Thursday, September 15, 2011

Good News: Court Sides with Two Atheist Lawsuits

Life is keeping me busy today, so there's just time for a couple quick links. The first is a story about a Christian teacher who was ordered to remove a huge Christian poster from his math classroom:
Court says teacher has no right to banners referring to God
The court originally ruled in favor of the teacher, but the school district appealed and the District Court in San Francisco reversed the decision. The teacher now has to pay the school's legal fees.

The second story is a follow-up: remember James Corbett, teacher extraordinaire? He made the mistake of treating Christianity like any other topic, open to analysis and criticism in his history classes. He was sued by a Christian student who claimed Corbett had violated his right to religious freedom.

Last month we got the good news that the Appeals Court finally sided with Corbett. The Court ruled that Corbett's lessons in the classroom were not against the law. The ruling was somewhat technical, but still a big victory for education and good teachers.


  1. the second ruling I kind of agree with, as long as the class didn't turn into some big anti-christian hate-slam.
    the first? not really, I mean, how many Obama posters have I seen in classrooms since 2008? if they're not gonna make teachers remove those, under the grounds of politially influencing students

  2. same anon, just was writing comment on tight schedule, not been able to return

    then I fail to see how expressing religion in the form of a poster could be considered so wrong.
    however I kind of have a pretty major problem just with the title and the nature of this particular post in general, and that is that you really don't seem to care whether or not the rulings are actually lawful, you just come across as only caring whether or not the atheists' side won with no real reason except an incredibly narrow-minded us vs. them mentality, chalking up each case as a win for atheism in general rather than trying to think about the circumstances of the specific instances

  3. Anon – I do care about the law. I'm not "chalking up each case as a win for atheism." We atheists are fighting a long and difficult battle to be treated as equals in a society dominated by religion. Discrimination comes in many forms, and all too often religious people don't or can't see how their actions are discriminatory.

    A poster in a classroom is exactly the sort of discrimination I'm talking about. I've spent my life in an atheist-hostile environment surrounded by teachers, coworkers, and fellow students who ranged from completely clueless to actively hateful towards by lack of religion. Surely even the most dedicated Christian has to admit that a number of large, brightly colored posters in a classroom is blatant proselytizing by the teacher. Teachers are supposed to teach math, history, science and so forth, and leave their own politics and religion out of the teaching.

    The court was right. I'm celebrating because the rights granted to us by the United States Constitution were upheld.


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