Ask Richard: Bigoted College Teacher Focuses on Atheist Student

Hello Richard,

I’m an atheist in a mostly Christian, republican state trying to get through college with my sanity intact. I graduate next semester, and thought I’d manage to get through this without any serious repercussions due to my unpopular views. Unfortunately my business law teacher this semester might break that record. The first class set off alarms when he said he couldn’t call gay marriage real marriage because Christians defined marriage for centuries already, but I didn’t want to start conflict on the first day. Now, with the end of classes only a month away I’ve come to my breaking point. Any topic that touches on religion or equal rights (for any minority) sets him off in a very bigoted direction, even arguing how it isn’t unethical for women to be paid less because of the threat of pregnancy leave. Now it’s gotten personal too. It became known in the class that I don’t believe in god, and so this last session he began rattling off how god has to be involved in government, it’s what the founding fathers wanted, and atheism is a religion too, because you can’t disprove god and it all involves belief. As he ranted on all this he stared directly at me the whole time. I don’t know what to do. I was so angry when I left that there were tears leaking down my cheeks. I feel helpless, and I hate it. Do you have any idea how I can settle this, or at least deal with this frustration? Outside of these topics he seems like a fairly nice teacher. Is it possible he doesn’t realize what he’s doing?

Thank you for your time,

A Frustrated Senior

Dear Frustrated,

I think he knows what he’s doing. You don’t need to find him a way to avoid the responsibility for his actions. If you don’t yet have the confidence to stand up to him, that’s okay, you’re young. But you don’t have to feel intimidated by him either. Look at him from a different perspective. You’re reacting to his asinine rants as if they’re a personal assault on you.

Actually, they are a candid confession by him of how helpless and intimidated he feels.

The world is changing, and his sense of Christian white male preeminence no longer feels invulnerable to him. The ground that he took for granted as solid is moving under his feet, and he feels insecure. He wouldn’t behave this way if he felt comfortable and confident. His blustering is not the roaring of a lion claiming his territory as far as his roar can carry; no, it’s the wailing of a dinosaur shortly before its extinction.

You will soon go on to a successful career, and you have within you the social attitudes of acceptance and equality that will fit well in the new world that is even now burgeoning around you. Your teacher will remain where he is, perpetually surrounded by a constant flow of students who each semester will be younger and younger than him, and more and more a part of that new world. His obsolete, bigoted views are rapidly becoming unacceptable by society, and they will make him a less and less popular teacher, a less and less effective influence on young people, and a less and less relevant member of his academic community.

In your kinder moments, you might even feel a little pity for him.

But don’t worry about it if you don’t feel much of that. His sermonizing is inappropriate for that class, what he’s saying is inaccurate, and he’s misusing his authority as a teacher in an unprofessional manner. Even in the unlikely case that you are the only atheist in that college class, I’m sure you’re not the only one who thinks he’s out of line about all those other issues. Don’t be fooled by his hollow attempt to bully you. You are not helpless here. You are the ascending one, the one whose power is growing, and you can begin to feel that power by doing what students do. They listen attentively, they take notes, and sometimes they ask questions. When he goes into one of his tirades, take careful notes of his remarks. Document him. Then you can go either of two ways:

With less than a month to go in that class, you might decide that it’s not worth fighting a foe whose time is coming to an end anyway, and perhaps you should concentrate on passing. If necessary, you can use those notes to defend yourself if he gives you a grade that is lower than what you deserve. After your grades are posted, if you wish, you can compose a nice letter to the Dean of his department, who might want to know about this man’s inappropriate haranguing. You should also warn future students by writing a review of him on Rate My Professors.

If on the other hand you feel up to resisting him in class, after he’s gone on a diatribe for a while you could raise your hand and calmly say, “Excuse me, Professor, I don’t understand what all this you’re saying has to do with business law.” Then read his exact words back to him, showing that you’re recording them, and finish with, “I wonder if maybe you’re on a tangent.” If he turns on you with personal attacks, interrupt him again and say just as calmly, “Excuse me, Professor, I don’t understand what you’re saying about me has to do with business law.” Again, read your exact quotes, and finish with, “I wonder if you’re on a tangent.”

