Religious Right Group Criticizes Me for ‘Promoting Hostility Toward Christianity and Goodwill Toward Sexual Deviance’ December 31, 2013

Religious Right Group Criticizes Me for ‘Promoting Hostility Toward Christianity and Goodwill Toward Sexual Deviance’

The Illinois Family Institute, like most non-profits, wants to get those end-of-the-year donations, so they’re doing it in typical fashion: by scaring other Christians and reminding them the sky is falling.

And who’s responsible for all their troubles? You know it: those awful, awful teachers:

The first educational institutions to succumb to censorship, indoctrination, and oppression were our colleges and universities. Then Leftist sexuality dogmatists came for our high school students, and now they’re taking aim at our littlest ones through “bullying prevention” activities, “comprehensive” sex ed, and discussions of “family diversity.”

Only a right-wing group like IFI would put scare-quotes around topics like bullying prevention, diversity, and realistic sex education that doesn’t end with abstinence. As if discussing those topics are problems instead of solutions.

But they’re not done yet.

Since the number of teachers who push anti-Christian views in the classroom is approximately zero, they decided to go after me because I’m a teacher who also shares his opinions outside the classroom (*gasp*):

Many have probably read about the math teacher… Hemant Mehta, who in his spare time works feverishly on his blog, The Friendly Atheist, where he demonstrates a condescending distaste for all things religious, particularly Christianity, often in language far more offensive than the two anatomically correct terms that got Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson in a peck of trouble. Mehta’s been in the news lately for trying unsuccessfully to donate money to the Morton Grove Park Board after they lost funding from the American Legion who objected to a board member who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mehta, the not-so-friendly atheist, also has guest writers who promote a host of lousy ideas including public acceptance of polyamory (Click HERE, and HERE and take note that these were written over four years ago. They’re no Johnny-come-latelies to the sexual anarchy parade.) So, in his free time, this role model for other people’s children is promoting hostility toward Christianity and goodwill toward sexual deviance.

1) I guess Laurie Higgins couldn’t find anything problematic on this site from the past four years so the had to resort to a column by Richard Wade. Richard, the nicest guy you’ll ever meet and a counselor who has helped more readers of this site than I can count. That’s the worst she could find.

2) I didn’t change the outgoing link to the second “HERE”… IFI accidentally copy/pasted what appears to be an email pitch to two people to get them to come to an event they’re sponsoring. I guess ticket sales are low. Too bad, huh?

3) Did you all know I promote hostility toward Christianity? I sure as hell didn’t. Who knew criticizing bad ideas and supporting church/state separation was tantamount to hating faith?

4) I also had no idea that I promote “goodwill toward sexual deviance.” I think that means I support letting consenting adults do whatever the hell they want with each other. Or that I treat LGBT folks with dignity and respect. Or that I support marriage equality. In any case, you’re welcome!

In all seriousness, if I’m the bogeyman they’re trying to use to convince supporters to give them more money, they really have nothing to complain about. In fact, after correctly pointing out that the things I post on this website are separate from things I teach in the classroom, they still try to conflate the two a couple of paragraphs later:

The teachers mentioned here don’t even scratch the surface of the problem, let alone get to its dark underbelly. Teachers who lack both wisdom and a proper understanding of their roles as public educators (including the limitations thereof) line the halls of academia. The problem is not insoluble, but solving it will take both time and courage. Those who have children in school now or will have children in school shortly need to find alternatives to public education.

IFI already admitted I do understand my role as an educator and keep my atheism out of the classroom. And even though I don’t teach English, it’s not hard to see how their argument lacks credible examples and contradicts itself. If I were a supporter, I’d be embarrassed knowing how my money is being wasted battling teachers like me who clearly have no intention of preaching my personal views to my students.

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Welcome home, Hemant.

  • Thanks for everything you and the other contributors do, Hemant. Happy new year.

  • Pithecanthropus

    See you in hell, sinner! 😀

  • Lando

    Dude; you said ‘hell’ without any reverence, or fear, or whatever, and you didn’t even capitalize it. This offensive language is getting to be too much.

