Religious Right Group Criticizes Me for ‘Promoting Hostility Toward Christianity and Goodwill Toward Sexual Deviance’

The Illinois Family Institute, like most non-profits, wants to get those end-of-the-year donations, so they’re doing it in typical fashion: by scaring other Christians and reminding them the sky is falling.

And who’s responsible for all their troubles? You know it: those awful, awful teachers:

The first educational institutions to succumb to censorship, indoctrination, and oppression were our colleges and universities. Then Leftist sexuality dogmatists came for our high school students, and now they’re taking aim at our littlest ones through “bullying prevention” activities, “comprehensive” sex ed, and discussions of “family diversity.”

Only a right-wing group like IFI would put scare-quotes around topics like bullying prevention, diversity, and realistic sex education that doesn’t end with abstinence. As if discussing those topics are problems instead of solutions.

But they’re not done yet.

Since the number of teachers who push anti-Christian views in the classroom is approximately zero, they decided to go after me because I’m a teacher who also shares his opinions outside the classroom (*gasp*):

Many have probably read about the math teacher… Hemant Mehta, who in his spare time works feverishly on his blog, The Friendly Atheist, where he demonstrates a condescending distaste for all things religious, particularly Christianity, often in language far more offensive than the two anatomically correct terms that got Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson in a peck of trouble. Mehta’s been in the news lately for trying unsuccessfully to donate money to the Morton Grove Park Board after they lost funding from the American Legion who objected to a board member who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mehta, the not-so-friendly atheist, also has guest writers who promote a host of lousy ideas including public acceptance of polyamory (Click HERE, and HERE and take note that these were written over four years ago. They’re no Johnny-come-latelies to the sexual anarchy parade.) So, in his free time, this role model for other people’s children is promoting hostility toward Christianity and goodwill toward sexual deviance.

1) I guess Laurie Higgins couldn’t find anything problematic on this site from the past four years so the had to resort to a column by Richard Wade. Richard, the nicest guy you’ll ever meet and a counselor who has helped more readers of this site than I can count. That’s the worst she could find.

2) I didn’t change the outgoing link to the second “HERE”… IFI accidentally copy/pasted what appears to be an email pitch to two people to get them to come to an event they’re sponsoring. I guess ticket sales are low. Too bad, huh?

3) Did you all know I promote hostility toward Christianity? I sure as hell didn’t. Who knew criticizing bad ideas and supporting church/state separation was tantamount to hating faith?

4) I also had no idea that I promote “goodwill toward sexual deviance.” I think that means I support letting consenting adults do whatever the hell they want with each other. Or that I treat LGBT folks with dignity and respect. Or that I support marriage equality. In any case, you’re welcome!

In all seriousness, if I’m the bogeyman they’re trying to use to convince supporters to give them more money, they really have nothing to complain about. In fact, after correctly pointing out that the things I post on this website are separate from things I teach in the classroom, they still try to conflate the two a couple of paragraphs later:

The teachers mentioned here don’t even scratch the surface of the problem, let alone get to its dark underbelly. Teachers who lack both wisdom and a proper understanding of their roles as public educators (including the limitations thereof) line the halls of academia. The problem is not insoluble, but solving it will take both time and courage. Those who have children in school now or will have children in school shortly need to find alternatives to public education.

IFI already admitted I do understand my role as an educator and keep my atheism out of the classroom. And even though I don’t teach English, it’s not hard to see how their argument lacks credible examples and contradicts itself. If I were a supporter, I’d be embarrassed knowing how my money is being wasted battling teachers like me who clearly have no intention of preaching my personal views to my students.

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  • Richard Wade

    Welcome home, Hemant.

  • Dave

    Hey Richard, Just read and re read your intelligent and reasoned response to Poly. Keep up the good work.

  • flyb

    Thanks for everything you and the other contributors do, Hemant. Happy new year.

  • Pithecanthropus

    See you in hell, sinner! 😀

  • Lando

    Dude; you said ‘hell’ without any reverence, or fear, or whatever, and you didn’t even capitalize it. This offensive language is getting to be too much.

  • $84687101

    I did not know that the duck guy was in trouble for “two anatomically correct words”. I thought he was in trouble for spreading the notion that gay people should be hated and feared and that black people had it better before the civil rights act because they never told him that white people ever mistreated them (funny how black people in a state known for lynchings wouldn’t complain to white people about white people).

    That’s one of the problems with these people. They think it’s magic words that are bad, rather than reprehensible ideas, no matter how eloquently and politely stated.