Whether you fight him or not, for the remaining few class sessions breathe deeply and slowly, and relax in your chair, gazing impassively at him. He and his mentality are on their way out, and they will not be missed. You will soon move on, leaving him in the dust that will become his sedimentary layer.

At the beginning of my response I said, “If you don’t yet have the confidence to stand up to him…” because eventually you will have that confidence. There will be other bullies and bigots of new species who will try to daunt and dismay you. This teacher of yours is simply a training for you to learn how to keep your cool, to bide your time, to look for their vulnerabilities, to gather your resources, and at the right moment, if all attempts for a productive resolution have failed, to seriously kick bully ass. Enjoy your era. You are well-suited to the new environment.

Richard

You may send your questions for Richard to AskRichard. Please keep your letters concise. They may be edited. There is a very large number of letters. I am sorry if I am unable to respond in a timely manner.

About Richard Wade

Richard Wade is a retired Marriage and Family Therapist living in California.

  • pRinzler

    Richard, I love the aspect of your advice that reminds the student about the powerful position the student actually holds but which gets lost in the heat of the moment when the teacher blusters on.  Well done.

  • Stev84

    Start by rolling your eyes, shaking your head and chuckling when he stares at you

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      I had a teacher in HS that -hated- me for not being a “good god-fearing” girl. I stared smiling at her, like I would a toddler saying silly things, whenever she’d glare. It pissed her off that I was having fun with it and eventually stopped with the death stares. Bullies don’t like it when you refuse to play.

  • Sven2547

    This professor is being shockingly unprofessional.  I totally agree with Richard here: don’t sink to the professor’s level and allow it to become some kind of debate.  There are avenues for bringing his lack of professionalism and respect to the attention of the people who should know about it.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    i guess i’ve been out of the loop for too long.

    this would’ve gotten any professor of mine fired, from like, day one of that sort of  behavior. seriously, is this a “christian” private college? that’s the only thing i can think of that is protecting this assclown. 

    if this is a state school, his ass should be toast. bring this up to the department chair. use your cell phone cam. there is no defense of this sort of behavior if taxpayer  money is funding it. 

    • Tom_Nightingale

      Eh.  I liked Richard’s approach a lot more…

      • Zoe

        But Richard didn’t use the word “assclown”.

  • http://twitter.com/tardis_blue Tardis_blue

    Often, schools end classes by asking students to review the professor anonymously, too, which is an excellent opportunity to be brutally honest.  One such review might not do much, but if any other students are annoyed by his lack of staying on topic, or his bigotry, they can add up, and he can end up getting fired or demoted, which it sounds like he deserves, if he’s not using class time to actually teach.

    • allein

      I had a class with a professor who did NOT want to be teaching it. It was the last bit of the “core” curriculum; a seminar class on a particular topic (usually 4 0r 5 sections on different topics are given each semester, with only 20 or so students in each) that you take as a junior or senior after the rest of the core requirements are fulfilled. They had such a long waitlist for the other classes my last semester that they had to add another class and he got roped into teaching it (in addition to one of the other seminars that he was team-teaching with 2 other profs); he made no attempt to hide the fact that he was not happy about it. The day we showed up and the department’s secretary was waiting with that manila envelope and a handful of #2 pencils was the highlight of our semester.

  • SecularPatriot

    A law professor who refuses to observe the distinction between religious marriage and civil marriage isn’t a very good law professor.

    • Andrew B.

       True, but it is a business law class, so that might account for his teacher’s ignorance.

    • brianmacker

      Where did you pick up that he was a law professor?

      • brianmacker

        Never mind I missed the sentence, “Unfortunately my business law teacher this semester might break that record”.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        That might be from my suggestion of asking the teacher, “Excuse me Professor…” It was an imprecise use of the term. I think I was reluctant to suggest that Frustrated Senior say, “Excuse me Sir…” because that kind of implied subordination to that bloviating assclown just tasted bad in my mouth.

        Charon, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/11/26/ask-richard-atheist-college-student-upset-by-bigoted-teacher/#comment-719763887 who has commented here revealing that he is Frustrated Senior, has told us that this is only the second class the teacher has taught, so he probably does not have the title of Professor, or any of its variants.

