High School Principal Encourages Christian Teachers to Teach Creationism and Proselytize to Students

Last Thursday, the newly-formed Louisville Area Christian Educator Support (LACES) group in Kentucky held a meeting for Christian Jefferson County Public Schools faculty members.

So far, that’s perfectly legal. They even paid rent to the district for the meeting space.

Last week’s kickoff meeting for LACES served as a strategy session for the 150 attendees, with organizers sharing ways to spread the good word at work without breaking the rules laid down by separation of church and state — and Kentucky law.

Again, that all sounds fine.

But is it really possible for teachers to “spread the good word” at work without breaking any laws…? Southern High School Principal Bryce Hibbard addressed that concern directly:

Hibbard and other speakers told the teachers present that it was perfectly acceptable under Kentucky law to teach biblical creationism in addition to evolution in science classes, and he suggested future meetings with biology teachers to craft curriculum.

“I taught biology for 20 years in this state and didn’t know that if evolution is part of the curriculum, that I could have been teaching creation,” Hibbard said. “I thought I was sneaky if I had the kids … present it. So it was presented in my classroom by the kids, but I could have been doing it and didn’t know that.”

“It is not true that in science classes you’re not allowed to talk about creation or intelligent design,” [Christian Educators Association director Roger] Dillon said.

What the hell?! How is that legal at all? A principal just told science teachers to stop teaching science and preach Christian mythology instead!

That wasn’t all he told them:

Addressing a common theme of the night — the kids who aren’t taken to church, and therefore “have no hope” — Hibbard told the crowd they should be missionaries to students, planting the seed of Christ.

Did I mention Hibbard was a principal?

Hibbard — and all the other speakers and attendees at that meeting — believe that it’s their job, not to teach the students, but to evangelize to them, to “save” them from a hell they created in their own minds. It’s unprofessional, unethical, and something that would cause a much greater stir if this was a meeting of atheist educators, Muslims educators, or Pagan educators.

At least the district superintendent, Donna Hargens, had the good sense to set everyone straight:

In an email to JCPS principals the day after the LACES meeting, Superintendent Donna Hargens noted that “Creationism and Intelligent Design are not part of the state science curriculum standards and are not taught.”

But what’s she going to do about Principal Hibbard, knowing that his primary goal is to win tally marks for Christ, not educate the next generation? Just let it all slide? No meetings? No repercussions? Is she just going to pretend like this never happened?

In what other job can an employee encourage his colleagues to break the law and not get even the slightest hint of reprimand from the boss?

It makes no sense — and it would never happen if the religion in question was anything but Christianity.

(Thanks to Tony for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • eric

    In what other job can an employee encourage his colleagues to break the law and not get even the slightest hint of reprimand from the boss?

    He didn’t just encourage it; he admitted to doing it for the 20 years he was a teacher.

    While I’m glad the Super said something, what she said wasn’t exactly great. “…are not taught” is about as weak as you can get. That makes it sound like a choice, like “we don’t teach cooking at this school.” There really should’ve been some statement pointing out that proselytization by school workers, acting as school workers, is illegal and will be punished when it occurs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Snake65 Christine Snake Dizard

    Well, faint hope, but it’s possible that one of the students will speak out. This guy is not an educator, whatever his credentials may say. Excellent point, that if this was anything other than christianity, there would be a tremendous outcry. Tell me again how there is no such thing as christian privilege, but there is a war on christianity? smh

    • Linda Turnipseed

      I have heard it said that there is no war on Christianity but there is a war on Christian proselytizing in the public sector.

      • Nate B

        Because the rest of us are fed up with the very public and un-Christian displays “piety”?

      • Baby_Raptor

        Here are a couple ideas for you. I want you to think long and hard on them.

        1) Everybody in America knows about Christianity. Everybody knows the “Gospel.” It is impossible to live in this country and not know it.

        2) You do not have an inherent right to proselytize. You have a right to have whatever *personal* beliefs you want. You do not have a right to force others to listen to them.