    Also, I would be proud to be accused of promoting goodwill toward sexual deviance.

  • LizzyJessie

    Phil Robertson didn’t stop with his GQ interview. Recently he spoke about marrying girls that are 15 years old instead of women of legal age.

  • B Dallmann

    The article didn’t even quote what I think is the worst part of it, the part where he says the right kind of woman can cook a meal and carries her Bible.

  • WallofSleep

    Sorry, OT…

    “… often in language far more offensive than the two anatomically correct terms that got Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson in a peck of trouble.”

    Fuck me if this Duck Dynasty thing couldn’t piss me off more. The entire fucking media completely glossed over his racist-apologist comment in that very same goddamned interview. Barely a fucking word mentioned about it. Epic mother-fucking fail, American media. I am disappoint.

    Sorry for the rant.


    My disappointment here is no meager thing. My philosophy on news media has been such for many years: All forms of media are full of nothing but bias, fabrication, and blatant lies, and it has been this way since the first caveman applied pigment to stone. With that in mind, you’d think it impossible to disappoint a guy like me, yet they still manage to. Spectacularly.

  • Lucilius

    As a member of the media, my philosophy is that you spend a lot of time talking through your ass.

  • WallofSleep

    Perhaps. But I dare you to pick a medium out there that is not colored by human bias. Just one.

    EDIT: For clarification… The fact that media is colored by human bias has absolutely no bearing on the observable fact that many words do indeed pass through my posterior. Just thought I should point that out.

  • Fentwin

    Thats why its call it talking out of my a posteriori. It based on experience that we know the biases inherent in the system:P

  • Thiriel

    I think if you are the worst example of an atheist teacher she can come up with, then I feel somewhat better about the state of American Eeducation. It seems to me that the shriller these types yell, the better the world seems to be

  • WallofSleep

    “It seems to me that the shriller these types yell, the better the world seems to be.”

    … for the Devil sends the Beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short.

  • WMDKitty — Survivor
  • Rob P

    One thing that bothers me here is the call to put kids in private schools. And then these same people want the government to pay for it through tax credits.

  • James

    If you don’t have ’em frothing/spluttering at the mouth, you’re doing something wrong.

  • WallofSleep


  • Mario Strada

    Since this is what I do for a living, I took notice of the wrong link they posted. Once I filtered the 20% (that’s a space in a URL) this is what it says:

    a href=” Dennis and Fran! Are either of you interested in attending the SpeakOut Illinois event on Feb. 1st in Rosemont? We’d love to have you at our table! Happy New Year,”

    I think we should all wish Dennis and Fran a happy new year too. Too bad they don;t accept comment on their site.

  • Rich Wilson

    Funny, you never see Joe Klein inviting Dennis and Fran to SpeakOut Illinois.

  • invivoMark

    Hemant, you really don’t think you promote hostility toward Christianity and goodwill toward sexual deviance?

    Geez, some people just don’t know how to take a compliment!

  • EuropeanCommunist

    Religious Right Group Criticizes Me for ‘Promoting Hostility Toward Christianity and Goodwill Toward Sexual Deviance’

    So in other words, you’re doing a damn good job!

  • Malcolm McLean

    In Britain, at least until recently, we had a tradition that teachers would bring their views into the classroom. We had an Irishman who was a supporter o fthe IRA. The biys used to love winding him up and getting him going on outrageous statements like “I’m collecting nails”.

    As an adult who teaches now and again I suspect now that there was an element of play-acting in it. Most good teachers have a running joke. Otherwise the kids introduce their own running jokes.

    I don’t have a problem at all with atheist teachers teaching atheism, as long as religious teachers can teach their views.

  • smrnda

    Me? I’d like teachers to stay on topic with the courses they are teaching and not hijack classes to talk about their opinions on other issues. Not that I expect teachers to be robots or anything, just if I was hired to teach mathematics, a discussion about the merits or demerits of religious beliefs is diverting time away from what the kids are there to learn.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    You’re obviously doing something right.

  • Lucilius

    Actually, “sexual anarchy” in the sense of free choice by responsible adults sounds great – especially when compared to the IFI’s dream of sexual totalitarianism.

  • TheG

    Personally, I would love to go to a club called “Sexual Anarchy,” but I’m afraid I would run into someone like Ms Higgins protesting outside.

    Actually, considering the history the most shrill of these types have with battling their own demons, the more frightening thought is that I would be more likely to see her within the club.


