By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Since this case is about the Establishment Clause and neutrality, do you feel you've been truly neutral in your class? Can you see how some of your in-class statements could be considered "hostile" toward Christianity (or other religions for that matter) or "anti-Christian"? Do you believe they ever were?
I can see how people would consider something that counters the dominant paradigm as "hostile." All I ever did was offer that there are many ways to view spiritual reality and to deny it. As a scientist, I understand that people believe in God. I also understand that their belief must be a matter of faith, not a matter of fact; the existence of God cannot be proven. That gods or God does not exist cannot be proven either, although that is a question few scientists have addressed. Certainly, the Greeks believed there is as much evidence for their gods as Christians believe there is for the Christian God. If some view that notion as hostile to Christians (or religion in general), they, not I, are the ones who fail to understand the nature of faith. It may also be said that people who are unsettled by the notion that faith and faith alone lies at the center of religion have little faith themselves. Those who demand that science and history support their religious views do harm, in my view, to religion as well as to science and history.
I have no hostility in my soul for anyone, although I will admit that . . . I'm intolerant of religious-based racism, misogyny, homophobia and a variety of other religious-based excuses for discrimination of various sorts.
Do I believe that those who harbor the sorts of views mentioned above might see me as hostile? Yes. With 256 court-recognized religions in this country, any attempt to make them all happy would paralyze education. For example, the Southern white Baptists excused slavery with the Biblical bit about the "children of Ham" who "shall be reapers of wheat, hewers of stone and drawers of water." Am I hostile to religion if I evidence my unwillingness to accept such racist claptrap? I think not. Am I willing to suffer for those convictions? I have.