        3) If you are honestly okay with forcing captive audiences to listen to speeches about your religion, you need to take a long, hard look at your morals. If you are honestly perfectly fine with subverting another parent’s decision to not raise their child in church and you think it’s just dandy to preach at them behind their parents’ back, you need to take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself “WTF?”

        4) If people wanted to know about your Christ, there are churches on every corner in every city. There’s the internet. There are phones and phonebooks. There are a myriad of ways that people could find out about him, assuming they’ve hidden under a rock and somehow don’t already know. So most likely the people you’re so butthurt about not being able to force to listen to your bible already know what you want to say and have already decided against it. And guess what? It’s just as much their right to not be a Christian as it is yours to be one.

        This is not a Christian country. It’s not a theocracy. And it’s not some “backwater foreign country” that needs missionaries. Instead of looking for ways to stand around publicly announcing that you’re so in love with Jesus and you think everyone else should be too, try following his actual commands. You know, things like loving your neighbor, feeding the poor, shit like that. If somebody wants to know your Jesus, they’ll find him. Trying to force your god and your personal opinion of what he thinks on people isn’t going to win you any points with those people or with your sky daddy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        there is a war on Christian proselytizing in the public sector

        As there should be. And there should also be efforts to prevent any other religion or irreligion from being promoted by any government organization. That’s part of having a secular government.

      • RobMcCune

        there is a war on Christian proselytizing in the public sector.government

        Fixed. The government has no business meddling in any ones personal beliefs. FYI this ‘Christian proselytizing’ actually tries to dictate the beliefs of christians as well as non-christians.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bill.george.7796 Bill George

        Yeah, and all the Christians that think that would be up in arms if it was a Muslim teacher teaching Islam to their kids.

      • LesterBallard

        Hey Linda; how would you feel about Islamic proselytizing in public schools?

      • http://www.facebook.com/RodneyChlebek Rodney Chlebek

        Firstly, it would help if we clean up our language and stop calling it “war.” That’s an emotionally charged statement and sets a bad tone for discussion.
        Secondly, during the time that the students are in school, they are a “captive audience.” You’re welcome to proselytize on the street, go door-to-door, distribute your pamphlets, advertise through the media, start your own private school, but please stop indoctrinating children with metaphysical claims that lack empirical evidence. This does not benefit society.

  • Blacksheep

    “What the hell?! How is that legal at all? A principal just told science teachers to stop teaching science and preach Christian mythology instead!”

    I read it differently – I thought Hibbard said thay can legally teach both viewpoints:

    “…to teach biblical creationism in addition to evolution in science classes…”

    (In addition to – not “instead of.”)

    Is it legal to teach both in kentucky? I have no idea.

    • Matt

      If it is, it shouldn’t be, as there is no biological scientific basis for creationism, it should not in any way be brought up in a biology class.

      • Blacksheep

        I’m only asking if it’s against the law in Kentucky – not whether it should or shouldn’t be. That would be pure folly on FA!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          See what Gus said – teaching either creationism or intelligent design is right out. And since Kitzmiller v. Dover is a federal decision, it can be used to override state-level ones that might decide otherwise.

          • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

            I don’t think this is the case. Kitzmiller was decided in the Middle District of PA federal court, which doesn’t make it precedent anywhere outside that district (IIRC, but IANAL).

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              I think you’re right, and also Kitzmiller wasn’t “Can we teach Creationism”, it was rather “is ID science”.

              That whole
              cdesign proponentsists thing was probably the worst part for the defendants, legally speaking.

              “Can we teach religion in science class” was never in question.

              • Stev84

                There were already previous court decisions that schools can’t teach Creationism. By proving that ID is the same as Creationism, they tried to make those earlier decisions apply to ID as well.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

              It’s not binding precedent. But it’s still a very relevant and influential case, so persuasive precedent most certainly applies and any state-level legislation saying creationism should be taught in science classes would have to argue against it. Unfortunately, as Rich noted, there are far too many such cases.

