Is Prince Circumcised? (political cartoon)

Crossposted from Town Called Dobson

click to enlarge

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Student Tapes Teacher's Sermon, School Says 'No More Taping'

Over at Blue Jersey, we revisit the story of a Kearny high school teacher, David Paszkiewicz, who told his students that 'that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah's ark,' and "you belong in hell" if you "reject" Christianity. He also singled out a Muslim student to tell her that she is definitely going to hell.

Kearny school officials have certainly taken their time in handling the incident, which occurred at the start of the school year and became public in November.

In December, the Kearny school board continued to obfuscate who was at fault, silently implicating the young student who had secretly taped Paszkiewicz's classroom sermons for fear officials wouldn't believe him. In January, the teacher published a rambling letter in the local paper, explaining why the Constitution allows him to tell his students they are going to hell. He even insinuated the student who taped him was a part of a broader conspiracy:

It is my firm conviction that there is an effort afoot to undermine the very underpinnings of our freedoms.
This morning, the New York Times tells of Kearny's official reaction:

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We Must Fight The Church

Is discrimination against homosexuals acceptable? That, amazingly, is the question currently being debated in British society. The Equality Act of 2006 (.pdf), which comes into force on April 6th, made discrimination "in the provision of goods, facilities and services" illegal. At the time, Prime Minister Tony Blair - an Anglican whose wife is a Catholic - proposed an exemption for Catholic adoption agencies, on the grounds that, in the words of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales,

"Catholic teaching about the foundations of family life, a teaching shared not only by other Christian Churches but also other faiths, means that Catholic adoption agencies would not be able to recruit and consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents."

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Teacher: 'You Belong in Hell.' School Board: 'Stuff Happens.'

Cross-posted from Blue Jersey

Last month, we discussed the matter of a Kearny high school teacher David Paszkiewicz telling his students "you belong in hell" if you "reject" Christianity. This morning, the New York Timesfollows up on the story.

To recap, the student, Matt LeClair, "felt uncomfortable with Mr. Paszkiewicz's statements in the first week, and taped eight classes starting Sept. 13 out of fear that officials would not believe the teacher had made the comments."

The class started on Sept. 11, and Matthew quickly grew concerned. "The first couple of days I had him, he had already begun discussing his religious point of view.... It wasn't even just his point of view, it went beyond that to say this is the right way, this is the only way. The way he said it, I wasn't sure how far he was going to go."
The recordings captured statements like these.
"If you reject his gift of salvation, then you know where you belong," Mr. Paszkiewicz was recorded saying of Jesus. "He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he's saying, `Please, accept me, believe.' If you reject that, you belong in hell."
Paszkiewicz also claimed "that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah's ark, and that only Christians had a place in heaven." He also singled out a Muslim student to tell her that she is definitely going to hell.

As of now, Matthew's request "for an apology and for the teacher to correct any false statements he had made in class, particularly those related to science," have been ignored. A lawyer for the Kearny school board told the Times,

The teacher is monitored, and his or her evaluation could be noted ... adding that if these steps did not work, the teacher could be reprimanded, suspended or, eventually, fired.

As for the request that Mr. Paszkiewicz correct his statements that conflict with the district's science curriculum, "Sometimes, the more you dwell on the issue, the more you continue the issue.... Sometimes, it's better to stop any inappropriate behavior and move on."

Okay, but Matthew has recieved a death threat and been accused of violating the teacher's right to free speech and religion.

Paszkiewicz was a history teacher. Telling minors -- students he was capable of disciplining and whose grades he controlled -- that they were going to hell if they didn't think the way he did.

Clearly, Paszkiewicz was in the wrong, and Matthew was in the right. The school's notion that things will sort themselves out puts them in the wrong as well. The school board should affirm that Matthew did the right thing, rather than let their silence paint him as an agitator.

"Brainwashing" Religion

Creating religious video games to spread the word of the Lord? We need to stop trying to convert others to our own preferred religion and respect other people’s beliefs. This type of "brainwashing" is directed towards children and teenagers in order to influence them at a young age. I do not believe this game should be taken off the shelf because I believe in the concept of free speech. However, I do though believe that this is a low blow by the religious community trying to “brainwash” children to think a certain way. Using children as way to stay in power is used by dangerous dictators in past history.

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