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← Teacher: I was fired, said Bible isn't literal

Teacher: I was fired, said Bible isn't literal - Comments

Mango's Avatar Comment 1 by Mango

This is scandalous that a teacher in higher education has to kowtow to Creationists. This college will hopefully be shamed into re-hiring him.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:10:00 UTC | #69658

Quine's Avatar Comment 2 by Quine

Ever notice that each religion will (mostly) withhold action when called a "fairy tale" by all other religions, but when someone from the rational world does so, there is hell to pay?

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:22:00 UTC | #69660

LoneStarTravis's Avatar Comment 3 by LoneStarTravis

"From my point of view, what they're doing is essentially teaching their students very well to function in the eighth century."

Indeed, they are.

As someone who is about to be a teacher, things like this greatly worry me.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:29:00 UTC | #69661

eXcommunicate's Avatar Comment 4 by eXcommunicate

This is scandalous that a teacher in higher education has to kowtow to Creationists. This college will hopefully be shamed into re-hiring him.


Why would he want to work back there? He should work elsewhere even if they offer to allow him to return.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:35:00 UTC | #69662

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 5 by sidfaiwu

Why would he want to work back there? He should work elsewhere even if they offer to allow him to return.


Even though it may be a bit of a hostile environment for him, he might want to stay on principle. He may desire that the students are not taught dogma by his creationist replacement.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:40:00 UTC | #69664

Acleron's Avatar Comment 6 by Acleron

All we have so far is that he was fired. The reasons for it are disputed. Let's not get too excited until there is some corroboration.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:42:00 UTC | #69665

Mango's Avatar Comment 7 by Mango

Why would he want to work back there? He should work elsewhere even if they offer to allow him to return.


As a way to signify to his community, and the country, that rationalists will not be driven away if they can help it. If I were he, I would certainly stay as an act of defiance against Creationists.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 11:42:00 UTC | #69666

_J_'s Avatar Comment 8 by _J_

Reminds me of a line in my favourite (post-Shakespearean) play, Arcadia:

Brice As her tutor you have a duty to keep her in ignorance.

Sounds like this lot didn't catch the riposte, though:
Lady Croom Do not dabble in paradox, Edward, it puts you in danger of fortuitous wit.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 12:19:00 UTC | #69675

drive1's Avatar Comment 9 by drive1

Sceptical hats on, please people. Only Acleron has rumbled the teacher. What's the betting this is settled out of court? http://www.richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=24974

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 12:19:00 UTC | #69676

rthille's Avatar Comment 10 by rthille

That's it! I'm going after all my high school teachers that insisted that Zeus and the other gods I worship were just mythology! How dare they denigrate my religious views!

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:19:00 UTC | #69692

kelphis's Avatar Comment 11 by kelphis

well if this community college is run by the city or some other government agency then he should not even bring it up. I know alot of us in this forum (including myself) want to throw our fists up in anger for someone being punished for speaking the truth. but had he been a bible thumping retard and screaming to the class that if they dont believe in god they are going to hell we would be outraged as well. However, if this college is not run by a government agency then he should sue the fucking pants off them.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:39:00 UTC | #69703

konquererz's Avatar Comment 12 by konquererz

Once again, insanity is spreading over this country. Is it possible for this country to start exercising their own freedom of speech and stop this "freedom of speech for those we agree with" shit! First the soldier, now this. If my parents dare bring up Christian persecution again I'm going to go off on them, again!

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:40:00 UTC | #69704

Ludacrispat26's Avatar Comment 13 by Ludacrispat26

This is absolutely rediculous. I am going to have more on this on my site later:

http://firejesus.blogspot.com

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:42:00 UTC | #69705

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 14 by Cartomancer

Actually even eighth century scholars recognised that there were four accepted ways to analyse scripture - the literal, analogical, anagogical and metaphorical senses. You'd be laughed out of a medieval schoolroom if you suggested that everything in the scriptures must be literally true...

