'Superstitious nonsense' remark violated rights - AnabolicMinds.com

'Superstitious nonsense' remark violated rights

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    'Superstitious nonsense' remark violated rights


    'Superstitious nonsense' remark violated rights - wtop.com

    By GILLIAN FLACCUS
    Associated Press Writer

    SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge ruled that a public high school history teacher violated the First Amendment when he called creationism "superstitious nonsense" during a classroom lecture.

    U.S. District Judge James Selna ruled Friday in a lawsuit student Chad Farnan filed in 2007, alleging that teacher James Corbett violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment by making repeated comments in class that were hostile to Christian beliefs.

    The lawsuit cited more than 20 statements made by Corbett during one day of class, which Farnan recorded, to support allegations of a broader teaching method that "favors irreligion over religion" and made Christian students feel uncomfortable.

    During the course of the litigation, the judge found that most of the statements cited in the court papers did not violate the First Amendment because they did not refer directly to religion or were appropriate in the context of the classroom lecture.

    But Selna ruled Friday that one comment, where Corbett referred to creationism as "religious, superstitious nonsense," did violate Farnan's constitutional rights.

    Selna wrote in his ruling that he tried to balance Farnan's and Corbett's rights.

    "The court's ruling today reflects the constitutionally permissible need for expansive discussion even if a given topic may be offensive to a particular religion," the judge wrote.

    "The decision also reflects that there are boundaries. ... The ruling today protects Farnan, but also protects teachers like Corbett in carrying out their teaching duties."

    Corbett, a 20-year teaching veteran, remains at Capistrano Valley High School.

    Farnan is now a junior at the school, but quit Corbett's Advanced Placement European history class after his teacher made the comments.

    Farnan is not interested in monetary damages, said his attorney, Jennifer Monk of the Murrieta-based Christian legal group Advocates for Faith & Freedom.

    Instead, he plans to ask the court to prohibit Corbett from making similar comments in the future. Farnan's family would also like to see the school district offer teacher training and monitor Corbett's classroom for future violations, Monk said.

    There are no plans to appeal the judge's rulings on the other statements listed in the litigation, she said.

    "They lost, he violated the establishment clause," she told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "From our perspective, whether he violated it with one statement or with 19 statements is irrelevant."

    The establishment clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from making any law establishing religion. The clause has been interpreted by U.S. courts to also prohibit government employees from displaying religious hostility.

    Selna said that although Corbett was only found to have violated the establishment clause in a single instance, he could not excuse or overlook the behavior.

    In a ruling last month, the judge dismissed all but two of the statements Farnan complained about, including Corbett's comment that "when you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth."

    On Friday, Selna also dismissed one of the two remaining statements, saying that Corbett may have been attempting to quote Mark Twain when he said religion was "invented when the first con man met the first fool."

    Corbett has declined to comment throughout the litigation. His attorney, Dan Spradlin, did not immediately return a message left Monday by The Associated Press.

    Spradlin has said, however, that Corbett made the remark about creationism during a classroom discussion about a 1993 case in which a former Capistrano Valley High science teacher sued the school district because it required instruction in evolution.

    Spradlin has said Corbett was simply expressing his own opinion that the former teacher shouldn't have presented his religious views to students.

    Farnan's family released a statement Friday calling the judge's ruling a vindication of the teen's constitutional rights.

    The Capistrano Unified School District, which paid for Corbett's attorney, was found not liable for Corbett's classroom conduct.

  2. AE14's Avatar
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    Out of the whole thing, I will say that the Mark Twain quote still makes me laugh
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    Ever notice how with less religion this country seems to be more and more depraved?

    Are they correlated? I dont know.
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    I dont think we are any more depraved than we were 100 years ago. hOweve rwith technology and media these days we hear about it more
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    I dont think we are any more depraved than we were 100 years ago. hOweve rwith technology and media these days we hear about it more
    I dont think its more public, I just think things like manners, kindness, etc have all been declining systematically. In the 60s, people decided personal choice was more important than tradition and I think ****s been going downhill since.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTitan View Post
    Ever notice how with less religion this country seems to be more and more depraved?

    Are they correlated? I dont know.
    I have said this for years now. I am not for forcing religon or anything like that. But even in my short life when it seems to be uncool to be of faith based a decline in humanity is evident.

    While I do think there is more to it than just the basic rules of any faith, it is a major factor. Back around our forefathers time, and abortion would have been murder, plain and simple.

