Friday, September 3, 2010

Fishersville VA. Middle School Principle Don Curtis Defends the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment:

I started taking issue with Christian organizations using the public schools and community centers as a means of promoting their particular brand of religion to children, after my son’s favorite weekly activity at our local community center, was hijacked by a pack of religious morons. The staff members at the community center had allowed members of a local church to come into the community center under the guise of giving the children a talk about stranger-danger. Our son informed his mom, who thought it seemed innocent enough, that she didn’t even bother to tell me about it. After our son came home from the event, and told us what these ignorant morons had really talked to the children about, I quickly became infuriated. They told the children that they had come to talk to them about someone who loved them and cared about them, even more than their own parents did – and that person loved them so much, that he died on a cross for them so that they could be saved. Our son said that their conversation then turned to sex-ed, Christian-style.

They told the children ridicules things like condoms didn’t work in preventing pregnancy or the prevention of HIV and AIDS transmission – in fact, they told them that God gets mad when people have sex before they get married, and he sometimes gives them AIDS to punish them. They told the girls that they could become pregnant simply by masturbating (I guess that could happen, depending on what the girl was doing with her hands, before she got started??? But still, the children that they were talking this tripe to were only between the ages of 7 - 12). My son said they went on talking to them for over an hour about “sin” and death, and how only the “blood of Jesus” can save them, from burning in hell for all of eternity.

I believe what pissed me off the most about all of this was; at the end they were trying to sign the children up for Sunday school. They then gave the children cards with the address of their church, and a phone number for them to call if they needed a ride – the church was willing to pick the children up at the community center on Sunday morning; and with or without the parents’ permission (talk about children being put in danger by strangers).

When one of these groups (The Fellowship of Christian Athletes) tried to set up shop in a middle-school in Fishersville VA, the principle, Don Curtis sent out this email memo to his staff:

"As I trust common sense and your elementary knowledge of the law should remind you, the Constitution includes an amendment that expects 'The government will not establish any religion.' This has been legally stated and supported through case law, interpreted to mean for schools that the school or its employees will not perpetuate, support or establish any religion at school," the principal's note said.

"This means teachers can't support or participate in religious activities while in the official role of a teacher. … Be as religious as you want when you're not in your official role as a teacher. Your official role as a teacher starts anytime you're involved with students.

"Please check with me or your attorney if you need clarification so I can avoid termination proceedings for those of you that don't believe me or wish to test this concept," Curtis wrote. "I'm being somewhat of a smart a&*, but I trust 'You're feeling me!'"

Then just as one could have easily predicted, the Christians began screaming that they were being persecuted. They then turned to the Rutherford Institute – an organization with their own interpretations of the First Amendment:

"While the First Amendment does prohibit the government from establishing a religion, it likewise prohibits the government from exhibiting hostility toward religion, interfering with the free exercise thereof, and discriminating against expressive activities based on the religious viewpoint of the expression," John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute stated in a letter to Principal Curtis. He went on to say:

"The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment does not permit government – including school officials – to subject religious individuals or groups to unique disabilities," Whitehead said.

"The United State Supreme Court has specifically addressed the issue of faculty involvement with religious student groups, and has ruled that such involvement does not conflict with constitutional principles where teachers or other school employees are merely involved with the club for purposes of administration or oversight," he said.

"I hope this information is helpful to you, and that you will use it to immediately correct the impression conveyed by your e-mail that the budding FCA group should be shunned by your staff," Whitehead wrote.

In response, principle Curtis sent out a subsequent email memo to his staff:

"I presented this in my candid style, intended for my faculty. I've been told it was intimidating but I had no intention other than to remind the staff of my expectations of their legal and professional behavior," he explained.

The fact is The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is just another organization of deluded Christian morons, whose agenda is simply to inject prayer and Christianity into the public to boot.

I believe we in the secular and atheist community, should show are support for principle Curtis in this matter – I was trying to send him an email of my support; however, the school’s website seems to have locked out access – but the school’s address and phone number is posted at the site.