Teacher violated First Amendment in calling creationism ‘nonsense’

By Calvin Palmer

A federal judge has ruled that a history teacher at a Southern California public high school violated the First Amendment when he called creationism “superstitious nonsense” during a classroom lecture.

U.S. District Judge James Selna issued the ruling on Friday after a 16-month legal battle between Capistrano Valley High School student Chad Farnan and his former teacher, James Corbett.

Farnan’s lawsuit alleged that Corbett made more than 20 statements that were disparaging to Christians and their beliefs during a lecture in 2007.

The judge found that Corbett’s reference to creationism as “religious, superstitious nonsense” violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

Courts have interpreted the clause as prohibiting government employees from displaying religious hostility.

In this particular instance, a government employee has been prohibited from telling the truth – creationism is superstitious nonsense and has no factual basis whatsoever.

In their child-like way, I suppose courts would also prohibit government employees from displaying hostility towards anyone believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

Surely religious faith should be robust enough to withstand such attacks without recourse to the law. If not then the faith itself becomes suspect.

Dog Bless America!

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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Filed under Education, Justice, News

3 responses to “Teacher violated First Amendment in calling creationism ‘nonsense’

  1. Barbara Delaney

    I read this article today in the NZ Herald. Very disappointing, you would of thought that a judge would offer more intelligence when dealing with this case.. Perhaps you need to send her the latest PISA test.

    U.S. Teens Trail Peers Around World on Math-Science Test

    This is a win for the nut jobs but a loss for the education of your young adults.

  2. OS.

    “Dog bless America!”

    Very good, Calvin. 😉


  3. GlenP

    I’ve been struggling with the idea of US public education. I’m not at all sure I’ll let my little one attend public school in the U.S. I try all the time to reassure him there is “no monster under the bed.” He sure doesn’t need to learn official nonsense at school. If you believe in Creationism you are beyond faithful or even superstitious, you are simply stupid. There are intelligent, educated folk who gain understanding and comfort from the creation “myth” but they also understand allegory and symbolic intent. How did we let these fundamentalist Christian fanatics hijack our schools?

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