Court Rules in Favor of Teacher Who Called Creationism ‘Superstitious Nonsense’
The latest attempt by creationists to get their nonsensical beliefs afforded special protection in public schools has been struck down by a federal appeals court: US judges rule in favor of teacher who called creationism ‘superstitious nonsense’.
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.
The establishment clause requires that officials act with neither favor nor disfavor toward religion and the religious.
“We are aware of no prior case holding that a teacher violated the establishment clause by appearing critical of religion during class lectures, nor any case with sufficiently similar facts to give a teacher ‘fair warning’ that such conduct was unlawful,” Judge Raymond Fisher wrote for the court.
So ends yet another ham-handed attempt to pervert the meaning of the Establishment Clause and turn it into a defense of enforced fundamentalist Christianity in public schools. Thankfully, the federal judges saw through this flimsy ruse.
But the reason why this teacher is being targeted by the creationist right is because he scares them. He’s effective. He’s making brainwashed kids think about their unquestioned assumptions.
The larger agenda of the religious right is to intimidate any teachers who speak the truth about creationism, with the threat of legal action and the accompanying huge bills.
They can’t be allowed to succeed.