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A message of support for Matthew LaClair


Guest S

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Dear Matthew: You're a brave young man!  It's a shame so many "Christians" are sending you death threats. Hang in there kid.  <_<

It's amazing how little the Christian community does to denounce these types of horrible acts of hypocrisy. Issuing death threats to someone who speaking out against out Christianity is outrageous!! Like I could see it the other way around where a Christian is trying to fight for his rights to preach his message and some crazy mofo issues death threats against him, but in this instance here you would expect the people rallying against him to uphold what Christians preach.

It just shows you their true colors and how crazy they really are. Additionally it shows you how little the Christian church takes note to this type of horrible threats when it should be publicly denouncing them to the press as to further discourage any of it's other crazy sheep from doing something similar.

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Matthew, I read with great interest what occurred. I am with you all the way.

Please continue to speak out against this type of behavior. Yes, the First Amendment grants free speech but that doesn't mean teachers can take advantage of their position and foist their views on students.

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Guest Guest_Michael_*

Congratulations Matthew for standing up to the Bully of a teacher.

If that teacher was saying that the Holocaust didn't happen, or that black students were genetically inferior he'd be out on his a** quickly.

But because he is part of the religious "moral" majority, his views are allowed. The teacher exhibited the same type of predatory behavior as a pedophile and should be fired immediately.

God save us from the fundamental Christians!

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It's amazing how little the Christian community does to denounce these types of horrible acts of hypocrisy.  Issuing death threats to someone who speaking out against out Christianity is outrageous!! Like I could see it the other way around where a Christian is trying to fight for his rights to preach his message and some crazy mofo issues death threats against him, but in this instance here you would expect the people rallying against him to uphold what Christians preach. 

It just shows you their true colors and how crazy they really are.  Additionally it shows you how little the Christian church takes note to this type of horrible threats when it should be publicly denouncing them to the press as to further discourage any of it's other crazy sheep from doing something similar.

Hypocrisy abounds in this case. Religion is a personal choice. Public school should be a safe, unbiased learning ground for our children and youth. Matthew should not be experiencing such a lesson in discrimination, and in fact, hate especially in this setting.

Matthew you are correct in your stance. This will only make you a stronger person and allow you to continue to grow as an open-minded and fair individual.

Stand tall! ;)

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Guest Supporter in Weehawken

Another message of support for Mr. LaClair... you did the right thing. Religion has no place in public school, or for that matter in any part of modern society. It is about time that we stop believing in myths and base our society on rationality and science. The teacher involved should be fired. Mr. LaClair should be commended, and the rest of us should take a lesson.

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Guest paloaltan

Thank you, Matthew.

Why is a >history< teacher even talking about evolution?

Why is this teacher parroting specious arguments?

Why is this teacher still employeed in your school system?

I've been listening to the miserable arguments of creationists for the past

20 years, and what they lack in coherence they make up for with tenacity.

Who, inded, has seen the genetic drift that occurs through millennia?

Possibly someone who lived for millennia. Most galling, though, is the

attempt to confuse testable scientific hypothesis with unfalsifiable religious

faith. It's like saying that because I expect half my coin tosses to come up

heads, that I "believe" in probability, and that I'm engaged in something

equivalent to religious belief. Utter nonsense.

Your "history" teacher has abused his position in the worst way. It's a

disgrace to the concept of education. Teachers need to leave their

personal mumbo-jumbo and the schoolhouse door.

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Guest ckbates

I want to give a big hand to Matthew for using his rational mind to catch an irrational religibully using the publicly funded, separated from church, somewhat state supported school classroom to spread a virulent everyone-goes-to-hell except us because we're special message. I am glad CNN aired this piece!!!

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Congratulations Matt, on your bravery, intelligence, and persistence. Nearly 20 years ago in North Carolina I too refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. My teacher called me crazy for not believing in god. I should have stood up against small-mindedness and religious fanaticism then, but I didn't have the fortitude. Your recording of your teacher's arrogant and ignorant statements is necessary and brilliant.

It horrifies me today that in 2006, in a Northeastern town, this kind of simplemindedness and proseletyzing can still occur.

The teacher needs to be not only fired, but banned from teaching.

The school board needs to be fired and fined.

The town needs to be enlightened on tolerance, at least. Ideally, they would learn that their Christian beliefs are just myths for the lazy man.

And Matthew needs to be celebrated. Thanks, Matt.

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Total support from from a fellow high schooler who has to deal with excessive religion in school (I, of course, can't really complain since I go to a Catholic school), but I totally support your fight for reason and common sense. I constantly have to argue with people claiming that the US is a Christian nation, and they don't quite understand why I skip the "under God" part of the pledge. I completely understand your annoyance with what was going on in your school, and I think you did the only thing you could . . . you brought the problem the forefront, and I can only hope that it is resolved in accordance with the principles our country was founded on. Hang in there, you're obviously smarter and braver than the critics.

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Matthew,

There are places in America where the virus of religion has infected nearly all the lives, spreading from the old to the young, touching all ages. If it ever seems you are surrounded, assaulted on all sides, know that above all else, you can trust the one thing that truly makes us human: our ability to reason. Rely also on your ability to resist your own instinctive, perhaps even genetic, need to embrace theology and the supernatural. Be comforted that many others live and have lived before us happy ethical lives without the insanity of a god. Despite all our human prowess and the history of civilization we still dwell in a dark age where most of us are still blind. Your town is in darkness, though not so dark as some bloody places in our little world. You have brought a flash of light in your local night - for one so young, that is indeed couragous and laudable.

