update on the american madrasa

“This American Life” had a good piece last week on a Muslim student who was subjected to repeated in-class lectures on the importance of being born again in the blood of Jesus Christ. (The teacher at one point uses a candy cane, which students were told was shaped like a “J” for “Jesus,” to illustrate the healing powers of Christ. The red stripe on the candy cane, they were told, was symbolic of his blood.). Then, today, I saw this story in the “New York Times” on a student that taped his high school teacher proselytizing in class. Here’s a clip from that article:

…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”…

It makes me wonder how many instances like this happen every day that aren’t caught on tape.

And I wonder how long a teacher would be able to get away with this if, instead of Jesus, it was Mohammed or L Ron Hubbard that he was recruiting for.

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  1. edweird
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I have a religious zealot at the school I work at. He’s constantly busting the administration’s balls over reproductive health. The weird thing is that he’s a science teacher.

  2. Brian
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Everyone knows that the candy cane represents the smooth shaft and scrotum that one can obtain by using the ball shaver that Mark has many times tried to sell us here.

    And the red stripe represents the blood that pours from the cuts that occur from shaving your balls.

  3. It's Skinner Again
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    How exactly did the teacher “use” the candy cane? If he showed them how to suck it, I can guess what he has planned for the next lesson.

  4. mark
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea of candy canes with barbed tips dangling from the sky like little fishing hooks, and Christ up there in a boat, a bottle of beer in one hand, reeling ’em in.

  5. It's Skinner Again
    Posted December 20, 2006 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Blasphemer! Jesus drinks wine, not beer (see Matthew 11:19). I can find no references to candy canes in scripture, however.

  6. Matt
    Posted December 20, 2006 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I drink beer. And I only believe what my dog tells me.

  7. ol' e cross
    Posted December 20, 2006 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    No references to candy canes?! Read again Mr. Skinner. The Bible is full of references to things that are white, red, and/or hard. (reference http://www.guidinglightvideo.com/shop/candy.html)

    Someday, I will tell you the story of the peppermint gumdrop, and IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!

  8. It's Skinner Again
    Posted December 21, 2006 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    My Concordance, OEC, is sadly out of date: there’s not even an entry for “pterodactyl.”

    The funny thing is that the crozier IS a Christian symbol — just not a Protestant American one; so the story must be rewritten.

    Some evangelicals are also upset about the verse I quoted (which, if you didn’t look it up, is the one where Jesus says he’s known as a “wine-bibber” or “drunkard,” depending on the translation). So they insist that all references to wine in the Bible are really about unfermented grape juice.

  9. ol' e cross
    Posted December 21, 2006 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  10. JL
    Posted November 3, 2007 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    Given that muslims are the ones deliberately killing innocent civilians these days, it doesn’t seem that bad an idea to try to convert them.

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