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  7. dpfisher
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTitan View Post
    I dont think its more public, I just think things like manners, kindness, etc have all been declining systematically. In the 60s, people decided personal choice was more important than tradition and I think ****s been going downhill since.
    I don't know about that, I run into a lot of rude christians and not so many rude people who at least don't show what religion they are. Go to a metal concert, a biker rally, or something like that sometime. Everyone is friendly, the big guy who can kick your ass says "sorry" if he bumps into you. Contrast that with all the cranky ladies in SUVs with jesus fish on the back trying to run you off the road or going ballistic in the checkout line. If you think christians are friendly, spend some time in your local wal-mart. You'll find the people that treat everyone else like crap are more often than not wearing cross necklaces or other symbols of faith.

    Of course not all christians are like that but I certainly don't think it's any better than other segments of the population. In many cases it's worse because they think going to church makes them a good person so why try to be good to others. I've personally known a lot of people who maybe don't admit to thinking that but certainly show it in their actions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpfisher View Post
    I don't know about that, I run into a lot of rude christians and not so many rude people who at least don't show what religion they are. Go to a metal concert, a biker rally, or something like that sometime. Everyone is friendly, the big guy who can kick your ass says "sorry" if he bumps into you. Contrast that with all the cranky ladies in SUVs with jesus fish on the back trying to run you off the road or going ballistic in the checkout line. If you think christians are friendly, spend some time in your local wal-mart. You'll find the people that treat everyone else like crap are more often than not wearing cross necklaces or other symbols of faith.

    Of course not all christians are like that but I certainly don't think it's any better than other segments of the population. In many cases it's worse because they think going to church makes them a good person so why try to be good to others. I've personally known a lot of people who maybe don't admit to thinking that but certainly show it in their actions.
    Yeah, I live in Texas, a very friendly place, I understand. But I mean society's morality as a whole. Not as a biker rally or some ****. At my job, I have to deal with a baptist church rush every sunday so believe me, I know that some claiming to be christian are *******s. But I think the farther we are stepping from religion, true religion, not the fish on the car and acting better than everyone, I think we become more detached from morality as we move more to science and logic as our new gods.

    I think people nowadays operate under this.

    "When God hands you a lemon, you find a new God."

    rather than

    "When God hands you a lemon, you make lemonade."
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTitan View Post
    "When God hands you a lemon, you find a new God."
    Oh man... poetic! A brilliant deduction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpfisher View Post
    I don't know about that, I run into a lot of rude christians and not so many rude people who at least don't show what religion they are. Go to a metal concert, a biker rally, or something like that sometime. Everyone is friendly, the big guy who can kick your ass says "sorry" if he bumps into you. Contrast that with all the cranky ladies in SUVs with jesus fish on the back trying to run you off the road or going ballistic in the checkout line. If you think christians are friendly, spend some time in your local wal-mart. ...
    You're thinking of counterfeit christians, and yes they seem to be plentiful these days. Those are not genuine Christians if they behave that way. How can you tell? You already pointed it out. You will know them by their fruit! A true Christian will step to the back of the line so you can go first, or open the door for you if your hands are full, or help you out in a bind and never act like you owe them anything back for it. Real Christian don't cut you off in traffic and give you the bird, even if they are running late to their bratty kid's soccer game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    You're thinking of counterfeit christians, and yes they seem to be plentiful these days. Those are not genuine Christians if they behave that way. How can you tell? You already pointed it out. You will know them by their fruit! A true Christian will step to the back of the line so you can go first, or open the door for you if your hands are full, or help you out in a bind and never act like you owe them anything back for it. Real Christian don't cut you off in traffic and give you the bird, even if they are running late to their bratty kid's soccer game.
    Agreed here, with that in mind I do feel that people tend to focus on the faults on a self-proclaimed christian more than anyone or even themselves. People feel for some reason inferior to those who practice purity, keep the thoughts flowing, I am fan of godly talk.
    doing my own thang!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    You're thinking of counterfeit christians, and yes they seem to be plentiful these days. Those are not genuine Christians if they behave that way. How can you tell? You already pointed it out. You will know them by their fruit! A true Christian will step to the back of the line so you can go first, or open the door for you if your hands are full, or help you out in a bind and never act like you owe them anything back for it. Real Christian don't cut you off in traffic and give you the bird, even if they are running late to their bratty kid's soccer game.
    Isnt the quote, "If Christians acted like christians there would be no other religion."? (Ghandi)
  

  
 

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