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In God We Teach - Comments

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 1 by Premiseless

True equality of speech will only arise when faiths are berated for insisting upon their rights to be defended. True equality of thought is only valid under the absence of memocide. Propagation of ill, viral thinking that promotes as an inevitable foundation of its position, irrational networks of thought and immunization against all sensible knowledge, can be the only outcome of authorities which preserve and defend the rights to "faith" absent rational challenge. In such a world it is only reason that is persecuted and witch hunted to render its position one of inferior servitude.

Wed, 30 May 2012 16:42:36 UTC | #944547

stuhillman's Avatar Comment 2 by stuhillman

Good movie. Go for it; nibble nibble, chomp chomp. Little by little the forces of reason will win.

Wed, 30 May 2012 17:35:24 UTC | #944558

sciencemd68's Avatar Comment 3 by sciencemd68

Nice piece. This teacher has an inherent conflict of interest to teach in the public schools, if he believes he is duty bound by his religion to evangelize. He should be asked to teach in a parochial institution. Furthermore, he uses a scientist discovering the cure for cancer being duty-bound to spread his knowledge as a metaphor for his reason to continue to proselytize his "cure" for society. What a joke. His cure is snake oil and his scientist is a quack. Go sell crazy somewhere else.

Wed, 30 May 2012 18:40:27 UTC | #944575

paulmcuk's Avatar Comment 4 by paulmcuk

"Are teachers allowed to express their personal opinions in the classroom?"

Yes. They can express their opinion of a piece of literature in English class. They can express thier opinion in something like an ethics class. It would be vaid to express an opinion on a matter of historical dispute such as (eg Is Robin Hood based on a real person?). But if it is a teacher's personal opinion that the square of the hypotenuse is NOT equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, or that Spain is south of Nigeria, then no.

Wed, 30 May 2012 19:02:36 UTC | #944577

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 5 by mordacious1

I'm very impressed with this young man. To be THE guy that everyone picked on when he was younger and then still be willing to stand up for what is right and to take flak from most of the students and the town shows courage beyond his years. We need to be graduating more students like this.

And to the clown at about the 9 minute mark who stated that this kid was all for freedom of speech for himself, but when a teacher wants to talk about jebus, freedom of speech goes out the window., I say "you need to listen more, and talk less". For the others who think that it is "majority rules" when it comes to constitutional rights, that's not how it works morons.

Wed, 30 May 2012 19:17:36 UTC | #944582

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 6 by Neodarwinian

" And can competing theories be taught alongside evolution in a public classroom? "


Will have to try watching this again later as my stupid computer is acting up! The first few minutes with a snippet of the recording is rather telling though.

Wed, 30 May 2012 19:22:23 UTC | #944583

TeraBrat's Avatar Comment 7 by TeraBrat

Are teachers allowed to express their personal opinions in the classroom?

Yes, as long as it expressed as such and does not infringe on the students rights. fter all they are a captive audience. There must be rules and boundaries for what can be said in a classroom. For example, they can't say racist or sexual things. They should not be allowed to express religious beliefs in a public classroom.

Are teachers allowed “academic freedom”?

Not in public schools.

And can competing theories be taught alongside evolution in a public classroom?

Of course, as long as they are scientific and not faith based like creationism and ID.

Wed, 30 May 2012 20:29:57 UTC | #944605

SmartLX's Avatar Comment 8 by SmartLX

The Panda's Thumb has more information on the epilogue:

All it took to legitimise the trip to the Creation Museum was to postpone it until after school hours.

Thu, 31 May 2012 04:24:41 UTC | #944693

SpleenandSpiceSahota's Avatar Comment 9 by SpleenandSpiceSahota

I remember as a philosophy undergraduate, (University of Aberdeen, '95-'99) we had a philosophy of religion option administered and organised by a lecturer who was Anglican. The students were already well aware of his loyalties and it was fascinating to see not only how 'philosophy' as a critical subject stopped happening in that class (something more anthropological and obsequious took over) but how everyone in the class seemed utterly oblivious to this change (except me). I was confused and continued to think critically , even handing in an essay later in the course in which I referred to religion as 'an orgy of irrationality' for which I still got a respectable 2:1. Anyway, after sitting through a 12 week sham of a philosophy course, I was struck by an dilemma - the prof. taking the course, who never failed to make his Anglican prejudices felt in the lecture theatre, was actually one of my preferred options for a reference which I needed for a job after University.

   Of course, I then realised why the rest of my atheist and agnostic classes mates had stayed mute and pretended to sympathise with the lecturer - I, on the other, had to learn a lesson of public dissonance.  I went to his office  shortly after submitting and receiving the essay and apologised directly to him for my rudeness and unphilosophical language.  Looking back I regret it and wish that I hadn't compromised myself in this way.  Anyway, the amount of propagandising going on in schools and Universities is probably much higher than it should be - all of it illegal.  We got it in primary school too - lots!
Despite this, it's great that atheists and agnostics now have a newly acquired confidence to speak out and stick to their guns.  I think public confrontation was much more difficult 20 years ago.