            • Gus Snarp

              In this particular case Edwards v. Aguillard, which was a Supreme Court case, is the more relevant precedent anyway. That case does establish, nationwide, that teaching creationism, even alongside evolution, is unconstitutional as it is teaching religion. Since the principal used the words “Biblical creationism” it’s a slam dunk with Edwards v. Aguillard. I extended to Kitzmiller v. Dover, which covers anything claiming not to be creationism that really is creationism. But it’s unlikely that any federal district court would go against Kitzmiller v. Dover and the Supreme Court, should they ever agree to hear the issue again, would have to consider that ruling along with whatever the new decision was, and fortunately the judge wrote a very strong judgement. But IANAL either.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          The closest we have in any state is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Science_Education_Act

          Bills are constantly coming up in a number of states to ‘teach the controversy’, but I’m pretty sure LA’s is the only one so far to pass.

    • Gus Snarp

      It’s not legal to teach biblical creationism, “intelligent design”, or anything else that’s an attempt to teach creationism, alone or in addition to real science, in any public school in America. Creationism (and all its associated Orwellian euphemisms) is a religious doctrine and cannot be taught in a public school, period. See Edwards v. Aguillard and Kitzmiller v. Dover.

    • Mario Strada

      If you read the rest of the article is evident that it is not.

    • eric

      I hope for your sake you’re not a US citizen, or if you are, you’re young enough not to have taken basic high school civics. I’d hate to think that you got through a US high school not understanding that the Constitution and supreme court rulings trump state law.

  • Matt

    Thanks for the story Hemant. I hope we get a further official statement from the Superintendent explaining what action (at the very least having a conversation with the principal informing him this isn’t allowed, at the most some type of disciplinary action) she will be taking towards Hibbard. Please keep us up to date.

  • Linda Turnipseed

    My kids were ‘not taken to church’ deliberately, so as not to be exposed to Christian proselytizing. This principal seems to think that all children who are not taken to church are the children of uncaring, slothful parents and that that decision is not made consciously by their parents. He has no right to ‘share’ his particular religious beliefs with OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN!

  • Mark

    I am sure many hi-tech companies can’t wait to set up offices and factories to take advantage of Kentucky’s medieval educated work force.

  • Jason Sullivan

    ugh Kentucky. Creation Museum now this. Are you sure you don’t want to secede?

  • John Small Berries

    A principal just told science teachers to stop teaching science and preach Christian mythology instead!

    That is a false characterization of the material you quoted.

    The principal did not tell the science teachers to stop teaching evolution and replace it with Christian mythology. He didn’t even order them to teach Christian mythology along with the actual science. He told them that it was acceptable to teach Christian mythology alongside actual science.

    It’s deplorable that a principal is telling science teachers it’s okay to teach unscientific bullshit in their science classes, yeah.

    But it’s also pretty reprehensible — or at least unconscionably sloppy — to misrepresent facts, especially when you’re an atheist who should hold facts in higher esteem than that.

    What he actually said is bad enough. Condemn him for that, not for an altered and inaccurate version of what he said.

    • Nate B

      You see this shit in the south all the time. I can’t wait to get out of her and into a blue state.

      • E. Cedric

        Out of HER? And into a blue state? WHAT THE HELL!?! We have someone who is engaged in active coitus and is wishing to move on to necrophilia!!!

        (yes, I know it was a typo, but that one was a lobbed softball!)

        • busterggi

          Necrophilia means you never have to take her out to dinner & a movie first – its economical.

          • E. Cedric

            YESSSS!!! FINALLY! Someone around here with a sense of humor!!!

            And a fair sense of economy too I might add.

            • guest

              speeling knotsies suk. Way to add NOTHING

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

                *knatsiez

          • Matt

            therefore republicans = necrophiliacs. Always looking to save a quick buck

            • DavidHarley

              It is not true that Republicans approve of mixed marriages. In some states, the majority of them think the state laws against miscegenation should be enforced.

    • Nate B

      *here

    • ortcutt

      “Addressing a common theme of the night — the kids who aren’t
      taken to church, and therefore “have no hope” — Hibbard told the crowd
      they should be missionaries to students, planting the seed of Christ.”

      I don’t see how that’s not encouraging teachers to proselytize.