        • brianmacker

          I wasn’t hung up on teacher vs. professor, although I don’t blame you for assuming I’d catch (or be anally retentive about) something like that.   It is relevant to tenure though.

          I actually wrote my question wrong.  My actual question should have been “Where did you pick up that this was a business law class”.   I also replied to the wrong comment.  I meant to reply to Andrew B.   Looking up at the wrong comment may have been why I said “law professor”.

          That this was a business law class is stated in the original letter.  I just missed the sentence or skimmed over the words “business law”.    The student wrote, “”Unfortunately my business law teacher this semester might break that record”.

    • brianmacker

      Never mind I missed the sentence, “Unfortunately my business law teacher this semester might break that record”.

  • MC

    Don’t just complain in evaluations.  This is serious enough for you to write a complaint to the chair of his department and to the dean of the college.  Wait to do this after the class is over, because you want to avoid retaliation.  You might see what response you get from the chair and dean, and if it is inadequate, you might consider writing a letter to the university’s accreditation board.

  • Thomas Farrell

    If it were me, I would complain to the professor’s dean immediately, as well as the university’s anti-discrimination office, so that my complaint would be on record before the final is taken or grades posted. If the professor is singling out students for harassment in class, he can’t be trusted to grade honestly. If the professor decides to flunk Frustrated Senior unfairly, and Frustrated Senior complains only after the fact, the dean’s office may believe that Frustrated Senior is making it all up to try to get a bad grade changed.

    • http://therovingrockhound.myopenid.com/ Rovin’ Rockhound

      I would not go to the dean (or department chair) – I would go to the ombudsman. It’s a safer choice since they are impartial and probably do not know the professor personally. They are also very careful about keeping confidentiality, especially in cases where there could be retaliation. I would also (check the state law, the school’s regulations, and the syllabus first) record a class. Don’t do anything to provoke him, though – you don’t want to seem like the aggressor. And keep every single returned assignment or exam – just in case.

      And I agree – do it immediately.

      • brianmacker

        “Don’t do anything to provoke him, though – you don’t want to seem like the aggressor. ”

        What kind of provocation do you have in mind?   I hope you are not referring to asking probing questions about dubious claims.

    • ecolt

      Exactly what I was going to say. It’s definitely better to have a complaint on record with the administration before it becomes an issue of grades, especially for a senior (who will have less time to challenge an unfair grade or retake the credit if needed).

      Also, I would try to record his tirades as opposed to just taking notes. Notes can be argued as inaccurate – if you have his voice on record as saying these things you have a much better case if you need to argue an unfair grade. Plenty of students use laptops in class to take notes, or have their phones on the table with them, so you can easily press record without the professor even knowing.

      I’m going to assume that this professor has tenure. A professor without a tenured position would have to be an idiot to treat students like this, since student evaluations play into the tenure consideration. On the off chance he isn’t tenured, or even if he is and you feel you can trust the heads of the department, you should let the department chair or another ranking faculty member know about your concerns. If there are professors in the department that you have a good relationship with you should let them know what’s going on, since they can be great advocates for you if this professor does cause greater problems down the road.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        Of course, since it’s a law professor, it’s probably a good idea to look up the state wiretapping law first, and check the school policy on class recording.

  • NoraR

    I like the idea of taking careful notes, but I’d add they should be obvious notes as well. This could be fun. “Excuse me, Professor, did you say it is NOT unethical to pay women less? I want to make sure I get this right. “

    • brianmacker

      It’s not unethical to pay anyone less, or more for a reason that correlates well with profits.     Absent any law against it a woman expressing the desire to have four babies over the next four years in a job interview should be paid less than a man.   They should be paid more like a male worker  who requests special leave of absence privileges.    There are all sorts of transaction costs involved in maternity leave and especially if the job is unique in the company (like CFO) or there are few employees that can be scheduled to make up the slack.    Leaving for a full month and a half each year for four years would be very problematic for the employer’s profit levels.     

      If on the other hand it is illegal to pay women less then it is unethical to pay less, not because the woman is being cheated, but because it would open the company up to a lawsuit, and there is fiduciary duty to the company.