Thu, 31 May 2012 05:34:23 UTC | #944697

houkoholic's Avatar Comment 10 by houkoholic

So much lying for jebus.

Watching the teacher feeding poison to the student in the"Christian meeting" and spinning the issue to make himself look like he was being repressed and targeted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, saying he's not a science teacher and then talk about how the Big Bang is wrong on his next breathe makes me down right sick.

Thu, 31 May 2012 06:05:12 UTC | #944701

PERSON's Avatar Comment 11 by PERSON

This is what theocracy looks like.

The "teacher" is more like a cult leader.

Thu, 31 May 2012 08:18:50 UTC | #944722

S. Gudmundsson's Avatar Comment 12 by S. Gudmundsson


Hello? Mr. Principal? This is your new math teacher, Jim. I'd like to teach the competing theory that PI is exactly three.



Thu, 31 May 2012 08:38:40 UTC | #944724

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 13 by Tyler Durden

These and other questions are the focus of the full-length documentary, “In God We Teach," which follows the “separation of church and state” controversy played out in a very public feud between a high school student and his history teacher in Kearny, NJ

Worst. BBQ. Ever.

Thu, 31 May 2012 10:16:43 UTC | #944731

RobertJames's Avatar Comment 14 by RobertJames


Thu, 31 May 2012 17:14:53 UTC | #944780

Roedy's Avatar Comment 15 by Roedy

And can competing theories be taught alongside evolution in a public classroom?

I am not aware of any competing theory to teach.

There is a hypothesis without any evidence, but no theory.

Thu, 31 May 2012 18:20:37 UTC | #944800

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 16 by susanlatimer

That was very difficult to watch.

It was bad enough that Paszkiewicz portrayed himself as a victim and all-around nice guy who'd been betrayed but the fact that so many members of the community agreed with that perspective and supported him is particularly troubling. It makes me glad that these cases are dealt with by courts and not by popular vote.

It does make me wonder how many cases of this there are in the U.S. but without a student with the courage and support system to be able to confront it.

It's also very disturbing that a U.S. history teacher seems to be so ignorant about U.S. history.

Thu, 31 May 2012 19:31:20 UTC | #944819

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 17 by Mr DArcy

Ah! The Christian history teacher who knows more about cosmology than De Grasse Tyson. No doubt Jesus constructed the universe using magical wooden blocks, and in only 6 days! What a pillock! I pity his offspring and his pupils.

Thu, 31 May 2012 22:00:36 UTC | #944856

Anvil's Avatar Comment 18 by Anvil

Really good documentary. Really well made.

Big thanks to Vic Losick for making this extraordinary film.


Thu, 31 May 2012 22:33:57 UTC | #944862

Booska's Avatar Comment 19 by Booska

It seems pretty clear that Paszkiewicz was crossing the line and was in fact preaching in the classroom. But I have to admit that I'm a bit more sympathetic to his role in the Christian club at school. If the school allows such a club and no one is forced to join and no public funds are being used, then I don't see anything wrong (unconstitutional) about going on a club-funded trip to the Creation Museum.

Of course, I would love for them to go to the Museum of Natural History right there in New York instead. But if it's a club activity then I think it should be their choice.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 01:22:41 UTC | #944883

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 20 by The Truth, the light

All the people that supported Paazkiewicz just don't get it.

I'm sure if a teacher at the school had started sprouting Muslim propaganda, they would be down his throat quicker than you can say "my god is bigger than your god".

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 03:49:40 UTC | #944895

bluebird's Avatar Comment 21 by bluebird

Worst. BBQ. Ever.


I'm surprised that meeting audience didn't brandish pitchforks and torches.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 14:39:51 UTC | #944983

Graham1's Avatar Comment 22 by Graham1

What an extraordinary, courageous and articulate young man. It is one of those occasions where the intellect of the student infinitely outsrips that of the teacher.

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 11:00:49 UTC | #945177

djames's Avatar Comment 23 by djames

Are teachers allowed to an opinion? Not when expressing it about a belief or disbelief of something factual. If your math teacher said I understand that modern mathematicians state as factual that one added to one is two, but I do not not see the change. A one will not change with the addition of ones, they are still ones. But please remember the theory of addition of ones for testing purposes. We would all laugh and our parents would probably show up with torches demanding the teachers head. Even literature and art are taught with respect to the artists or writers thoughts. Not the teachers.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 19:28:51 UTC | #945328

lewis.breland's Avatar Comment 24 by lewis.breland

Awe, the teacher feels "betrayed." Well, perhaps you ought not to have betrayed the public's trust.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 05:43:03 UTC | #945405

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 25 by Premiseless

Comment 24 by lewis.breland :

Awe, the teacher feels "betrayed." Well, perhaps you ought not to have betrayed the public's trust.

