You belong in hell, the teacher said

And people wonder why atheists get shirty. Or ‘arrogant’ as apparently Rod Liddle repeatedly said we are on his channel 4 encounter with Dawkins. Well maybe we don’t much want people saying everyone but Their Team is going to hell. Could that be it? We really just don’t want to hear from people who get their rocks off imagining their religious enemies being tortured to death forever. I don’t like people like that. In fact, I hate them. I think they’re disgusting, I think they’re rock bottom, I think they’re bad. Not as bad as people who make toddlers sleep in their own shit, not as bad as people who imprison small children in industrial schools and tell them their mothers are dead when they aren’t and force them to make rosaries and beat them and call them names – not as bad as that; but very bad. Morally bad. People who take pleasure in contemplating the suffering of other people are bad. I don’t want to hear from them, and I imagine that few atheists do. So we are ‘arrogant’ enough to resist. And then we get death threats.

And all this is ten miles from Manhattan. Err…

Before David Paszkiewicz got to teach his accelerated 11th-grade history class about the United States Constitution this fall, he was accused of violating it. Shortly after school began in September, the teacher told his sixth-period students at Kearny High School that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark, and that only Christians had a place in heaven, according to audio recordings made by a student whose family is now considering a lawsuit claiming Mr. Paszkiewicz broke the church-state boundary. “If you reject his gift of salvation, then you know where you belong,” Mr. Paszkiewicz was recorded saying of Jesus. “He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he’s saying, ‘Please, accept me, believe.’ If you reject that, you belong in hell.”

‘You belong in hell.’ No, actually, I don’t think a history teacher should be telling students that. But ‘the larger community’ apparently does.

…students and the larger community have mostly lined up with Mr. Paszkiewicz, not with Matthew, who has received a death threat handled by the police, as well as critical comments from classmates.

They’re getting closer. I was at Safeway yesterday and I heard an announcement over the store’s pa system – ‘all available employees to the back for – ‘ what? – ‘afternoon service.’ For what? Did I just hear that? Did I just hear what I think I heard? I wasn’t absolutely sure, because I wasn’t paying attention until I thought I heard what I thought I heard – so maybe I didn’t hear it. That is what it sounded like though…and it was Sunday. If that is what I heard it just creeps the bejeezis out of me. We’ll all be in a Christian concentration camp soon at this rate.

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