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:47:00 UTC | #69708

CHeard's Avatar Comment 15 by CHeard

For what it's worth, I blogged about this yesterday (http://higgaion.heardworld.com), and several other "Bible bloggers" have mentioned the outrageous way Bitterman was treated (if he has accurately surmised the reason for his firing).

konquererz (#73243)

If my parents dare bring up Christian persecution again I'm going to go off on them, again!
Of course, the phrase "Christian persecution" could mean persecution of Christians, but it could also mean persectuion by Christians. ;-) I know your parents probably mean it in the former sense ("objective genitive"), but with this, and with the treatment of Richard Colling at Olivet Nazarene University, we're seeing our fair share of the latter ("subjective genitive"). As a Christian myself, I'm embarrassed by the way some Christians attempt "power plays" to get their way.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 13:59:00 UTC | #69711

Jolly Wally's Avatar Comment 16 by Jolly Wally

Oh no! Don't say my farcical beliefs might be wrong! BOO HOO! I'm going to start wetting the bed again!

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 14:05:00 UTC | #69714

CHeard's Avatar Comment 17 by CHeard

If Bitterman's account of his treatment, as reported in the Register, is correct, then the school's administration has acted reprehensibly. But so is the treatment of Phil Mitchell at the University of Colorado at Boulder, if the AAUP Report on his case (http://collegefreedom.blogspot.com/2007/09/university-of-colorado-aaup-condemns.html) is accurate. It seems that other faculty members and some in the administration made it a personal quest to get Mitchell fired because of his conservative religious and political views. Attacks on academic freedom can cut multiple ways, it seems.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 15:25:00 UTC | #69740

notsobad's Avatar Comment 18 by notsobad

Pathetic and a little sad since those kids are being brainwashed just like their parents were.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 15:32:00 UTC | #69745

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 19 by sidfaiwu

@#73214: Good point, drive1. I was quick to judge and slow to think. I do not want to be like my advisories. Thanks for the reminder.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 15:55:00 UTC | #69760

AmericanHumanist's Avatar Comment 20 by AmericanHumanist

I've been an educator for 18 years, and I avoid converstions of religious delusion like the plague. I'd be fired instantly if I expressed my personal views.

BUT, teachers that openly pray before school and during the state-mandated "moment of silence" are the pillars of morality....

It's dark in this closet...

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 16:31:00 UTC | #69771

Quine's Avatar Comment 21 by Quine

I sent them the following:

Dear Ms. Smith,

After reading Megan Hawkins' article in the Des Moines Register of 9/22, I am writing to you to express my extreme dismay that an instructor could have been dismissed for holding the opinion that the story of "Adam and Eve" was not literally true. Not only do most theologians take this position, but nearly all anthropologists, archaeologists, and of course, biologists and geologists. I am sure you would not wish to continue the sinking into ignorance that has plagued the United States in the last few years, and hope that it turns out that the publicized firing was not for this reason (that is to say, lack of).

Yours truly,

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 18:42:00 UTC | #69794

Quine's Avatar Comment 22 by Quine

While I was reading some of the comments at the Des Moines Register for this article, I came upon this one that is just too good to miss:

If your still silly enough to think the Bible was meant to be taken in a literal manor, then rebut these passages,

Why Can't I Own a Canadian?

October 2002

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an
observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The
following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of
two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the
trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,
Jim


Edit: They are really going at it on the Register Forum. Check out this page:
http://forums.dmregister.com/viewtopic.php?t=49845&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=90

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 19:40:00 UTC | #69806

The Wee Flea's Avatar Comment 23 by The Wee Flea

Forgive me asking - but I thought that American state schools were meant to be non-religious and that you guys were all for this. Why then would you want to support a man who teaches his own religion? Is it really the case that the Hebrew God ison the same plane as any other god? That is certainly not what the Hebrew Scriptures teach. It is the religious view of the teacher. Why should he be entitled to impose that upon the students? Is this not brainwashing? Or is it really the case that when you say you want schools to be 'neutral' over religion, you really mean that you want your philosophy, ideology and viewpoint to be taught - and all others to be suppressed? You follow such a tolerant faith!

