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Archive - Jun 26, 2008
Memo to fundies: I DON'T WANNA HEAR IT.
That's it. No more claims of persecution and victimization. No more crusades against the ACLU and activist judges. I don't wanna fucking hear it. We need the ACLU and the judges, because the fact is, if you had your way, our schools would be full of John Freshwaters. And without the ACLU and the courts, you would in fact have your way.
Even without the ACLU and the courts, Mount Vernon, Ohio had the actual John Freshwater for 21 years, teaching science classes. Not teaching science, of course, but teaching science CLASSES. Even though there were at least eleven years of complaints about him, he was there, in his eighth grade classroom, branding crosses into his students' arms with a Tesla coil.
I. Shit. You. Not.
More accurately, it was a BD-10A High Frequency Generator, which is meant to ionize gases in test tubes. Freshwater obviously found a unique scientific use for the device, which its manufacturer said was not meant to be used on skin. You'd think that'd be a given for any device producing 50,000 volts at the tip, but the prospect of bending Devil Science to God's will was just too tempting for poor John Freshwater.
But we should probably back up a bit. When one of the students whose arm he branded with a cross actually complained, that's when he FINALLY got in trouble, and will likely be fired. That's what sparked, if you will, the investigation that brought him down. Here's what this fucker was pulling before that:
He had the Ten Commandments and other religious posters papering his classroom. When they finally got around to asking them to take them down, he took down all but one. Which is exactly the kind of behavior you'd expect from the radical follower of a noble martyr, I suppose.
Keeping between a minimum of two and a maximum, if reports are to be believed, a metric shitload of bibles in his classroom at all times. When we say the public schools are having a tough time providing books for the student, we're not asking teachers to play Gideon.
Teaching evolution begrudgingly, telling students he was being forced to teach it, then telling them it was wrong and telling them all about creationism and intelligent design, using the same type of "alternate materials" Louisiana wants to permit. How bad was it? The high school could always tell which students had been through Freshwater's class, because they had to spend extra time overwriting all the bullshit Freshwater poured into their little Midwestern heads.
Giving his class an extra-credit assignment to watch "Expelled", an act which makes the branding incident seem almost kind by comparison.
Saying the cross he branded on the student's arm was an "X", which is doubly stupid - first, because there were photos of the burn that showed it was clearly a cross, and second, because "X" is not exactly devoid of fundamentalist significance.
And you know, we wouldn't have to rely on the ACLU and the courts to weed out and stop bastards like Freshwater if, after all these things have been revealed, there weren't hundreds of local citizens still supporting him and claiming he's being persecuted for his faith. He's not being persecuted for his faith. He's being persecuted for expressing his faith in the FLESH OF HIS STUDENTS. But that's just fine with some people on the inevitable local newspaper comments thread. RAPID FIRE ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"If we had more teachers like Freshwater, the moslems would never have bombed New York."
"Believe what you want but don't take my rights away to believe what I want. The schools have stepped over the line by allowing evolution to be taught in the first place. THAT was the FIRST mistake in all of this."
"This report proves this is nothing more than a witch hunt bought and paid for by folks with the intent to "prove" their point and then use thereport as the backbone to terminate this teacher."
"Well, evolution offends me as it is not true. A man wrote a book on evolution whereas God the Creator is the author of the Holy Bible."
We can't make you think. We can't make you stop being wrong. But we can keep you from using the authority of your public-school, government-endorsed position to give your wrongness official imprimatur. And we're going to keep doing it no matter how much you whine, no matter how many students you brand.