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US judges rule for teacher who called creationism ‘superstitious nonsense’
Jewish World Review ^ | 8/22/2011 | Warren Richey

Posted on 08/22/2011 7:49:29 AM PDT by Former Fetus

A public high school teacher in California may not be sued for making hostile remarks about religion in his classroom, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

The decision stems from a lawsuit filed by a student charging that the teacher's hostile remarks about creationism and religious faith violated a First Amendment mandate that the government remain neutral in matters of religion.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the lawsuit against an advanced placement history teacher at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo must be thrown out of court because the teacher was entitled to immunity.

The San Francisco-based appeals court said the teacher was entitled to immunity because it was not clearly established in the law that a teacher's expression of hostility to certain religious beliefs in a public school classroom would violate the First Amendment's establishment clause.

(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...


TOPICS: Education; Religion; Science
KEYWORDS: creationism; evolution
I used to teach biology at a technical college. I know I never hid my opinions on evolution and creationism. In fact I was known for, after explaining some "fascinating aspect of molecular biology", raising my hands and exclaiming "How great Thou Art". Like my husband likes to remind me, I am not employed there any longer and all my attempts to return to the college and the classes that I love have been unsuccessful.

Sometimes I like to daydream about what if I became an American dictator. You know, just like the Romans used to do in the Republican times when things were getting out of hand, someone who was given absolute power for a limited time, with a life-time immunity for the decissions made while in office. It worked for them, and I wonder if it would work for us. Anyhow, if I became absolute ruler for a time, I think the first thing I would do (after overturning Roe vs. Wade) would be to get rid of all judges. I would hold special elections to replace them, but I would not spare anybody!

1 posted on 08/22/2011 7:49:36 AM PDT by Former Fetus
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To: Former Fetus

and while you’re at it,

send all the libtards off to colonize other planets.


2 posted on 08/22/2011 7:52:39 AM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: Former Fetus
Your crown, madame.
3 posted on 08/22/2011 7:55:04 AM PDT by svcw
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To: ken21

That’s a promise! Y’all appoint me dictator and I will ship the libtards in the shuttles. After all, we don’t need them any longer (the shuttles, we NEVER needed the libtards). LOL-


4 posted on 08/22/2011 7:55:04 AM PDT by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Former Fetus

Ok to urinate on the baby Jesus but say God Bless You .... and they have to put you down.


5 posted on 08/22/2011 7:55:07 AM PDT by dila813
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To: Former Fetus

Might be a silver lining in this cloud: this ruling could be legal ammunition for the *defense* of a *Christian* teacher who professed his or her belief *in* the Creator.

Neutral is neutral; hostility to one side *or the other* is not neutrality.

Put another way, militant atheism is a religion, too; if it must be respected in the classroom, than so must Christianity.


6 posted on 08/22/2011 7:59:05 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: Former Fetus

‘Teacher of the Year’ is under fire after he likened same-sex unions to a ‘cesspool’ on Facebook.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2765792/posts

Pending a school district investigation, Mr Buell, who serves on the school’s advisory council, has been reassigned to an administrative post.


7 posted on 08/22/2011 8:02:08 AM PDT by Java4Jay
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To: Former Fetus
I was once told that one of my examples in a discussion was a “Straw Man”. It seems to me that Evolution is the ultimate straw man argument. I only need one Miracle for Creation while evolution is a miracle at each step along the way. Liberals can't argue well so they shut down discussion by claiming 1st amendment to shut down others rights and deny others of their 1st ammendment right. The 1st amendment is their straw man for most arguments.
8 posted on 08/22/2011 8:03:33 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: Former Fetus

It’s the Ninth Circuit court of appeals. What do you expect?


9 posted on 08/22/2011 8:04:11 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: Former Fetus
The San Francisco-based appeals court said the teacher was entitled to immunity because it was not clearly established in the law that a teacher's expression of hostility to certain religious beliefs in a public school classroom would violate the First Amendment's establishment clause.

Ummm...yeah, sure. Not clearly established in the law? Try speaking out about the violence and intolerence of Islam in a classroom. Simply amazing when the very basis of the 1st Amendment is flipped upside down and used as an anti-religious device. So now the 1st Amendment prevents the discussion of any positive influences religion has on society yet protects the debasement of those very same religions by agents of the State.