  • LizzyJessie

    What makes you think she’d be outside protesting? From what I’ve seen, the sexually repressed seem to have some surprising kinks.

    Sorry, reading comp fail on my part.

  • chicago dyke

    oh Hemant, you know that when they’re picking on you, it’s a good sign. “Give us money, there’s a scary blogger out there saying things we don’t like!!!1!”

    nothing against you, but come on. a blogger? that’s your biggest ‘threat’ to xtianity and family and wholesomeness and jeebus?

    you know you’ve won the war when your enemy is reduced to the level of internet comment trolling. sorry, IFI grifters. the number of people who are going to send you $$$ is dying off at an increasing rate every day. why don’t you morons come up with a kickstarter project and join the 21st C? loosers.

  • GeraardSpergen

    In case she drops in here, I would like to wish Laurie Higgins a friendly, happy new year… and the same to all the regulars – atheist or not.

  • TheG

    Be careful with that hate speech. It could raise her some money.

  • NewEnglandBob

    I always laugh at organizations like Illinois Family institute which is actually anti-family and anti-people in their issues. They also don’t have the guts to allow comments on their web site.

  • Layla13

    ***The first educational institutions to succumb to censorship,
    indoctrination, and oppression were our colleges and universities. ***

    Keep up the good work, colleges and universities!!!

  • Whitney Currie

    It occurs to me that they probably wouldn’t be grasping quite so hard at those straws if you weren’t doing just fine, Hemant.

    Welcome back, by the way, hope you had a great time!

  • Jasper

    Then Leftist sexuality dogmatists

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means. “You are free to live your life how to see fit free from persecution” is not dogma.

    We’re going to pressure you into following what we think you shouldn’t do… is.

  • Marie Alexander

    Hemant, welcome back! I find it hilarious that they chose this blog as their boogeyman; as far as the internet goes, this is as tolerant and friendly as the Internet gets.

    Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody.

  • Jay

    I have to agree with the IFI here. Hemant is really hostile towards Christianity, and he continuously undermines all efforts to prop it up. We can’t have someone going out in public and saying these things! Think of the children!

    He’s posted about Penis Amputation:

    Criticized God!:

    Mocked Christmas:

    It takes all of 2 minutes to see that he is hateful, hostile, and utterly anti-Christian. And as a bunch of us masturbate looking at his picture while eating babies, he promotes sexual deviance as well.

    God Bless you, Hemant.

  • The Other Weirdo

    God Satan Bless you, Hemant.

    There. Fixed it for ya.

  • Matt D

    Sauce be upon him.

  • LizzyJessie

    The IFI has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center quite some time ago. Like any troll without a good argument, IFI’s director Laurie Higgins even pulled a Goodwin’s Law by comparing homosexuality to Nazism. Then there was former executive Peter LaBarbera who attacked Anti-Bullying programs for schools.

    I’m not sure what his exact reasons were for going against a campaign towards teaching children to be tolerant of others and act like decent human beings. That’s just two examples of crap they pulled that I can remember right off.

  • Kevin_of_Bangor

    I didn’t change the outgoing link to the second “HERE”…

    That link now just leads to a busted page. Funny thing is the haven’t even fixed it in their article.

  • onamission5

    I had no idea you worked on your blog “feverishly.” Here I figured you made posts in what little free time you have, and when you don’t have free time or you want to use it for yourself, you handed some blog space over to a handful of other contributors.

  • Richard Thomas

    I mean, this blog IS a hate group, after all. That’s why that library couldn’t take our money. These guys are just pushing back the only way they know how, by being an even BIGGER hate group. (Hater? Hatier? I dunno. You get the point.)

  • jen

    Sexual Anarchy Parade is the name of my new band.

  • Jeremiah Traeger

    Hemant, they called you the “not-so-friendly-atheist”! Are you going to take that? You’re just using your FREE SPEECH!!!!111!!one1!1one!!!

    Either way, I have learned that any organization with the word “family” in it is anti-family in many cases and have shitty opinions.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I love the fact that the IFI ignores the racist comments that robertson made. They are deliberately lying, but that’s usual for a group with family in the name. As gus said in a previous post I would be proud to be accused of promoting goodwill towards sexual deviance since to people like laurie anything not missionary, lights off, for kids is sexually deviant.

  • BoGardiner

    Good heavens… if you and this blog — a great example of civil discourse — are the best they can come up with to scare people, they need to join the real world and find something real to worry about.

  • WMDKitty — Survivor