Friendly Atheist under attack

Ok, the title of my article is a little inflamatory, but how else can you describe a consentrated effort on the part of the Illinois Family Institute to get Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta fired from his job as a high school math teacher? Sounds like an attack to me.

IFL director Laurie Higgins is on a crusade to get the school faculty to punish him for writing an atheist blog on his free time, even though it plays no part in his teaching life. I won’t pretend to know all the details (go to his site for that), but I thought it might be fun to put up some choice quotes from the whole affair:

…even if Mr. Mehta does not view his math classes as opportunities to proselytize, there still remains the fact that he is a role model and he regularly engages in very public discourse on very controversial topics. For many parents, views on homosexuality and belief in God are two of life’s most important issues — issues that are critical to both civilized and eternal life.

I personally think the elimination of hunger and suffering in the world are more important issues, but what do I know, I’m just a godless heathen! Also, if that statement wasn’t ignorant enough for you, here is a classic one that should be put on a trophy for “worst analogy ever made by a retarded Christian”

Many parents would recoil at having their children spend a school year under the tutelage of a teacher — particularly a charismatic teacher — who in his or her free time blogs favorably about racism and travels the length and breadth of the country preaching racism. Similarly, some parents may recoil at having their children spend a year under the tutelage of a teacher who spends his free time blogging favorably about atheism and homosexuality and traveling the length and breadth of the country preaching favorably about atheism.

So, let me get this straight: Hemant’s blogging on issues of gay rights and atheism is racist? This from a woman who has compared homosexuals to Nazis? Do these morons ever listen to the delicious irony that sometimes spills out of their ignorant mouths? If it’s any comfort Hemant, she did call you charismatic at least…

Comments (14)

  • avatar


    How does religion affect how you teach Trigonometry?

    “The sine of an angle is equal to the opposite length divided by the hypotenuse, oh, and Jesus died for your sins.”

  • avatar


    He’s god damn math teacher! Is nothing uncontroversial to the fundies?

    I really wish I could have a nice chat with one of these crazies, maybe get a small glimpse into the mind of a total nut bag.

  • avatar

    Closet Atheist

    LB: You can talk to my neighbors, stark-raving nutter Fundies. You’ll quickly see that there is no mind in the nut bag.

  • avatar


    I don’t even run into the Mormons or the Jehovas. Really a heated confrontation would certainly liven up my day.

  • avatar


    Oh I would be so pissed if I were him. :O

  • avatar


    What’s also interesting is that she is calling him on something she has done herself. She was quite a vocal fundie when she was a teacher’s aide in Illinois. Read more on my blog:

  • avatar

    don hudgins

    I love you guys but you need to proof read. Should be ‘elimination’.

    “I personally think that the illimination of hunger…”

  • avatar


    Don: yeah, I noticed that too.

    Well, this leaves my career as a History Teacher in Missouri out, I guess…too bad.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    Yeah, it’s my bad. I’ve always needed an editor (it’s why I’m such a poor blogger). I’ve always been better at radio, but what can you do!

  • avatar


    Hey, math is extremely important to fundies. After all, secular math says 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, when all good fundies know that 1 + 1 + 1 = 1…

  • avatar

    His Shadow

    So being honest about a lack of belief in gods is equivalent to being a racist. This is why I find pleas from some corners of the rational universe to tone down the rhetoric and and show respect for theists as hollow and pointless. Many theists have no respect for and openly despise atheists, comparing us to , as above, racists, as well as child molesters, and violent criminals. All the while deriding our lack or ethics, morals or assuming we behave in a way contary to the requirements of a civilized society. In light of this, no quarter is asked, so none given.

  • avatar


    Does not surprise me, unfortunately. Had students (in college) try to pull this on me before, and I don’t have nearly the profile he does.

    But you know, these days, evolution, climate change and health care are “very controversial topics”. Should we fire every high school teacher who advocates for these things (outside the classroom), too?

  • avatar


    Hey guys, no I think you’ve got it slightly wrong.

    In the second quote, she’s just comparing the *level* of outrage that you or I would feel about someone preaching racism, to the level of outrage that she feels about people preaching atheism. She isn’t saying that the Friendly Atheist IS racist. Read the passage again.

    It’s still ridiculous of course. Just a different kind of ridiculousness than the one you were attacking.

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