      It actually turns out that married men tend to make more than single men, and that too is not unreasonable.    Married men can and do shift house work on to their wives and are thus available for longer shifts than single men (who have to take care of feeding themselves, washing clothes, etc.)  The exact opposite effect in reverse happens for single vs married women.   Married women being likely to have less ability to work overtime, etc.   Salaried married men are cheaper that equally paid single men on a per hour basis, and thus should earn a larger salary.

      • Coyotenose

         I hear we should base pay on stereotypical gender roles used as specific assumptions about people, based on whether they have a peener or a vajayjay and whether they presumably use said hoo-hah in a civil contract or freelance, if at all. Is that true?

      • ReadsInTrees

        It is unethical to pay a woman less than a man for the hours worked. If a man and a woman work 40 hours a week, doing the same job, then they should be paid the same. Unfortunately, this is not the case in this country. Maternity leave has nothing to do with it since not all women are going to use maternity leave, and in any case, most companies do not have paid maternity leave, or they have very limited paid maternity leave. I would see your point if women were going to get paid maternity leave, then maybe it’s unfair to pay them an equal amount when they’re not actually working. What would be fair is for men and women to earn equal pay for equal jobs, and allow fathers to have equal maternity time as women.

        • brianmacker

          Not all jobs are hourly, and there are costs associated with training and scheduling that I mentioned. So in some cases it would be ethical to do so. Just like it would be ethical to pay a woman more than a man who wanted to take one or more extended vacations. Plus for certain jobs the pregnancy itself and not the materity leave might be problematic. There isn’t a simple formula from hours to pay in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.bowyer.75 Matt Bowyer

    This guy should not have a job.

  • smrnda

    When you said ‘business law,’ is this business school or law school? If the guy’s an actual attorney contact the bar association since they handle complaints about unethical and unprofessional behavior from attorneys.

    • brianmacker

      Does that expectation exist for behavior when someone is not acting as an attorney.   Can you report an attorney to the bar if they were unethical or unprofessional  at some other job.   I’m having a hard time believing that considering that Elizabeth Warren, the fake indian, isn’t in front of the bar as we speak.   Suppose that attorney started writing for a newspaper and say plagerized a blog.   Is that something that the bar would be interested in?  I doubt it.    I would think only unethical and unprofessional behavior as an attorney would count.   Of course, criminal behavior in any aspect of life too.  

      • Coyotenose

        Maybe the Bar could go after him for a violation of civil law outside the courtroom, like plagiarism, but bullying a student to this level (even in violation of the Constitution if it’s a public school) doesn’t seem like it would get their attention. Of course, a recording of the bullying might show things to be far worse than a text description does (and the text description shows it to be pretty bad.)

        Hmm, seems all some slimeball would have to do to put Warren’s law license in jeopardy would be to file a suit designed to force her to testify about the “Native American” thing on the stand.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    So my question is, what does business law have to do with marriage and Christianity? I’m no business professor, but I just can’t seem to find where those things relate.

    • Charon

      Hey, I’m the one who sent in that letter! And no, they really don’t relate. He has tangents where he tries to tie in recent events and it always seems to end in a fairly bigoted rant. I honestly don’t remember why marriage came up, but the comments about atheism came up because he was talking about the judicial decisions to not allow school-endorsed prayer.

  • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

    Personally, I’d file a complaint. I’d send a letter to the head of the department describing his actions and let them know how unpleasant it made the class.

  • curtcameron

    I would instead start with a visit to this professor’s office, privately. He may actually think that what he’s doing is all in good fun, pointing out a difference in your views and his. Tell him that you’re not with him on that, being singled out in class – to you it feels as if you’re being picked on, and you would really like him not to do that.

    If you get anything other than an apology and an immediate cessation, that’s when you need to escalate to the dean.

    • Baal

      By your nym choice, I assume you’re a xtian.  Saddly, any teacher who doesn’t already understand that this behaviour is not acceptable will also not be mature enough for the one on one approach.  I’ve tried.  I’m not the letter writer but have had plenty of teachers with whom I’ve not been happy.  Worse, in a private setting, the teacher gets to change the framing to a she said / she said bi-laterial dispute.

      No, the only course here is to get to an ombudsman or EEOC office or equivalent and make a complaint. The class review comments should also be filled out but that’s a collateral matter. 