    • Hat Stealer

      Sooo… in a meeting designed to help Christian teachers bypass the laws, proselytize to their student, and teach creationism, the principle that informs his staff that it’s perfectly fine to teach creationism is NOT saying that they should teach creationism? Did he just stumble into the room with the inexplicable urge to inform his teachers about what they can and cannot do in regards to teaching Cristian myths? Because it seems pretty clear to me that he’s actively trying to enable the teaching of creationism in his school.

      What Hemant said isn’t incorrect, your just taking his and the principle’s words at a painfully literal level.

      • John Small Berries

        Yes, the principal is encouraging and enabling the teaching of bullshit. Had Hemant said that, I’d have had no problem with it.

        However, he said the principal told them to stop teaching science (which he did not), and teach Christian mythology instead (again, which he did not).

        The truth is bad enough without resorting to hyperbolic and sensationalistic mischaracterizations of it.

        Atheists tell moderate Christians all the time that if they don’t speak out against the falsehoods spoken by extremist Christians, they’re tacitly lending their support to that extremism.

        Well, it cuts both ways. If atheists want to be seen as intellectually honest, we need to do the same thing.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          Any time spent teaching creationism in what should be a science class is time that the teachers aren’t teaching the science they should be teaching. So at a certain level, saying “teach creationism in science class” is equivalent to “don’t teach science” – more accurately, it means “don’t teach as much science”.

          As you say, Hibbard’s words are already quite bad enough. But it would be remiss to ignore the consequences of what he advocates (especially since, as a principal, he should understand the time constraints that teachers have).

        • Hat Stealer

          Fair enough, although I wouldn’t go so far as to call what Hemant is saying sensationalistic. It fit with the principle’s stated intent- to take time away from the teaching of science an giving it to creationism- enough to be accurate.

        • LesterBallard

          Yeah, the teachers will be able to do both, right? Teach the complexities of evolution, even at the HS level, and teach the creationist crap.

          • Camorris

            As I see it, teaching Christian creation to students would require only 15 to 30 minutes in total – including a multiple choice test. The rest of the school year can be devoted to teaching real science.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      It’s an extremely fair interpretation. His approval is inarguably encouragement, and mythology and science on the same topic in the same classroom cannot be fairly taught.

    • DougI

      If the teacher is preaching mythology in science class then science education has stopped, so the comment is accurate. It’s even worse than that, by preaching creationist mythology the teacher would be attacking and denouncing science. Any teacher who endorses such nonsense should have any teaching certificates revoked then be heavily fined for the damage they inflict upon students.

      • John Small Berries

        No. If Hemant had said that the principal told the science teachers “to stop teaching only science”, he would have been correct.
        If you write only with pens, and I tell you it’s acceptable to use pencils as well as pens, have I told you to stop using pens?

        • eric

          Seems pretty mountain-out-of-molehill to proclaim the entire piece ‘reprehensible — or at least unconscionably sloppy’ because one sentence contains hyberbole. The title is accurate. He spends the first half of the article discussing the aspects of the program that were legal. He includes extensive direct quotes in context. The overall point of the article is clear and accurate despite the hyperbole.

          Frankly, your practice of picking out a single sentence and judging the entire piece via that one bit is a lot less intellctually honest. Or maybe you were just unconscionably sloppy, eh?

  • mikespeir

    He was thinking, “Dang it, what do I have to do to get persecuted? Ah, I’ve got it….”

  • ortcutt

    The worst characteristic of religion is that it subordinates all other activities to “spreading the gospel”. These “teachers” don’t think of their students as students. They see them as a captive audience for proselytization. That’s disgusting.

  • E. Cedric

    Once again…..a southern state…..

    Okay, beyond the southern state BS…..I would like to ask people (in the states) to get in touch with your local Boy Scouts of America troop leaders in the next day or two as the BSA national vote on wether or not to admit gay leaders and scouts into their ranks (and join the 21st Century and the right side of history) takes place in a few days. I just got off the phone with the local regional troop-dude here in Santa Barbara County – and to his credit – he was great. He is voting yes on all counts and is also in favor of allowing atheists in as well – meaning he knows they are already there, but they would no longer have to lie during the oath.