10 posted on 08/22/2011 8:30:41 AM PDT by JrsyJack (a healthy dose of buckshot will probably get you the last word in any argument.)
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To: Former Fetus

Would I to hear this case in court, I would have still found in favor of the teacher, but for a different reason.

Namely, that creationism is not a religion, nor is it found in any religion, nor is it a science. My argument would go as follows.

Science has a fixed set of rules, called the scientific method, that are not unlike the rules for say, the game of chess. If you follow the rules of science, you have done just that, conducted an experiment following the rules of science. An experiment that is reproducible by anyone, using the same rules.

If you play a game of chess, you must do so by its rules, or it is not a game of chess, even if it uses a chess board and chess pieces. Likewise, many people call many things “science”, that are not scientific, even in the sciences, because they do not follow the rules of science. This includes interpolation and extrapolation of scientific ideas outside of the scientific method.

Some of the parts of evolution are not truly scientific, but other parts are. Thus, criticisms of evolution are justifiable on grounds that it is not fully scientific, and only the scientific parts should be taught as science.

However, criticizing evolution with the creation of a pseudo-science, creationism, compounds the error. Creationism does not use the rules of science, so it is not “creation science”, and since it is the mandate of schools to teach science, creationism has no place in public schools.


11 posted on 08/22/2011 8:35:08 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Former Fetus

If the “separation of Church & State” concept (not in the Constitution) together with the First Amendment, have any conjoined meaning it is that the State must be AGNOSTIC.

An agnostic is neither a believer nor a non-believer.

An agnostic is neither a promoter and defender of either secular humanism or religion, nor an opponent of either one - they are neutral.

If the “separation of Church & State” concept (not in the Constitution) together with the First Amendment, have any conjoined meaning it is that teachers IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS need to be AGNOSTICS, on matters where religion and the secular world disagree.

That means they are neither there to promote religion, nor to attack it - they must be neutral.


12 posted on 08/22/2011 8:50:39 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: Former Fetus

May not be a terrible ruling in the sense that if you cannot stop a teacher from making hostile comments about religion, conversely you also could argue they can’t stop a teacher making friendly comments about religion in the classroom, either. Further it also means you can’t stop a teacher pointing out problems with evolution, identifying the questions it cannot ever answer itself, shortcomings, all the theories held as gospel you couldn’t question until they found data that proved them wrong, that they have no new logical explanations for, etc.

Free speech works both ways. Use their own ruling against them.


13 posted on 08/22/2011 9:02:12 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Former Fetus
The 9th Jerket court of Slammeels - go figure!
14 posted on 08/22/2011 9:10:05 AM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud dad of an Army Soldier currently deployed in the Valley of Death, Afghanistan)
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To: Wuli

What does your post have to do with the article? The article is about a teacher expressing hostility to religion in the classroom.

Most atheists when pressed (called on the fact that the claim “there is no God” is just as unprovable as the statement “there is a God” and is therefore equally an expression of faith) retreat and claim to be “agnostic”. Usually the expressing hostility to religion in the classroom is rooted in the denial of the possibility of God’s existence.


15 posted on 08/22/2011 9:23:01 AM PDT by ngat
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To: Secret Agent Man

“...if you cannot stop a teacher from making hostile comments about religion, conversely you also could argue they can’t stop a teacher making friendly comments about religion in the classroom, either.”

Good point.

Nor could you stop a teacher from making hostile comments about atheismor any other theory or claim.


16 posted on 08/22/2011 9:27:42 AM PDT by ngat
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To: Nervous Tick

Except they wouldn’t be facing a student lawsuit; the student would complain to the school board, the school board would fire the teacher, and the courts would rule that it was an employment matter, and not a first amendment matter.


17 posted on 08/22/2011 9:57:00 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: ngat
"Most atheists when pressed (called on the fact that the claim “there is no God” is just as unprovable as the statement “there is a God” and is therefore equally an expression of faith) retreat and claim to be “agnostic”. Usually the expressing hostility to religion in the classroom is rooted in the denial of the possibility of God’s existence."

But an atheist is in fact not an agnostic, and an agnostic does not have to "retreat" from statements that an atheist makes; they don't make them. The atheist does and exposes themselves as only pretending to be an agnostic.