Joe

San Francisco, CA

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Guest Rev Bob

I am an evangelical pastor who adamantly believes an inviolable separation of church and state must be sustained against all intrusions. The use of a state-funded forum to evince matters of faith is a crass misrepresentation of what Christ preached.

Christ did not use his "authority" to change people's minds, but rather went to the poor and fed them, to the sick and healed them, and to the authorities to challenge their abuse of power. Our witness is not in our words, but in the strength of our love. Christ is not about public proclomations of righteousness (self or otherwise).

Whatever Matthew's beliefs, he was right to challenge this teacher's gross public offenses.

We would do well to remember the words of Roger Williams, the Puritan pastor who was the founder of the American principle of the separation of church and state:

"When they [the Church] have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the Candlestick, etc., and made His Garden a wilderness as it is this day. And that therefore if He will ever please to restore His garden and Paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world, and all that be saved out of the world are to be transplanted out of the wilderness of the World." (published in 1644)

Rev Bob

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Guest James_Maine

Hey just saw you on A-C 360, and you definitely had your story well put together, you knew what you were going to say, and it came out well.

Not knowing you in real life, and also being a 17 year old, in Public High School, I can see where you made you conclusions, and FULLY agree with them.

Also while I don't know if you will receive this or not, you should look to find more information on the Libertarian Party (thats Liberty, not Liberalism). The Libertarian Party advocates for personal rights while limiting government impact.

In Maine I have not had a problem with teachers talking about God in my class, I have had overtly Christian teachers talk about God, but they are always devious enough not to insert the words, I or you.

----

According to Anderson's follow up remarks after your interview about the town of Kearny being out to get you with Death Threats, and resentment. Forget that.

Just look on the previous page, an Astronomer/professor of Cornell just congratulated you on your audacity, and getting into College with your new found National Attention wont be hard (unless you wont to become an Emissary, or Priest, you might not get that chance anymore, oh well.)

Any Like minded "common-sense", individual knows that our Founding Fathers specifically separated Church V State. And for a US History teacher of all people to spout pious remarks in the classroom is ironic and wrong.

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Guest an American in Texas

Thank you, Rev. Bob. We Christians should be the loudest voices protesting what this teacher has done. Please, folks, get this through your heads: it's both illegal and un-American to proselytize for ANY religion in a public school classroom. America is not a theocracy.

Shame on us for forcing those in the religious minority to remind us of these facts. Their fight is our fight, too. It's high time we took back our faith from the fundamentalists who bring Christ's name into disrepute.

Paul, Debra, and Matthew, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, however you choose to celebrate the season. And thank you for your courageous and principled stand.

Leigh Williams

Austin, Texas

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Guest John Lee

I read the Times story on the web, and I wanted to voice my support for Matthew and his parents. I've never been able to figure out why some people think it's okay to force their religious views on others, but I know from my own experience that it happens -- and sometimes it gets ugly. That's why we need the LaClairs and others of like mind. Without them, we would be torn, pillar to post, by those who think they know best in all matters of spirituality and doctrine. Of all places, a public school is the absolute worst place for such arrogance.

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Thank you, Rev. Bob.  We Christians should be the loudest voices protesting what this teacher has done.  Please, folks, get this through your heads:  it's both illegal and un-American to proselytize for ANY religion in a public school classroom.  America is not a theocracy.

Shame on us for forcing those in the religious minority to remind us of these facts.  Their fight is our fight, too.  It's high time we took back our faith from the fundamentalists who bring Christ's name into disrepute.

Paul, Debra, and Matthew, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, however you choose to celebrate the season.  And thank you for your courageous and principled stand.

Leigh Williams

Austin, Texas

Religious minority?

I dont think that Paul or Matt said that they were of a different Religion? Even If I were Christian and in their position of having to sit through that stuff, I would be unproud to be one.

---

Also I am James_Maine.

I run a site called Indpendentyouth.com, and advocate for youth being independent and having more credibility.

Email : Jgmcgowan (at) gmail.com

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Matthew,

Thank-you for your bravery.

I love God and I try every day to live by what I believe serves God.

You have done more to serve God than those religious nutcases who believe the way to bring people to God is to ram it down their throats. You have shown and spoken the truth. You have acted with integrity and honesty. It disgusts me that those who claim to serve God would want to punish you for your courage and integrity. They dishonour and disrespect God in their behaviour. You, on the other hand, have only spoken the truth. There is no greater way to serve God. Thank-you again.

Your teacher is to God what war is to peace. He has breached the trust that parents and children have placed in him and does not deserve the priviledge of teaching any longer. This is not the behaviour of one who truly serves God. I apologize to you for the injustice that has been done in the way you have been treated. I am sorry that those who would claim they serve God would treat you in such a disrespectful and vile manner.

You will come to God in your own time, in your own way. If not during your lifetime, you will be reunited in the afterlife, because God turns no-one away. Especially not those with the outstanding courage and integrity you have shown.

God is not needy and desperate as are those who would force him upon you. He does not require anything from you, but you have honoured him, and all of those who truly serve him.

Matthew, you continue to be the great person you are. Hopefully some of those who SAY they serve God will follow your example and actually choose to live in a way that honours God. Be true to yourself and you are being true to God. Even if you question his existance, or even outright disbelieve, that is OK. That you continue to be the greatest person you know how to be is all that matters.

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