    This is something that can be done with little effort and may actually make a slight difference in this crappy world. Call them, be assertive but polite, and ask how they plan to vote, get their reasons and then give your two cents.

    • Spuddie

      Thanks for the heads up.

      I know my old troop will do the right thing. They have opposes both policies for going on 2 decades already. Now at least they get to make themselves heard nationally.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    All of your posts really just cover for encouraging Christian bashing.I think these stories are just excuses to flame people up and present as some terrible evil when it sometimes it just minor.For someone called the Friendly Athiest its kinda of a misnomer.Most of them are also written from an often one sided Athiestic view as well.

    • busterggi

      Telling the truth is bashing?

      • 92JazzQueen .

        Nope its just doing shoddy journaling and writing in a really one sided biased way like they do at Think Progress.

        • Sven2547

          Let’s hear the “other side”, then. Tell it to us. Is the “other side” that the principal never said these things? Is the “other side” that it’s Constitutional for government employees to push religion on students?

          When you need an “other side” to counter the TRUTH, you get LIES.

        • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

          Because religious blogs are bastions of balanced writing and are never one-sided, right? Troll harder.

    • asonge

      An atheist writing to mainly an audience of atheists contains presumptions of common values among atheists. News at 11.

      There are plenty of Christians who don’t view proselytizing as part of their job, in particular part of their job as a government official. And yes, it is a problem. I’ve got a very close friend who was bullied out of school for “being from California” and presumptions of devil-worship, etc.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I have a child in school, so the possibility of him being proselytized to rather than taught science, in science class, isn’t something minor. This blog, like most blogs, does have a theme, which beyond “what Hemant finds interesting” tends to be “ways that religion impacts the non-religious”. Unfortunately, when religion has a real impact on my life, it’s usually not in a good way. So those are the ‘valleys’ that get reported.

      I wonder if you go to Christian sites, like http://thesauros-store.blogspot.com/ who just trolled on another article, or WND and complain about things being written from a “one sided Atheistic view”.

      Hemant and his authors are atheists. This is the atheist view. I know it’s not the Christian or Muslim or Jewish view- but doesn’t every blog have a view? Are we supposed to only have religious view blogs and the atheists just shut up?

      I don’t go into churches and complain about Psalm 14. If you don’t want us to complain about Christians behaving badly, then set an example for your fellow Christians, and accept that sometimes Christians behave badly.

    • Baby_Raptor

      And here’s the thread’s inevitable martyrbater.

      Do you pay attention to what Christians say about people that they don’t deem good enough? Your lot has no room to talk about bashing people. Your own god does it; based on the very way he supposedly created us.

      Further, your hypocrisy is showing. Would you be talking about it “just minor” if it were your rights being stepped on? Somehow, I really doubt it.

      Disagreeing with your personal beliefs does not mean someone is being mean to you. Nor does it mean they’re attacking you. Or in any other way being unfriendly. Christers in general seem to have a collective issue with this.

      Oh, and you see how the blog is titled “The Friendly *Atheist*”? It’s written by an Atheist, and it’s mostly about Atheism or issues that affect Atheists. So, yes. It’s “kinda of a” Fucking no-brainer that the articles are going to be written from an Atheist point of view.

      But, hey. I guess we could look at the Christians for a good example of fair, balanced articles on conflicting views. I mean, it’s not like your side continually lies about, attacks, silences or otherwise just does everything it can to get rid of people who don’t buy what they’re selling, right?

      Oh, and it’s “Atheist.” And you put a space between periods and the first letter of the next word. I’m not the type to invoke stereotypes often, but your post sure proves a certain one.

      • 92JazzQueen .

        I am not crying martyr and I am tired of people saying that when Christians point out athiestic blogs about distorting stories for their own uses they crying martyr.I don’t see this case as being a martyr thing but I see this as a I just need to speak my mind and tell out out really demonizing a lot of his posts are especially the ones about the Catholic Hospitals.

        • GCT

          Except, you are crying martyr. You’re crying about being demonized and insulted and bashed for being Xian, when none of those things are true. Quite the contrary, you’re bashing us with your religious privilege. There is no distortion in the OP. If you wish to assert there is distortion, it is incumbent upon you to point it out and back up your assertions. Let’s see where this alleged distortion is.