      • Coyotenose

         That’s almost certainly his real name, not a reference to Kirk Cameron. If you click on a regular poster’s icon, even if it is a blank icon and they don’t log into an account, you can usually get a list of posts they’ve made on Patheos. It’s handy for context or reminding yourself of who is who.

  • Charon

    Hey, I’m the one who sent this letter in! Thank you Richard for responding, I really appreciate it, and thank you everyone else who has left me input. This is a public school, but opinions like this aren’t out of the ordinary, they’re just not normally expounded upon in class. I’m bringing my laptop to the next class period and recording what I can of it so that I have hard proof. From what I gather this is only the second class he has taught, so I’m sure he doesn’t have tenure, and I plan on reporting him once I have something solid to back me up.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Good for you, Charon. Taking steps in preparing either a defense that hopefully you won’t need, or an offense that is definitely needed helps to empower you, to lift you out of your sense of helplessness. Keep going! 

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Good luck! I hope you finish out the year and go on to great things. :)

    • RobertoTheChi

      Good luck to you! I personally would complain now to the Dean about his unprofessional behavior (and recording his rants is a great idea). Like someone already mentioned, there is a chance of him not grading you fairly and complaining beforehand may look better if he does end up doing that.

      Be strong. You’re not in the wrong and this guy should be ashamed of himself.

    • Tsu Dho Nimh

       Charon – If you can catch his eye mid-tirade, smile.  And give him the wide-eyed innocent watching in admiration kind of stare.

      It scares the heck out of bullies, because they start wondering why you are smiling.

    • SailorAnthy

      I’m so glad that you’re recording it! We’ll have to help you make your recording go viral if you decide to post it online. His behavior is absolutely ridiculous and inappropriate. I find it hard myself to be an “atheist in a judeo-christian world” but Richard is right. The world is evolving and while we may never see the end of ignorance in our lifetime, fighting for issues like these, no matter how small they may seem, bring all of us closer to the end of bigotry. 

  • Houndentenor

    I agree that a complaint needs to be filed, not just a comment on an evaluation form.  but I would definitely wait until grades are posted to file such a complaint.  Ignore any promises that complaints will be kept anonymous when dealing with a faculty member.  they can’t guarantee that and you might well find that the person you have complained to is sympathetic to the professor’s point of view.  Get out in one piece, then complain.  Also, this isn’t going to be the last time you have to deal with someone with such backwards views.  Some of us call those dealings Thanksgiving Dinner. (LOL)  You might also encounter as bad or worse in a work environment.  use this as a life lesson and learn now how to deal with people whose views are so abhorrent.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EODM45N2R75PI57HLZQIF5C3XA Mark

    Richard,

    Rightfuckingon !!

    Every word here is empowering this young atheist and all of the rest of us at the same time.  When the numbers and the powers that be are dragging us down, we all should remember that we are right and that time and progress will prove us so.  Someday this anchor that is irrational mythology will be cut loose from our necks and our human progress will accelerate accordingly.  I wish I could still be around to see it happen, but the thought of it makes me smile nonetheless.

    Perfect,

    Mark Welch

    PS  I like the suggestion, herein, about using some videotaping device to record the professor’s rants before any problem with grading might arise.

  • 3lemenope

    “Is this stuff gonna be on the test?”

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      it isn’t unethical for women to be paid less because of the threat of pregnancy leave

      “Is it ethical to use [check watch] X% of the class time we’ve paid for to discuss topics not on the curriculum?”

  • Erp

    I would second contacting the school ombudsman if there is one.   They can’t always help but can direct you to what you can do.    Do document; it is your best defense.

  • Ronlawhouston

    Dear Senior

    I’m going to write a long comment.  First of all, I’m not a therapist like Richard.  However, if I were a therapist, my approach would likely be quite different than Richards.  Richard is the type of therapist who has much empathy and spends a lot of time getting a person to talk about the emotions they feel and helps them constructively deal with those feelings.  He basically tells you that it’s acceptable to feel the way you do since your professor is a bigoted douche bag.  (He’s right, those are perfectly normal reactions and you should not feel bad about feeling that way.)