"Usually the expressing hostility to religion in the classroom is rooted in the denial of the possibility of God’s existence."

That's my point. Such actions are not that of a PUBLIC SCHOOL educator practicing agnosticism in the classroom. They are not taking an agnostic position of being neither an advocate nor a denier of any religious precepts. They are not acting as agnosticism would dictate - neutral. They are taking an atheist or secular humanist view and attacking a religious precept. That is not the agnostic, neutral position PUBLIC SCHOOL educators need to take.

18 posted on 08/22/2011 10:12:03 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

I understand all that. But I also know that agnosticism means much more than “nuetrality”; agnosticm is far more complex than that. Books have been written on the subject, including on distinctions of the various flavors of agnosticism.

In the real world, and especially looking at the case in the article that was posted that set off this discussion about agnocticism, just scratch the surface and you will usually find an atheist underneath.


19 posted on 08/22/2011 10:27:31 AM PDT by ngat
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Namely, that creationism is not a religion, nor is it found in any religion, nor is it a science.

Your premise is faulty. The Bible's book of Genesis contains an account of creationism, so it is most definitely found in a religion.

20 posted on 08/22/2011 10:49:49 AM PDT by vrwc1
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To: Former Fetus
"Sometimes I like to daydream about what if I became an American dictator."

Check out the politics in Singapore. During the time of the communist scare and our McCarthyism Singapore took it a few steps more then McCarthy could have and imprisoned the whole left wing party of Singapore at that time. To this day the left wing party is still not allowed to enter politics to any significance.

Years ago I learned NAZI's were left wing and then thought to myself what is the most extreme right wing event in history? Singapore politics was and is.

21 posted on 08/22/2011 11:40:57 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy; Wuli

some religions accept evolution. some don’t.
(in fact, many Christians accept evolution,
whether you agree with them or not,
because they don’t take Genesis literally.
just as the 7 “days” of Daniel aren’t taken literally.
...just as they believe God didn’t stop the Sun for Joshua,
as it literally says,
but instead stopped the rotation of the Earth.)

i don’t believe that man causes Global Warming.
(in fact, i believe the Earth is cooling)
yet Public schools teach “AGW”.

i see no solution, other than giving ALL parents a voucher,
and allowing them to select a school, that teaches what the parent is comfortable with.


22 posted on 08/22/2011 11:47:23 AM PDT by Elendur (It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

If you don’t look then you will not find...

101 Evidences for a Young Age of the Earth...And the Universe
http://creation.com/age-of-the-earth

Center for Scientific Creation - In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood
http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/IntheBeginningTOC.html

Dinosaur Shocker - 68 million year old T Rex w/ red blood cells
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/10021606.html#ixzz0VZChRzSL

New Chromosome Research Undermines Human-Chimp Similarity Claims
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2565348/posts

Science in the Bible
http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml

Testimonies of Scientists Who Believe the Bible
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2761001/posts


23 posted on 08/22/2011 12:11:02 PM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: Former Fetus
You know, just like the Romans used to do in the Republican times when things were getting out of hand, someone who was given absolute power for a limited time, with a life-time immunity for the decissions made while in office.

The policy worked reasonably well for several centuries, up to the time of Sulla and Caesar, when it became mostly a way to legally massacre your opponents and steal all their stuff.

24 posted on 08/22/2011 12:56:05 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Elendur

“i see no solution, other than giving ALL parents a voucher,
and allowing them to select a school, that teaches what the parent is comfortable with”

You may note that in most of my comments I referred to what I believed PUBLIC SCHOOL teachers should do - take an agnostic approach.

Of course private schools should always be allowed to set their own curriculum.


25 posted on 08/22/2011 6:52:44 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: ngat

The core of agnosticism comes down to “neutrality” because an agnostic believes that the question of the existence of God cannot be answered, therefor while the agnostic will not claim to know that God exists he does not deny the possibility.

Thus the true agnostic will (a) not be an advocate for a religious view, (2) will not deny that others may believe it.

My proposition was not what the “real world” does (in education) but what the real world of PUBLIC EDUCATION ought to do.

My argument was not to lay out all the ways the standard I proposed is breached today, but to propose a standard that SHOULD BE followed.


26 posted on 08/22/2011 7:13:08 PM PDT by Wuli
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