Australian Group Protesting Public School Religious Indoctrination Puts Up a Billboard of Jesus Petting a Dinosaur

The whole idea of “special religious instruction” is public schools is a joke to begin with, especially when you consider how much room there is for abuse. In theory, it’d be great because kids could learn about the beliefs of all different faiths. But in Victoria, Australia, for example, the religious education is primarily Christian and the education is verring into heavy indoctrination. Story after story suggests that volunteer groups — and it’s always Christian volunteers — are using the time with students to seek converts instead of merely educating them about what they believe.

There’s a fantastic group called Fairness In Religions In School (FIRIS) trying to raise awareness of the abuses within the program in part because they say parents don’t really know what’s going on in their kids’ schools.

To that end, they put up a billboard in Melbourne on Tuesday morning that shows parents what their kids may be learning in school:

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Religious School Revokes Admission of Student After Finding Out He’s Gay

Chase Martinson shouldn’t have had any problems when he decided to return to nursing school at Missouri’s Hannibal-LaGrange University after some time off. But there were problems… for two reasons.

1) Hannibal-LaGrange University is a Southern Baptist-affiliated school.

2) Chase came out publicly as gay.

Hannibal-LaGrange University can’t handle students who deviate from their student handbook — page 27 of which forbids students from even “appearing” gay. But what makes their bigotry even juicier is how excited they appeared to be to invite Chase back to their school before they found out about his orientation…

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This Christian ‘University’ Doesn’t Allow Female Bible Professors to Teach Male Students

Take a look at the faculty members at Cedarville University in Ohio — an Independent Baptist school — and see if you can spot all the female professors in the School of Biblical and Theological Studies.

I had to scroll down for a while… but then I found her. Erin Shaw. (Yep, singular. There’s just the one.)

I don’t have any reason to condemn her, but I do want to point out that she appears to be the only faculty member in the department with no Ph.D. or professional teaching experience.

There used to be credentialed women in the department’s faculty but most of them left when there was a shakeup in the administration and a new regime took over.

Why did they all leave? We didn’t really know because the school made them sign confidentiality statements, but I think we have the answer now.

School officials are putting restrictions on the students who can take her classes:

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What Did PolitiFact Have to Say About Oregon Public School Students Missing Class to Learn About the Bible?

Last week, in a post titled “In Oregon, Students Are Skipping Math Class to Learn About the Bible,” I wrote about how there was a law in Oregon allowing students to ditch their public school classes for up to five hours a week in order to attend religious indoctrination classes.

In one case, a program called PREP4Kids even provided a shuttle to take kids from Banks Elementary School to Banks Community United Methodist Church.

For whatever reason, PolitiFact Oregon decided that what I wrote was a claim worth checking out — something to be dubbed anywhere from “True” to “Pants on Fire.”

How did it go?

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A Decade Later, This is the 500-Page Creationism Book a Public School Biology Teacher Gave His Students

For 15 years, high school biology teacher Larry Booher gave his Biology 2 students an extra credit assignment. All they had to do was read a 500-page book that Booher had compiled from a variety of sources… all of which pointed to Creationism as the way we came to be. It was awful science to begin with, but the fact that a public school teacher was advocating it made it completely illegal.

In all that time, no one complained about the book. Why not? Maybe because John S. Battle High School was in Bristol, Virginia and pretty much everyone you knew was a Christian. But that shouldn’t have mattered.

In 2005, administrators in the district received an “anonymous tip” about what Booher was doing. Ultimately, they forced him to stop distributing his book. And that was it. A slap on the wrist. He continued teaching for several years before finally retiring.

“He told the students, ‘You may read this. You don’t have to. It has some Bible references in it,'” Washington County School Superintendent Alan Lee said Thursday. “This teacher felt like he wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

The superintendent declined to say what punishment, if any, Booher would face, calling it a personnel matter. But he said the 48-year-old Booher was “one of the finest science teachers I’ve ever been around” and would return to the classroom in the fall after he agreed to stop distributing the creationism materials.

“He must teach evolution exclusively — observable scientific fact, not beliefs or religion,” Lee said. “I fully believe he will comply. He just stepped over the line.”

Keep in mind: this all happened just months before the verdict in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, a case about teaching Intelligent Design in public schools. Creationism was a major topic of discussion and the Associated Press story about Booher (along with similar reports) made the rounds throughout the media.

So why do I bring all this up now?

Because I’ve been in contact with the “anonymous” tipster who outed Booher in 2005 — and I now possess a scanned copy of the 500-page Creationism booklet.

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