        • Spuddie

          Poor baby, annoyed that nobody wants to accept Christian privilege to run roughshod over the beliefs of others and our laws.

          Are you claiming the story is untrue?

          If not, there is no distortion here. Just inconvenient truth.

        • jjes

          I don’t usually spell Christian (Cristean?) wrong….. maybe you could pay attention and try to, at least, spell Atheist correctly. Especially after your misspelling was pointed out.
          It’s spelled correctly ALL OVER this page.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Do you whine when Christians write blatantly one-sided stories? Or do you consider what they do totally fair and honest?

          You’re not going to do a lot of speaking your mind when people have to reread your sentences multiple times to get them to make sense. Just throwing that out there.

          You mean the ones about how Catholics are buying up hospitals and then putting their religious beliefs over other peoples’ rights to healthcare? Newsflash: Freedom of religion does NOT mean the freedom to force your views on other people. It means you have the right to PERSONALLY believe things, and live out those beliefs in YOUR LIFE.

          When a Catholic hospital kills a woman because they refused to give her an abortion, or refuses Plan B after a sexual assault, or completely ignores a patient’s end of life plan because they think God wants them to force a person to continue living hooked to machines, that is a person forcing their beliefs on another. You DO NOT have a right to do this. Nobody does.

          And again, I highly doubt you would accept someone doing this to you. So all you’re doing is exposing yourself for the giant liar you are.

          And lastly, you have no idea what demonizing someone really is. You claiming that this post demonizes Christians is laughable. Look at what Christians do to gays. Or listen to how they talk about how everyone who doesn’t buy into their line are horrible abominations destroying America and they’ll end up in hell. Read up on how pro-choice people are supposedly baby murderers guilty of something akin to the Holocaust. THAT demonizes people. Hearing about how you’re doing something wrong is not demonizing, even if it’s told not from your point of view and that insults fragile little ego.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      It’s very telling that you claim violating Constitutional law and parents’ rights in order to miseducate children about science and indoctrinate them in a religious sect to which they may not belong is “minor”… y’know, when it’s YOUR sect.

      Why do you hate children? Why do you hate science and knowledge? Why do you hate the Constitution?

      And why do you feel that you not reading for comprehension is an argument against something?

    • Kari

      I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe this post is encouraging Christian-bashing. IMO, what these schools, administrators, and teachers are doing is utterly reprehensible. Teaching religion in any public school classroom, much less a SCIENCE classroom, is absolutely not appropriate.

      I’m fortunate in that I belong to a church where religion and science can coexist. I wouldn’t have it any other way. https://www.facebook.com/stjohnslc/posts/10151587686242521

    • GCT

      More of your religious privilege on display I see…

      This is not Xian bashing. This is reporting on an issue where a Xian principle is looking for ways to circumvent our rights in order to force his religion on his students. This is what he is trying to do, and pointing it out is not in any way, shape, or form Xian bashing. That you automatically jump to that says quite a bit about your religious privilege.

      Also, it’s nice that you can discount our civil rights as being minor issues, but I wonder how quickly you would be taking that back if it were your rights at issue. Again, this is more of your religious privilege. Because you happen to be part of the religion that holds privilege in our country/society, you feel safe in brutalizing the rights of atheists and non-Xians and then crying to all who will listen when we tell you to stop trying to put your jackboots on our throats. You and yours cause real harm and we won’t sit down and shut up, no matter how much you falsely claim that you’re being persecuted.

    • RobMcCune

      Do you anything that shows the “other side”, is being misrepresented or taken out of context?

    • Spuddie

      You mean making comments about how people use the Christian faith as an excuse to attack education and democratic principles? Oh the horror!

      Such horrific persecution like telling a story accurately about abuse of power and attacks on the proper education of students in public schools.

      Oh you poor thing. =)

    • JET

      I consider myself a friendly atheist in that I really don’t give a shit what you personally choose to believe. On the other hand, I am a militant secularist especially when it comes to education because it’s damaging to our youth and their futures to teach mythology of any flavor as if it were fact or even worthy of consideration. I don’t bash Christians because they go to church, but I will certainly bash them for insisting that public schools are churches.