    My approach would be to take a more cognitive approach (as in cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT) which is also sometimes referred to as a “rational emotive” approach.  CBT takes what is called an ABC model.  A is the activating event.  In your case, that would be your professor saying some bigoted statement or making a statement while glaring at you in an uncomfortable manner.  B is your beliefs about the event.  This is where your work would come in because you must take a step back and question your beliefs.  The B’s are things like this guy SHOULDN”T be such a douche.  (Guess what he is) or this guy SHOULDN”T glare at me when he makes these statements (For gosh, sakes he’s a fricking bigot – what do you honestly expect.)  C is the consequences of the event.  You feel angry.  You’re upset to the point of tears.

    Where cognitive therapy differs is that it tells you that you are ultimately responsible for the B in the equation.  At the risk of being blunt, because of your B’s (beliefs) you’re allowing some bigoted douche bag to upset you.  Yes, this person has a certain amount of power over you and is probably wrongfully invested with a certain level of “respect” or “credibility” but fundamentally that is simply a reality that you are being forced to deal with in your situation. 

    On a more philosophical point, I agree with Richard that you don’t need to fight.  Actually fighting is it’s own CBT item.  I think it is human nature to rail at injustice, hatred or bigotry.  In your case fighting comes clearly at an emotional cost.  However, if you really think about it the stress could also exact a physical toll as well.   Like many real wars, when you objectively evaluate the risks and rewards you may come to a different conclusion that “let’s teach that bigot a lesson.”

    Anyway, good luck and welcome to “Dealing with Asses 101.”

  • Willy Occam

    As a university professor and chair of a department myself, I would implore Charon (AKA, Frustrated Senior) to report this to the chair, dean, ombudsman, and anybody else who is high enough on the administrative chain to deal with this — AND be brutally honest in your end-of-the-semester teacher evaluation as well.  I for one am tired of these kinds of instructors disgracing the profession that I love, and I always regret hearing long after the fact about a student that experienced something like this but was that afraid to make waves.  PLEASE make waves, for the sake of the academy and your fellow students (as well as future students), as this kind of ignorant bullshit is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.

    Having said that, I must qualify the above comment by saying that I teach at a public university (and my entire education has been at public schools), so I don’t have any experience with how much they can get away with at a private institution.  If it’s a Christian college, I can only assume that the vast majority of teachers, administrators, and even students may lean towards the values expressed by this professor (though perhaps not as extreme or obnoxious), and would be less-than-sympathetic to a complaint coming from an atheist.  You may want to test the waters first, but I do hope you do something about this. 

    Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/rlrose328 Kerri Russ

    Bravo, Richard.  As always, you nailed it.  That is exactly what I have been counseling my son to do, and while he is only 12 at this point, we are setting the foundation for him to either walk away proud and confident he is the one who knows the truth or to confront the bully calmly, as you pointed out, bringing the argument back to the topic at hand.  Excellent!

  • brianmacker

    Some of that dinosaur’s wailing was true.  

    Like “arguing how it isn’t unethical for women to be paid less because of the threat of pregnancy leave”.   Employees who can be relyied on to be consistent in attendance are more valuable than those who cannot.    There are additional expenses in training and scheduling a replacement for example.  It’s even worse if the government forces payment for maternity leave.   That’s an extra cost forced on the employer when they hire a woman. There is nothing bigoted about simple economic facts.  

    Also when current laws were created the word marriage excluded homosexuals the same way it excludes the concept of marrying an animal, or inanimate object.    So the teacher is more right than wrong on that subject.   He only goes wrong in claiming it was Christians who defined the word, no it was common usage that did that.  

    Plus women aren’t a minority as this kid seems to think.

    The rest of the stuff the student claims is being taught is of course nonsense, and the teacher’s behavior outrageous. 

    I had a philosophy professor like him named Dr. Magania or some such.  I was taking  my senior yearof high school in a local community college.  I questioned some of his more ridiculous claims making him look foolish in class.    For example, I solved Zeno’s paradox within seconds of him using it as an example of the limits of science. It’s high school math on series.  Of course the series 1/2+1/4+1/8 … equals 1.   Each distance takes an equivalent fractional time less to traverse so it is a simple infinite series. 

