Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Question for the CA Teachers' Assn.

Would you be so quick to intervene if a teacher in a government-run school were accused of repeatedly making disparaging and religiously intolerant remarks about Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or any other non-Christian faith?

Chad Farnan, a student at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, filed a lawsuit alleging that his Advanced Placement European History teacher, Dr. James Corbett, violated the First Amendment's establishment clause that prohibits government from promoting hostility toward religion. According to an article in the Orange County Register about the case:

"The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees, alleges that Corbett typically spent 'a large portion of class time propagating his personal views to a captive audience.' He railed against Christianity and traditional Christian viewpoints on topics such as birth control, teenage sex, homosexuality and erectile dysfunction, according to the lawsuit....

Court papers cite statements tape-recorded by Farnan such as 'Conservatives don't want women to avoid pregnancies – that's interfering with God's work' and 'When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth.'"
Fox News had another inflammatory excerpt from Dr. Corbett's class in its article on the case:

"[Corbett] suggested that Christians are more likely than other people to commit rape and murder. Farnan recorded his teacher telling students in class: 'What country has the highest murder rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rape rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rate of church attendance? The South!'”
While Dr. Corbett is free to hold whatever personal beliefs he wants about Christianity, he clearly crossed the line when he used his class time to promote those beliefs and created a climate hostile to those of his students who are Christians such as Chad Farnan.

The California Teachers' Association, of which Dr. Corbett is a member, has filed a motion with the Court seeking to intervene on behalf of the Capistrano Valley School District and Dr. Corbett. The judge has permitted the intervention.

Again, I ask- would the CTA be so quick to defend an anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim teacher?

1 comment:

challenger said...

"Again, I ask- would the CTA be so quick to defend an anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim teacher?"

This claim is a straw man being put up by a lot of the Orange County conservatives. If you read the actual quotes from the complaints, you will find:

-Corbett did not rail against Christianity, although he did rail against some historical actions of the Catholic Church.

-The quote about rape and murder says nothing about non-Christian religions, and therefore does not suggest that Christians are more likely to commit rape and murder than members of other religions. That claim is false spin by Fox News.

-The quote about Conservative mentions fundamentalist Muslims as well as fundamentalist Christians. The claim that Dr. Corbett is singling out Christianity for his attacks is BS.