Look on the Bright Side

Chad Farnan, a high school student, successfully sued his European history teacher, James Corbett, for disparaging Chad’s religious beliefs.

In all fairness, he had a point. Mr. Corbett, was probably a little too free with his opinions given his position of authority in a public institution like a high school.

What was very interesting was the number statements about religion that the court failed to find afoul of the First Amendment. Statements like, “when you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth” and “conservatives don’t want women to avoid pregnancies — that’s interfering with God’s work”.

It took calling creationism, “superstitious nonsense” to cross the line. Now, I personally feel that stating a fact like that should be legal anytime and anywhere. It is unfortunate that the courts were unwilling to defend free speech in the one instance where the teacher was on VERY solid ground.

So, what is the bright side in this?

By saying that Mr. Corbett was “displaying hostility” towards religion with that statement, the court clearly equated Creationism with religion. That is useful precedent when they try to preach it in the science classroom.

“Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”
— Bernard Baruch (American financier, stock-market speculator, statesman) via
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe

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