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The teacher had said that she “took away his right to talk about Jesus.” ...Did she?

Texas student wins scholarship after outing teacher for comparing atheism to smoking

By David Edwards

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 13:03 EDT
Sara Elizabeth Sheppard speaks to Humanists of Houston (YouTube)
A student recently told a group of humanists in Texas in that she won a scholarship by standing up for her beliefs after her high school teacher compared atheism to smoking cigarettes.

At a Humanists of Houston meeting last week, 19-year-old Sara Elizabeth Sheppard explained that she decided to use her cell phone to record her high school economics professor after he “started to talk about religion in an inappropriate manner.”

During the one lecture, the teacher claimed that atheism was against human nature, and that “the mind rejects the concept of atheism” just like the body rejects smoking. The next week, he taught a lesson advocating prayer for a positive state of mind.



More importantly, does a high school ECONOMICS teacher  even *have the right* to talk about anything other than, y'know, economics?!  


Answer Question

Asked by MamaK88 at 4:58 PM on Sep. 18, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 33 (62,090 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • No, of course he shouldn't be talking about religion in a high school economics class. And, how does the mind reject Atheism anyway? We're all born Atheists until someone tries to convince us otherwise.

    Answer by 3libras at 5:02 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • It seems inappropriate for an economics professor to talk about religion, smoking, prayer, or a positive state of mind. What does any of that have to do with economics?

    Answer by Ballad at 5:08 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • I would reference the other questions brought up in answers in the last week or so.
    The teacher is hired to teach the curriculum, not his own agenda. If that is part of the curriculum, fine and dandy. In a public school. I rather doubt it. All lesson plans and alternates are supposed to be preapproved by the principal. It does not matter if he believes it. It does not matter if the message is one that should be spread. The school classroom is not a person platform for any teacher's agenda.

    Answer by Dardenella at 5:10 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Wow what an ignorant thing for the teacher to say. And what an inappropriate place to do it too.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 5:16 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Sorry I did not answer the original part of the post. In that I would say, probably not this particular student but obviously reforms were not spurred on by the ones who had the "old school" point of view.
    The changes restrict what a teacher says, IN SCHOOL, but not in a blanket over his whole life.

    As far as his voice out side the school or as a representative for his school, he can say what ever he likes whenever he likes no matter who agrees or disagrees.

    I will say atheism is like cigarette smoking ( but so is an other religion) in one aspect and that is that it is an individual choice.
    But just as were are not allowed to smoke in school, or cuss, were are not supposed to be discussing certain things either. (as a teacher)

    Answer by Dardenella at 5:18 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • Oh and as far as him talking about Jesus.....he was busy blasting atheism- not hailing Jesus the great.
    He needs to get it straight before crying fowl.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 5:18 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • He was wrong for what he was doing. And even if it had been acceptable...he's clueless. How does the mind reject atheism? Obviously it doesn't, or there wouldn't be atheists.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:28 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • I would reference the other questions brought up in answers in the last week or so.

    Because discussing religion in an economics class is absolutely the same thing as discussing anti-bullying in a social studies class

    eye rolling


    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:41 PM on Sep. 18, 2013

  • wow...there is no way to justify why he was talking about religion. i mean, you can make a case for bringing it up in some subjects, even if its not necessary or unwise. but this is just outright wrong! its not like he was talking about how religion impacts economics, he was just ranting about Atheists.

    having sat in a public school class where my beliefs were belittled by the teacher when it had nothing to do with the subject matter, i applaud her for doing something about it! if only id had a cellphone in 2000...

    Answer by okmanders at 1:44 PM on Sep. 19, 2013

  • Holy Crap! This is awful.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:37 AM on Sep. 23, 2013

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