Divorce is practically Unitarian. In it, everyone gets a post-death fully informed choice about whether to go to heaven or hell (a hell which is not torturous so much as just drab). Some theologian writing that now would be excoriated by the right as a liberal cafeteria Christian.

  • Sastra

    Al Dente #10 wrote:

    CS Lewis was a best-selling author, an Oxford don and a friend of JRR Tolkien. He converted to Christianity from atheism and became a Christian apologist. We may not be impressed by Lewis but his credentials are excellent as far as Christians are concerned.

    Oh, certainly — which makes the paucity of his arguments all the more revealing. Reading CS Lewis is like sitting in the lap of your favorite uncle while he reads you a bedtime story. He sounds so warm, so wise, so plausible, so likeable. And the charm of his character and style slips into what he’s telling you about — usually through analogy. You nod over the analogy and feel as if he just scored a major point. Ah, now I get it.

    The religious tend to love analogies. Their faith lives in them. And when you already agree with what’s being expressed it doesn’t seem like a trick. If you WANT to agree with what’s being expressed then you WILL be tricked. The outline of Bad Analogy Land can only be discerned from the outside. You have to climb down from the comfortable lap. Most people don’t want to — especially if they’re constantly reassured about how brave they are to stay and listen.

    The fundies love him because he’s an ‘ex-atheist.’ Apparently he became an atheist because it was sophisticated to doubt religion. It therefore became even MORE sophisticated to doubt doubting religion — get it? — playing out a little scenario in the head where the truths taught to you as a child were trying to get past your adolescent pride. When all is said and done, what changed his mind? His eventual realization that deep down, he KNEW he needed forgiveness.

    Yes, he was raised by an old-fashioned Christian governess. But his own personal feelings are universals. Really truly.

  • david

    Preaching to others about the excellence of your beliefs certainly seems to exemplify humility.

    Or something.

  • Chiroptera

    I’ve long felt that apologetics in general really have more to do with comforting Christians about the superiority of their belief than it does with providing logical answers to nonbelievers.

  • comfychair

    In a way, I’m sort of glad no one pays attention to what goes on here in Mississippi. Y’all would wind up in the corner curled up in the fetal position and softly weeping.

    In my former life as an auto mechanic, when I was first starting out I once asked an old timer in one shop if the EPA or OSHA ever came around for random inspections. The reply was, “Oh hell naw, they tried that about 10 years back and figured out it was way more trouble than it was worth. Never seen ’em again after that.”

  • tbp1

    @#14: I think you’re almost certainly right about that.

  • http://umlud.blogspot.com umlud

    Not only is it unconstitutional for a teacher to be passing these out in class, but it’s also painfully clear that this teacher doesn’t know how to make good photocopies. Seriously, dude, learn how to make photocopies of books.

    Presumably the publishers of this book allow its readers to photocopy and distribute its contents without royalty payments, though…