By the way -
Quine,

The old ones are the best ones! A version of this has been going the round for several years and is doubtless considered the height of with and wisdom by those of the atheist faith. It is of course never written with the intention of getting an answer. Who needs answers when you already know that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 22:10:00 UTC | #69832

BAEOZ's Avatar Comment 24 by BAEOZ

WeeFlea, haven't seen you posting for a little while. I see you've not learned that lack of faith isn't a faith. But that's ok. Logic can be hard to grasp. Especially for one who would seem to gain a living by ignoring such things.

WeeFlea's mantra: "If I accuse others of being dogmatic like myself, it must be true!"

Just keep projecting.....

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 22:21:00 UTC | #69833

Goldy's Avatar Comment 25 by Goldy

Ah, good old WeeF. Yes, that teacher should burn for the sin of putting the Jewish god on the same level as the gods of WeeF's ancestors!

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 22:42:00 UTC | #69836

epeeist's Avatar Comment 26 by epeeist

Comment #73386 by BAEOZ

WeeFlea, haven't seen you posting for a little while. I see you've not learned that lack of faith isn't a faith. But that's ok. Logic can be hard to grasp. Especially for one who would seem to gain a living by ignoring such things.

Yes, he still owes me an answer as to why my little hypothesis and its falsifiability isn't all there is to atheism. He claims there are other tenets, but he hasn't divulged these as yet.

Not holding my breath waiting for an answer.

Mon, 24 Sep 2007 23:09:00 UTC | #69840

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 27 by scottishgeologist

A community college instructor in Red Oak claims he was fired after he told his students that the biblical story of Adam and Eve should not be literally interpreted


Many christians dont believe that the story of Adam and Eve should be taken literally either. In my faith head days, I remember going along to a friends church, where the pastor referred to the "mythical story of Adam and Eve" As I was a fundie faith head in those days I was deeply offended. "Hell bound liberal" I thought.

The business of biblical literalism / allegory is a major issue for todays churches. Where exactly do they decide what is literal and what isnt? Of course they tear themselves apart over this sort of stuff.


David (Wee Flea) Tell us, What do YOU believe? Was there a time when there was only ONE man on the planet called Adam and that the first woman was created from his rib? Do you really believe that? If not why not?

Tue, 25 Sep 2007 00:09:00 UTC | #69850

A's Avatar Comment 28 by A

Excellent !

Give these imbeciles enough rope.

Tue, 25 Sep 2007 01:11:00 UTC | #69879

lbq's Avatar Comment 29 by lbq

Protestantism is of course a fundamentalist movement (just as Islam was, a thousand years before). Nobody in his right mind at any Medieval university would have insisted on a literal reading of the Scripture. Not even the most obnoxious of the Fathers of the Church did, and the Roman Church does not, today. But America was basically settled by screaming, illiterate witch-burning Protestant fanatics from the boondocks of Europe. And this is why the American situation is what it is. Here in Europe, we educated our peasantry, and encouraged them to educate themselves. I understand that in the U.S.A., this would have been regarded as impolitic.

Tue, 25 Sep 2007 04:13:00 UTC | #69931

Major Bloodnok's Avatar Comment 30 by Major Bloodnok

The Wee Flea (#73385):

By the way -
Quine,

The old ones are the best ones! A version of this has been going the round for several years and is doubtless considered the height of with and wisdom by those of the atheist faith. It is of course never written with the intention of getting an answer. Who needs answers when you already know that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

Well, I don't know about the others, but I'd love to see some answers to the questions raised in that letter. Do you fancy giving it a go?

Tue, 25 Sep 2007 05:36:00 UTC | #69949