    • Sven2547

      So you do not contest any of the facts presented here, you’re just upset that Hemant formed rational conclusions based upon these facts.

    • guest

      Christians encourage Christian bashing. They don’t need any help.

    • Hat Stealer

      You are no doubt Christian. Would you be okay with the principal of your child’s school trying to convert your child to Islam, or Hinduism? That’s what’s going on here, only the administrators are trying to convert children to Christianity, without the knowledge or consent of the parents. Doesn’t seem minor to me at all.

    • ukvillafan

      If there is a claim of one-sidedness here it can only be that most, no ALL, of these articles are written from a one-sided TRUTHFUL point of view.

      You typify the average Christian in your response here. What this post ‘encourages’ is for people to note that it is unconstitutional for a public school to teach religious mythology in the science classroom or proselytise to public school students instead of teach them properly, and several other associated issues. This you then ‘interpret’ as ‘Christian bashing’ when in actual fact it is no more than telling the truth.

      If you were not so one-dimensional and unable to use your critical faculties (mostly, I guess, because those who have proselytised to you down the years have discouraged it, lest you learn to think for yourself) than you might ACTUALLY appreciate the fact that the religion referred to here is irrelevant to the point being made. This could apply to a principal and group of teachers from ANY religion, because their actions would be equally unconstitutional. The fact that it is a Christian group is relevant because IT IS ONLY EVER CHRISTIAN groups that do this, mostly because many of you are imbued with this notion that your faith is somehow more important, more ‘American’ than any other AND THEREFORE is entitled to special protection such that you can ignore your own Constitution.

      And, ‘No!’, yours is not a Christian country, it’s not even a ‘country of Christians’ given the fact that a significant proportion of your population is not Christian. What it is, though, is a country full of Christian agitators who want to turn the place into a Christian theocracy. You might think this is a good idea, but you should fight against it, because if it happens, what are you going to do when you discover that your version of Christianity is the wrong one?
      You should beware of anyone who tells you what to think rather than how to think, so I encourage you to read your Constitution, read a proper history of how and why it was written the way it was and then turn your anger on those who seek to undermine it rather than those who seek to defend it. If all of you did that, then the Friendly Atheist might be able to blog about positive Christian actions (such as, for example, mega-churches spending the money they raise on helping poor people rather than building, well, mega-churches and pointlessly large phallic metal crosses) rather than school principals who want to indoctrinate and proselytise rather than teach.

    • ukvillafan

      If there is a claim of one-sidedness here it can only be that most, no ALL, of these articles are written from a one-sided TRUTHFUL point of view.

      You typify the average Christian in your response here. What this post
      ‘encourages’ is for people to note that it is unconstitutional for a public
      school to teach religious mythology in the science classroom or proselytise to public school students instead of teach them properly, and several other associated issues. This you then ‘interpret’ as ‘Christian bashing’ when in actual fact it is no more than telling the truth.

      If you were not so one-dimensional and unable to use your critical faculties (mostly, I guess, because those who have proselytised to you down the years have discouraged it, lest you learn to think for yourself) than you might ACTUALLY appreciate the fact that the religion referred to here is irrelevant to the point being made. This could apply to a principal and group of teachers from ANY religion, because their actions would be equally unconstitutional. The fact that it is a Christian group is relevant because IT IS ONLY EVER CHRISTIAN groups that do this, mostly because many of you are imbued with this notion that your faith is somehow more important, more ‘American’ than any other AND
      THEREFORE is entitled to special protection such that you can ignore your own Constitution.

      And, ‘No!’, yours is not a Christian country, it’s not even a ‘country of
      Christians’ given the fact that a significant proportion of your population is
      not Christian. What it is, though, is a country full of Christian agitators who
      want to turn the place into a Christian theocracy. You might think this is a
      good idea, but you should fight against it, because if it happens, what are you going to do when you discover that your version of Christianity is the wrong one?