     He also argued that science is flawed because we cannot measure exactly (using the example of carpenters needing molding to hide their mistakes).    So basically he was using an unattainable standard to judge science and I pointed that out.   The point of science isn’t to make us infallible, but to recognize we are fallible and reduce error in our beliefs.

    Despite holding a doctorate in philosphy he would commit every intellectually dishonest trick in the book.  I had zero training in philosphy yet was catching him using straw men, circular reasoning, equivocations, etc.   At the time I didn’t even know the names for these intellecutally dishonest tricks (fallacies) but would say instead point out the error directly.  For example, I would object, “Wait a second, that is not what the theory of natural selection claims”, or “You confused two meanings of the word ‘faith’ in your argument”.

    He had no tests, and no papers and graded exclusively on class participation.  I got a D needless to say.   I wasn’t happy but it wasn’t in my control and therefore was not representative of my character.  It was representative of his.

    Suck it up and smile at him like he is an idiot when he stares at you and spews nonsense.   Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and question his claims since he is staring right at you.   He can’t claim to have not seen your hand go up.   Hopefully he gives tests and you can parrot his teaching on the answers.   Hard to skew your grade if you got a 100 on his test.    If he gives you a bad grade you just know he is dishonest.    You don’t have to believe his arguments and you can always word written replies in a way that disavows belief if you like.   For instance if asked on the test why it is fair to pay women less you can write,  “Some people argue that it is fair to pay women less because of materity leave which ….”

    I’ve had jerks that give tests and it was much harder for them to screw me over like Dr Magania did. 

    • BruceMcGlory

      Huh, look at that.  One long “The special privileges I get are totally deserved!”  argument.    Quelle Suprise!

      • brianmacker

        What “special privileges” would those be?

        • RowanVT

          Those would include: The assumption that all women are just gonna go and pop out babies. The assumption that the woman should do all the baby raising. The assumption that men don’t want/need parental leave. The assumption that even if a woman does not plan on having children (me!), she should STILL be paid less, even if she’s doing a better job than you. The inherent assumption that there’s nothing wrong with men being so overly represented in places like government and the board room.

          The privilege that if you told someone you were taking a test to become a licensed professional that no one would call it your “big boy test”.  The privilege of not being constantly asked by clients/customers “Oh, are you sure you can manage that?” The privilege of not being relegated to cleaning things, just because you happen to be of a gender that is generally assumed will do household style chores.

          • brianmacker

            “The assumption that all women are just going to go and pop out a baby”

            The men aren’t going to do it, and nowhere did I assume that “all” women would do it. In fact my example was of a woman who expressed a desire to have four children in rapid succession. Does that describe all women? On average women need to produce two children for replacement purposes. So it’s not going to be unusual, and paid maternity leave is an extra cost.

            I merely named things that need to be adjusted for in order to make a fair comparison of wages. It is hardly surprising that employers compensate fro these factors with lower wages. Just like the guy who’d doesn’t stay late when needed doesn’t get the raise so too the woman. Pointing out facts that women end up doing most of the child rearing or house work is not the same as assuming what “should” be. Employers face the way things are and not what should or should not be true about marriages.

            Next time instead of falsely paraphrasing me try using quotes, and context matters. I didn’t bother reading more than a few sentences in because you are so off.

            • RowanVT

               You wanted examples of male privilege. I provided you them.

              You said, and I quote:

              ” That’s an extra cost forced on the employer when they hire a woman. There is nothing bigoted about simple economic facts.  ”

              Paying women less, because they MIGHT have a baby, is sexism in action.  What if the men *want* parental leave when a baby is born? It’s inherently sexist to also suggest that men will not want to bond with their new child, or help the new mother adjust to a radically altered sleep cycle. Or even be a ‘stay at home daddy’.

              Women end up doing most the child rearing and housework because of ASSumptions that that is what women do.  It’s clearly seen in modern day commercials even with regards to vacuums and other cleaners. It’s women doing the work, because we’re told that that is a ‘woman’s’ job. It is male privilege that  you are NOT expected to do all that. I *am* expected to pop out a baby, do housework, and accept less pay just because I happened to be born with a uterus.

