A pastor in Maine has resigned from his position on a school board following complaints from parents about his Facebook posts promoting white pride and targeting black people and Muslims.
Bob Celeste, the “senior pastor” at ChristianPatriot.com, resigned on Thursday after some members of the community pointed to inappropriate social media posts, including one warning “all Muslims” that the United States has “the highest concentration of Armed Christians in the world.” Other posts stressed the importance of stopping “white genocide.”
Celeste stepped down from the RSU 17 school board just days after people began protesting his offensive social media activity, but he still maintains the two developments are unrelated.
Robert “Bob” Celeste of Harrison stepped down before completing the final year of his three-year term on the RSU 17 school board. In resigning, Celeste told Superintendent Richard Colpitts that he wanted to spend what “time I have left” completing a translation of the Bible from ancient Greek and Hebrew. Celeste said he has stage-four cancer.
Celeste told the Bangor Daily News on Monday that his resignation “had nothing to do with the fools that say, ‘That’s racist.’ They can’t even define ‘racist.’”
He declined to describe his political views generally, but asked, “Is there anything wrong with protecting the white race?”
He also said “born-again Christians should not be putting their kids in a public school” where they are taught “lies” and “that racism is anyone that disagrees with Islam.”
Celeste has posted a number of ridiculous racial and religious concepts and memes on Facebook, including commentary embracing the infamous Pizzagate theory, but Superintendent Colpitts said Celeste was actually most well-known for his opposition to the teaching of evolution in science classes.
Ironically, Celeste thinks evolution isn’t on enough of a firm footing to be taught in public schools, but Christianity is.
Colpitts, who was unaware of the Celeste’s posts until last week, said he didn’t agree with Celeste’s views but that he did not have the authority to remove an elected member of the school board.
Celeste was one of Harrison’s two representatives on the board and was elected unopposed.
At board meetings, Celeste didn’t talk about race, according to Colpitts. Instead, Celeste often voiced disdain for public schools and the teaching of evolution.
Celeste’s opinions were very much in the minority of the 22-person board, Colpitts said.
I doubt Celeste would appreciate that characterization. He’s not a fan of minorities.
But at least he won’t be serving on that board any longer. Regardless of the reasoning for his timely departure, it should be celebrated. There’s now room for a reasonable person, without a bigoted agenda, to take his place.
(Screenshot via News Center Maine. Thanks to Patricia for the link)