      You should beware of anyone who tells you what to think rather than how to think, so I encourage you to read your Constitution, read a proper history of how and why it was written the way it was and then turn your anger on those who seek to undermine it rather than those who seek to
      defend it. If all of you did that, then the Friendly Atheist might be able to
      blog about positive Christian actions (such as, for example, mega-churches spending the money they raise on helping poor people rather than building, well, mega-churches and pointlessly large phallic metal crosses) rather than school principals who want to indoctrinate and proselytise rather than teach.

  • Mario Strada

    How difficult would it be to come up with a fictitious school district and set up a similar event with batshit attendees saying exactly the same things, except that the whole thing is Muslim or Pagan?

    The goal would be to see the pundits go crazy condemning the pagan trying to teach their origin myth in public schools and openly discuss how to proselytize in the name of (insert appropriate deity here).
    I think it would be a great teaching moment if done properly.

    • Hat Stealer

      Give me $3000000 and I will make your dreams come true.

  • Rain

    and he suggested future meetings with biology teachers to craft curriculum.

    What curriculum would that be? Twiddling thumbs? *twiddles thumbs* Ergo, Jesus dunnit. Jesus gave us twiddleable thumbs. Therefore Jesus. *twiddles thumbs*

  • Kari

    FWIW, I’m Christian, and I think this is absolutely reprehensible. Teaching of creationism, whether directly by teachers or indirectly by student “presentations,” has absolutely no place in a public school classroom.

    • buricco

      Seconded as a Christian.

  • DougI

    Fire the bum then throw his ass in jail for his treasonous, anti-American activity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      Firing Hibbard would be a good thing. Jailing, maybe – but that seems excessive, given the punishments imposed in the few other separation of church and state cases that I know the details of. The goal is to stop things like this from happening in the future, not to get revenge on Hibbard individually.

      And his actions can certainly be called anti-American, but they aren’t treasonous. Treason is very specifically defined in US law, going back to the initial version of the Constitution: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort”.

  • A3Kr0n

    Hibbard needs to go to jail. Why are they letting criminals run schools down there?

  • A Dad

    I taught my kids to think. I let them go to church with friends, grandparents, etc. So they did. They had fun. But they would say things like, “wow, dad, they believe some silly stuff.” I didn’t force anything on them… just taught them to think and question… and they came to the right conclusion, in my humble opinion at least.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felix.hall.710 Felix Hall

    damm I’ve been following this blog for a while now. still have trouble believing america’s education system is that messed up.

    • John Daugherty

      Welcome to Duhmerica.

  • Robster

    This appears to be another example of how desperate the afflicted christians are to sustain their faith. Or expand it. Good news is that the constant barriage of hate and absurd dogmatic nonsense from religious clerics is going down like a lead balloon with the young. They need the kids, they realise that anybody over the age of 14 is too worldly to believe their fraudulant story, so they need the kids. It’s the only reason the religions are involved in education, it’s not for the good of the young or society, it’s purpose is to funnel young people into their various belief systems. Without new victims, they’re dead and they fear this more than anything else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RodneyChlebek Rodney Chlebek

    Over the years I’ve become very comfortable in saying that religion is not needed. If fact, I think we can do a little better (I’m being fair) without it.

  • beerslayer

    If
    I were a biology teacher in Kentucky, Louisiana, or any other state
    where they kept trying to pull this shit, I think I’d make it a high
    priority to teach the students what science itself is and, more
    importantly, what it isn’t.

    If they want to believe creationism is Truth, fine. But they are not entitled to believe it is science.

    • beerslayer

      p.s. I have no idea why my post got misformatted. I didn’t wrap it like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chanel-Hilliard/1550138019 Chanel Hilliard

    Those poor children, to grow up believing the lies of adults and then to be shamed as adults for not knowing the truth. No wonder kids lie, adults teach them. Are these schools receiving tax-dollars?

  • John Daugherty

    I’ve posted on their Facebook page, acquainting them with Edwards v. Aguillard – 482 U.S. 578 (1987).

  • Seamus Ruah

    ….and comments are GONE from their Facebook page.

  • g75401

    Just as an FYI, pagans do not proselytize. As for teachers, I pity the poor teacher that would try with my kids….


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