              I don’t want kids. I do extra work. I stay late. I still get paid less. How is this not bigotry?

    • ReadsInTrees

      I think women can “count” as a minority since they are a minority in just about every leadership role: the majority of Congress is made up of men, the majority of company CEOs and just about every other management position are men, every president in this country has been a man, the majority of tech and science jobs belong to men, the majority of religious leadership roles are men, even the majority of atheist “spokesmen” are men. Women make less money at the same jobs, women make up the vast majority of victims in sexual abuse and domestic violence, and hefty portions of our politicians are actively pursuing an agenda to force pregnant women give birth against their will. 

      So, women make up a slight majority of the population…..I’m not seeing the corresponding numbers anywhere else.

      • brianmacker

        Well then men can count as a minority. So what? Ever here of self selection?

    • Carmelita Spats

       Common usage…B.S….It’s the genital-free Christian ethos defining marriage and then claiming “common usage” to normalize their Christian privilege before anyone blinks…See also Dr. Caligari and his cabinet…Christianity has a huge problem with the notion of “consenting ADULTS”.  I’m all for “consenting adults” which is why Catholic priests should leave the altar boys alone and only have sex with midgets. Just sayin’.

      • brianmacker

        That made little sense. Christians are genital free? I hate to break it to you but the definition of marriage in most non-Christian cultures involves a man an woman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.ledford.3 Lisa Ledford

    I had an experience that was similar to this during a summer intro to philosophy class at my local community college. I wish I would have had this a year and a half ago, I nearly gave myself an ulcer in that class. I argued with him a lot of the time and luckily he didn’t dock me points because I did so in a calm manner. Unfortunately a friend of mine who took a religion class with him absolutely lost it and shouted at him and failed because the teacher ‘lost’ all of his assignments and papers. I have since warned students away from taking his classes, but I feel bad that I didn’t do more drastic action a year ago. So this leads me to two questions: 1) Can something be done this far after the fact? and 2) What do you do when a teacher has tenure? This one does and he clearly doesn’t act like it. 

    • Willy Occam

      Many schools have post-tenure review for faculty who already have tenure but are clearly problematic.  Faculty may be put on unpaid leave or even terminated if the case is strong enough.  If there are enough complaints to the right people, even a couple years after the fact, this will help build a case to institute a post-tenure review. 

      Keep in mind, however, that the evidence needs to be compelling and pervasive.  A handful of disgruntled students in a ten-year period is obviously not going to be enough to call for a post-tenure review — unless the allegations concern criminal actions or activities (sexual assault, theft, etc.). 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ATLNLO4ALSDBU6EP6VGWJZMCOQ RingoJ

    either go over his head or punch him in the dick…or both.

  • Eric Steinhart

    If this is a private Christian school, the student may have little recourse.  However, if this is a state school or private non-Christian school, the student should immediately report this behavior, in writing, to the Department Chair or to the Dean.  The student should ask, in writing, for confidentiality.  The student should express all complaints in writing, giving as much detail as possible.  As a professor myself, and having served as a department chairperson, I would urge the student to report this behavior immediately.  (I would give similar advice if the student were a Christian and the professor an atheist.  The point is that religious conflict has no place in the classroom.)

  • brianmacker

    Here’s similar behavior from politically correct leftist. STUDENTS TOLD TO DISAVOW ‘AMERICAN-NESS, MALENESS, WHITENESS, HETEROSEXUALITY’

    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/12062

    The only difference being that an entire segment of the class is being glared at and humiliated.

  • Gringa

    Ever since the post about the Dr. Suess books with morals in them, I have been thinking about that every time I read a story to my daughter.  This guy fits right in with the Zax.  He won’t change his perspective, so the world will move on, progressing around him and without him. 

  • Pissonhuffinton

    idiot piece of shit

  • http://www.facebook.com/xaquinasx Jason Daniel

    Oh look. A blog dedicated to attacking Christians posts a whine letter when the reverse supposedly happens to them. Oh, the irony.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xaquinasx Jason Daniel

    And for this one “bigoted college teacher” there are a hundred others that are atheist doing the same to Christian students. But that is fine in your eyes, isn’t it? If so, then you define the word “bigot” that you sling around against others.


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