Pastor-Turned-Atheist Teresa MacBain Caught in Resume Fabrication

Last Friday, the New York TimesSamuel Freedman reported on Teresa MacBain‘s new job. In the span of about 18 months, Teresa went from being a Methodist pastor who secretly didn’t believe in God… to the newly-hired director of the Humanist Community Project at Harvard, where she would help form Humanist communities nationwide. Along the way, she worked for the Humanists of Florida Association and American Atheists.

Freedman’s article included a section that I basically ignored when I first read it because it was just biographical information:

Finally, [before Easter in 2012] she realized her faith crisis was over. She no longer believed in God. The daughter of a minister, the product of a divinity school, the enthusiastic evangelist doing the Lord’s will, she told her followers that she was resigning her pulpit.

At the Clergy Project, where MacBain was the first Executive Director, the speakers list (still) reiterates that information about her educational background:

Teresa MacBain became a non-believer after more than twenty years of ministry. She started her career in ministry serving along side her father, a Baptist minister. She taught in Christian Schools, served as a worship pastor, associate pastor and senior pastor. Teresa received her bachelor’s degree from Samford University in Christian Education followed by her Masters in Divinity from Duke Divinity School.

After the NYT article was published last week, though, a Duke official contacted Freedman:

After Saturday’s article appeared, the executive director of communications for Duke Divinity School, Audrey P. Ward, contacted The Times to state that the school had no record of Ms. MacBain’s having taken graduate school classes or earning a master’s degree.

Ms. Ward wrote in a subsequent e-mail that divinity school records showed that Ms. MacBain attended a Summer Course of Study School in 2010. She took the first-year course of a five-year program for licensed pastors under appointment and working ministers that does not lead to a Duke degree.

In short, MacBain took a class in 2010 that wouldn’t have earned her a degree even if she took the remaining four classes in the program… but said on her resume that she had graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Duke in 2005. Considering the program takes three years of full-time work to complete and MacBain’s resume says she was working somewhere else in the years prior to 2005, I’m surprised no one picked up on it sooner.

Two days ago, Freedman called MacBain to confirm what the Duke official had told him, and she confessed that she never really earned the M.Div. degree.

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So This Is How You Make a Creationist Documentary…

Tyler Francke found Ray Comfort‘s notes:

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This is the Bible Accessory Atheists Have Been Waiting For

I’m just saying: If Zach Myrow‘s Salt Bible were available in stores, I’d pick one up in a heartbeat.

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Secular Coalition for America Gives Cory Booker an ‘A’ and Chris Christie an ‘F’ in Latest Scorecards

The Secular Coalition for America (in conjunction with the Secular Coalition for New Jersey) just released its scorecards for the upcoming gubernatorial and senatorial elections in New Jersey and, in both races, the grades couldn’t be further apart.

In the October 16 special election to Frank Lautenberg‘s senate seat, Democrat Cory Booker is running against Republican Steve Lonegan.

The SCA gave Booker an “A” on issues of church/state separation while Lonegan received an “F”:

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School Board in Kansas Unanimously Votes to Allow Student-Led Prayer At All District Events, Including Football Games

This past Tuesday, members of the Unified School District No. 480 school board (in the misnamed city of Liberal, Kansas) lost their minds.

They voted unanimously to “allow student-led prayers at all activities in the district”:

I think that’s one of the greatest things we’ve ever done,” said board member Tammy Sutherland-Abbott, who seconded board member Nick Hatcher’s motion.

“I would like to see us bring prayer back to the games,” he told his fellow board members, after expressing admiration for the LHS Redskins football team. “I have struggled with that — not having prayer at our activities — because it’s ‘not the thing to do,’ but if the board thought it was important enough that they would support it, and defend it if the time came, I’d like to ask that we do that at our next meeting.”

“Why not do it now?” asked Sutherland-Abbott.

“We do live in a democratic society, and I personally feel like our community would support that decision, regardless of the rest of the world,” Hatcher said.

Just so we’re clear, students are already allowed to pray on their own. But what the school board is saying with this vote is that students can use the public address system to pray before games and all other events.

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