In a rational sense this guy has become collateral damage by chaos. Essentially you could think up countless examples in the UK where Shariah is practiced and taught in school settings. You could look to many ruling classes world wide and see how they are immune to his plight. The covert agenda remains dominant! However any change to the irrational entropy most highly likely takes its quarry from within the ranks.

I feel sure this guy thinks he is going to heaven and thinks non Jesus humans have a hard day awaiting their deaths. Is he responsible for his own mind in this regard? He has breached the age at which our irrational entropy suggests he is wholly responsible for his own minds behaviours. We know, if we have a clue what we are talking about, that this is highly likely not true. He has been indoctrinated and it's worked out fine so far, with benefits to boot. Tough call that he is now finding a macrocosm beyond his shores has thinking that usurps his position and is pulling his life apart. Even tougher for the naive who were thinking what he said about Jesus et al were true so were in fear of their own existence over this. Seems to me religion sells everyone out except the beneficiaries! Then utilises scapegoats when challenged. Will religion fall over this? Unlikely! But it remains that many confused and unaware individuals will have their lives overturned and messed up due the poor luck religion played in their lives, just as it is doing so in the lives of all too many the world over. Maybe he will succeed somewhere anyhow. He seems a media savvy type to me so I can't feel his life is in ruins indefinitely. However, it shows the territory we are all in. Rules are off the menu and chaos will do its thing , since what those promoting reason are doing is inheriting the chaos with which to deal, naive and innocents to boot.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 06:13:06 UTC | #945407

Hobomidget's Avatar Comment 26 by Hobomidget

This teacher needs to be fired. He lies a whole lot. Honesty of a teacher should mean something, this guy is such a looser.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:13:24 UTC | #945421

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 27 by Premiseless

Comment 26 by Hobomidget :

This teacher needs to be fired.

On the basis that his belief is erroneous and he seems to have no idea this is true?

He lies a whole lot.

About what he now perceives is a media telling him he is lying to himself about his belief and so will lose his job over this if he admits to truly believing his belief applies to everyone - which to him it does. It's a subject I could go very deep on - like Sam Harris and free will for example.

Honesty of a teacher should mean something,

But he has been lied to by religion so that his whole persona has become subservient to a parasitic meme which he now is a vehicle for. He is still a token "unlucky" victim of the evil that is religious indoctrination - preserved from higher station than his - and higher station remains immune.

this guy is such a looser.

Naturally, its what happens to all of us, especially the lower our place on whatever pyramid we are part of. But the real power to deception remains unphased by this. This is my problem in the life we share: there are those who propagate religious harm by the fact it is a lying poison designed to, by absolute deception, benefit the few at the expense of the masses. This results in some sincere individuals being caught up in belief, that insists they do as they are told and believe fully a load of dross to an extent this imposes injustices of mind sanction on other unsuspecting individuals. It is belief and not the individual , essentially, that ought to be branded "looser".

However, as far as I can see, belief per se keeps whittling out a win after win for itself, on an empirical power hungry level, very unjustly and due a whole lot of lies being reinforced. If honesty ever is supposed to mean anything, it is belief per se that has to be brought to task, time after time. Do I think this is going to happen? Not really. Meantime we are denied real reform and must rely on morsels like the one here, which take out "pincered" individuals, caught between their own deluded and lower ranking lives and that of any real effort to press for reforms. I myself see the fallacy of any personal pleasure at such flotsam and jetsam, when the real desire is to see humans more deserving of access to a truth of mind and an equality of opportunity, which equally I acknowledge to be perhaps as deluded a hope as to never be realised - ever!

For the present however, I applaud the motion to degenerate the dominant nature of theistic deception, though not the pains of those who in all probability had no idea how their minds were got to such an ensnared position due the world we all fall into.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 09:20:53 UTC | #945424

Jim Fox's Avatar Comment 28 by Jim Fox

Can only admire the intellect, courage and maturity of this student; pity his classmates are seemingly sheep in comparison.

As a non- American I'm gobsmacked-the religious right is uncomfortably close to Islamic theology (and apparently happy with that). USA has very serious problems & they're not all financial...

Four lovely children indoctrinated. What more damage can this pathetic, whining, gutless excuse for a 'teacher' do? How his christian values are exposed, painting his student as the guilty party while the school board stays mute. Poor, poor me! Sickening- turned it off after 20 mins, just could not stomach any more.

Sun, 19 Aug 2012 09:55:16 UTC | #951035