LifeSiteNews.com

News

Teacher Fired for Refusing to Remove Bible from Desk, Allegedly Teaching Religion in Class

LifeSiteNews.com

By Tim Waggoner

MOUNT VERNON, OH, June 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Yesterday, the Mount Vernon Board of Education voted unanimously to terminate the contract of a Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher. John Freshwater has been a teacher at the school for 21 years. Among several questionable allegations, including that of "burning" a cross on a student’s arm, the only significant allegation Freshwater admits to, is failing to remove his personal Bible from his classroom desk.

According to Mount Vernon News, the Mount Vernon School Board relied on the report of an independent investigator, H.R. On Call Inc., to pass their resolution to consider the termination of Freshwater’s contract.  The investigator reported that Freshwater "burnt" what they determined to be a cross, and not an "x" as Freshwater claimed, on a student’s arm during a routine science experiment, taught religion in the classroom, refused to remove religious articles from the classroom, and prayed at a Federation of Christian Athlete’s (FCA) meeting, which is a Christian student-led group Freshwater advises.

In an exclusive LifeSiteNews interview, Freshwater’s Pastor Don Matolyak of the Trinity Assembly of God parish, who has been closely monitoring the case, said the only accusation against Freshwater with any truth to it is his refusal to remove his Bible from his desk. Matolyak spoke adamantly on the partiality of the investigator’s report.

"The investigation is so biased.  It should be known that there were people who should have been interviewed, positives for John, that were never interviewed. Who paid for this investigative group?  The school board."

"The main issue behind these complaints is John’s refusal to remove his personal Bible from his desk," he explained.

Pastor Matolyak said the entire ordeal started five years ago when Freshwater raised a question to his students about intelligent design.  Freshwater was covering the theory in his classroom, just as he was covering the theory of evolution, when he received complaints about the inclusion of intelligent design in his curriculum. Meetings ensued with the principal, superintendent, and eventually the school board, which shot down his argument that intelligent design, like the theory of evolution, should be taught as a creation theory. Freshwater then agreed to stop teaching the theory and has not done so since.

"Since then, there have been people who have had it out for John," claims the pastor, who believes this first incident acted as the catalyst for the recent events.

Several years after the intelligent design debate, in December of 2007, Freshwater was called into the principal’s office and shown a photo of what looked like a person’s arm after being marked by a tesla coil, a electricity harnessing device used in classroom science experiments.  Freshwater said he did not know if this was one of his students because he could not see the student’s face.  Like many science teachers, Freshwater has been for years demonstrating the capabilities of the tesla coil by marking students’ arms with it, Pastor Matolyak attested.

"John has used it for 21 years; others teachers in the school use it.  He moves it over your arm and it leaves a line." Pastor Matolyak continued, saying, "The student gave Freshwater permission to do so. Truthfully they line up to have it done.  He is showing what electricity can do.  The students volunteer to have it done. It is not something that is coerced; the students have fun doing this."

Freshwater was never approached by the parents of the child, who supposedly complained about the experiment, and he does not even know who the student is.  Furthermore, after 21 years of similar experiments, he locked up the tesla coil, as requested by the principal.  However, he now stands accused of burning a cross on a student’s arm.

"Someone says it’s a cross, someone says it’s an ‘x’; it’s a matter of interpretation," said Matolyak.

This April, Freshwater was informed that there had been another complaint about him regarding religious articles in his classroom.  He was given a written directive to remove from his classroom a collage of the 10 Commandments, several Bibles in the back of the room used by the FCA, and the personal Bible that has been on his desk for 21 years.

After consulting with Pastor Matolyak and receiving legal council, Freshwater decided to comply with every part of the directive aside from the request to remove his personal Bible, which Pastor Matolyak described as his "constitutional right". 

The report also alleges the teacher did not remove a religious poster from the wall of his classroom.  Pastor Don said he could not imagine what that might be referring to, although he said it may have been a poster of President Bush praying alongside Colin Powell during a meeting.

Freshwater has also been accused of teaching religious beliefs in the classroom, to which Pastor Matolyak responded, "One of the allegations against John is that he is teaching religion in the classroom, and John will flatly deny that.  I know plenty of students in the classroom that will say he does not do that.  Past and current students who will say, ‘Mr. Freshwater has never taught religion.’"

The last allegation suggests Freshwater prayed during an FCA meeting. To that Pastor Don said, "He supposedly led a healing session and an exorcism during an FCA meeting. The meeting was running late so, the only thing John did was wrap it up by saying a small prayer to end things. Not wanting to be rude, he said a quick dismissal prayer, ‘God go with us today in Jesus’ name.’  We are talking about a Christian organization and he was trying to get the kids to move on."

Not only has Freshwater been fired from his job, he is also facing a legal battle over the allegations. Mount Vernon News reports that a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a student at Mount Vernon Middle School.

Pastor Matolyak concluded the interview by commenting on a claim from the report that suggests Freshwater was not doing an adequate job teaching the students, and that they had to be re-taught at the high school.

"The funny thing is," he said, "the yearly tests indicate his students tested the best out of all the others in the middle school.  His students passed with flying colors, but the school as a whole did not pass."



Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Blogs,

Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Paul McKinnon / Shutterstock.com
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

News,

Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

News,

Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook