Here we go again. Yet another public school teacher who thinks her religion gives her license to break the law. It’s stuff like this that sits at the heart of my belief that young children must be protected from religion until they’re old enough to think critically on their own. But supposed purveyors of piety know how much easier it is to twist the mind of a child than an adult. As such they continue to shamelessly worm their way into our schools.
In early March of 2021, Health teacher Karen Ashworth in Milton, WV was recorded by a student as she ditched the school text book and started preaching to her captive audience about the supposed importance of godly values when kids reach puberty. She went on to express how shocking it was to her that some of her students do not believe in her god.
Further, she freely admitted that she knows what she was doing is illegal. She admitted that she’s aware she is breaking the law and can be heard in the recording saying she “tries to squeeze it in a little bit without getting in too much trouble.” Simply put, she thinks her beliefs supersede the law. Here’s the audio:
Now, let me interrupt myself just a moment. I do so because some Christians will assume that since I wholeheartedly reject biblical teaching that I don’t believe adolescents need any guidance where their hormones are concerned. And they’ll make that assumption because they don’t believe valid guidance can exist outside of their precious bibles. The Bible teaches that our bodies are not our own, but rather temples for the Holy Spirit. We’re just janitors whose job is to keep the place clean. I guess that means that Heaven is essentially a retirement plan for good janitors.
First Corinthians 6:18-20
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Yes, adolescents need careful guidance. They need accurate science-based information about the changes their bodies and minds are going through. But about all any Christian-based teaching will do is tell them that sex before marriage is evil, that masturbation as a way of relief is also evil, and that sex is strictly for procreation. If you ask Christians why they believe that way, most of them will just say “because the Bible says so.” They are incapable of thinking for themselves. Or perhaps they’re just unwilling, which to me is worse.
OK, back to our topic of the day – The student who recorded Ashworth’s screed took it home to her father, a YouTube personality named Owen Morgan. He goes by “TellTale” on YouTube. Morgan acted quickly, notifying FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) about the teacher’s actions. FFRF fired off a letter to the school demanding that Ashworth be held accountable for her actions. That should have been the end of it. The school should have reprimanded Ashworth and the incident consigned to history. But no. Not in America’s most backwards state.
Now the Morgans are afraid to leave their home. The death threats are piling up as this redneck town gangs up on one man and his daughter because they prefer reality over religion. A now-defunct Facebook group was formed specifically to attack Morgan. They posted his address and phone number along with pictures of him and his house and car online. All because he wanted a teacher to obey the law, and to protect his child from Ashworth’s bullshit religious beliefs. According to Morgan, they’re looking into living elsewhere.
Statement by Owen Morgan:
And that’s sad, because justice is not being served. Those who attacked him online apparently will not face any repercussions and it’s doubtful the teacher will either. Ashworth will likely go right on lying to her students, doing irreparable harm to young minds. And that harm will probably be reinforced at home, and yet another generation of ignorance will get churned out of West Virginia.
Christians will proclaim a victory over persecution from “the left.” They’ll prattle on about their freedoms and rights. They’ll go on and on about how people like Owen Morgan try to inflict their beliefs on them, while Karen Ashworth actually does inflict her misguided beliefs upon vulnerable young minds. But it’s OK when they do it, right?
This isn’t the first time such a thing has happened. Back in 2006 Matthew LaClair, a student at Kearney High School in New Jersey recorded history teacher David Paszkiewicz as he proselytized to his 11th grade students. The story became a national issue mainly because the NY Times ran the story. And again, most Christians defended Paszkiewicz, either because they don’t understand the law surrounding church – state separation, or they just don’t care. Consider this quote from the Times…
“He [Jesus] 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.” – David Paszkiewicz
Yes you read that right. That was a high school teacher telling teenagers that if they don’t believe just like he does, then they “belong in Hell.” Do you still wonder why I think kids should be sheltered from religion? And how is it that an evil bastard like Paszkiewicz is allowed to be near children?
Here’s a quick bit (3 minutes) from Neil deGrasse Tyson on the LaClair incident…
Lastly, let’s just be honest with ourselves here. Religious teaching belongs at church and in the home. It has no place in public schools. Or, if you’re a Christian what would you think if a Sunday School teacher started teaching kids about evolution and the Big Bang? God forbid they hear the truth, right?
Sources and Related Reading
- YouTube Video by Owen Morgan
- FFRF asks W.Va. district to protect students from proselytizing teacher
- Milton Middle School teacher scrutinized for in-class comments
- Neil deGrasse Tyson On Religion taught in schools
- Talk in Class Turns to God, Setting Off Public Debate on Rights
- Owen Morgan’s YouTube Channel
- Get Them While They’re Young – Matt Dillahunty
I’ve been livid about this whole thing, every time it happens. These folks need to get their personal agendas out of the classroom. It’s the worst when it’s science teachings or health class, and there’s no wonder we’re so scientifically illiterate in this country. It’s deplorable that people who don’t even believe the science or dismiss it are IN CHARGE OF TEACHING IT!!! That is sickening and reeks of an agenda. They wanna teach? Thousands of Christian schools and home-schools they can lend their in-expertise to. Keep ’em out of public schools.
What’s bizarre is these same folks are going to be scratching their heads in 50 years, wondering why all these other countries are passing us by and developing new technologies and making new scientific and medical discoveries. Then they’ll shrug and write another letter to the editor insisting on prayer in schools and “abstinence only” in health class. We’re ignorant all around, and these folks are totally okay with that as long as people pray the right way. (shudder).
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I have a lot of Christian friends / family. And I’ve tried to make them understand that we need to embrace reason and reality in our schools. But they won’t listen. Anything I say that disagrees with their preconceptions is regarded as me being misguided by Satan. It’s frustrating to say the least.
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There are brick walls that listen better. You can’t get them to see what they don’t want to see. It’s like they say about fanatics: they won’t change their minds and won’t change the subject. Sounds like it was written specifically for this type of thing…hmm…
I think it’s more important to them to believe than whether or not what they believe is true.
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