  • $84687101

    I did not know that the duck guy was in trouble for “two anatomically correct words”. I thought he was in trouble for spreading the notion that gay people should be hated and feared and that black people had it better before the civil rights act because they never told him that white people ever mistreated them (funny how black people in a state known for lynchings wouldn’t complain to white people about white people).

    That’s one of the problems with these people. They think it’s magic words that are bad, rather than reprehensible ideas, no matter how eloquently and politely stated.

    Also, I would be proud to be accused of promoting goodwill toward sexual deviance.

  • WallofSleep

    Sorry, OT…

    “… often in language far more offensive than the two anatomically correct terms that got Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson in a peck of trouble.”

    Fuck me if this Duck Dynasty thing couldn’t piss me off more. The entire fucking media completely glossed over his racist-apologist comment in that very same goddamned interview. Barely a fucking word mentioned about it. Epic mother-fucking fail, American media. I am disappoint.

    Sorry for the rant.


    My disappointment here is no meager thing. My philosophy on news media has been such for many years: All forms of media are full of nothing but bias, fabrication, and blatant lies, and it has been this way since the first caveman applied pigment to stone. With that in mind, you’d think it impossible to disappoint a guy like me, yet they still manage to. Spectacularly.

  • Thiriel

    I think if you are the worst example of an atheist teacher she can come up with, then I feel somewhat better about the state of American Eeducation. It seems to me that the shriller these types yell, the better the world seems to be

  • Dave

    Hey Richard, Just read and re read your intelligent and reasoned response to Poly. Keep up the good work.

  • Rob P

    One thing that bothers me here is the call to put kids in private schools. And then these same people want the government to pay for it through tax credits.

  • James

    If you don’t have ’em frothing/spluttering at the mouth, you’re doing something wrong.

  • Mario Strada

    Since this is what I do for a living, I took notice of the wrong link they posted. Once I filtered the 20% (that’s a space in a URL) this is what it says:

    a href=” Dennis and Fran! Are either of you interested in attending the SpeakOut Illinois event on Feb. 1st in Rosemont? We’d love to have you at our table! Happy New Year,”

    I think we should all wish Dennis and Fran a happy new year too. Too bad they don;t accept comment on their site.

  • invivoMark

    Hemant, you really don’t think you promote hostility toward Christianity and goodwill toward sexual deviance?

    Geez, some people just don’t know how to take a compliment!

  • EuropeanCommunist

    Religious Right Group Criticizes Me for ‘Promoting Hostility Toward Christianity and Goodwill Toward Sexual Deviance’

    So in other words, you’re doing a damn good job!

  • WallofSleep


  • Malcolm McLean

    In Britain, at least until recently, we had a tradition that teachers would bring their views into the classroom. We had an Irishman who was a supporter o fthe IRA. The biys used to love winding him up and getting him going on outrageous statements like “I’m collecting nails”.

    As an adult who teaches now and again I suspect now that there was an element of play-acting in it. Most good teachers have a running joke. Otherwise the kids introduce their own running jokes.

    I don’t have a problem at all with atheist teachers teaching atheism, as long as religious teachers can teach their views.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    You’re obviously doing something right.

  • WallofSleep

    “It seems to me that the shriller these types yell, the better the world seems to be.”

    … for the Devil sends the Beast with wrath, because he knows the time is short.

  • Lucilius

    Actually, “sexual anarchy” in the sense of free choice by responsible adults sounds great – especially when compared to the IFI’s dream of sexual totalitarianism.

  • oh Hemant, you know that when they’re picking on you, it’s a good sign. “Give us money, there’s a scary blogger out there saying things we don’t like!!!1!”

    nothing against you, but come on. a blogger? that’s your biggest ‘threat’ to xtianity and family and wholesomeness and jeebus?

    you know you’ve won the war when your enemy is reduced to the level of internet comment trolling. sorry, IFI grifters. the number of people who are going to send you $$$ is dying off at an increasing rate every day. why don’t you morons come up with a kickstarter project and join the 21st C? loosers.

  • GeraardSpergen

    In case she drops in here, I would like to wish Laurie Higgins a friendly, happy new year… and the same to all the regulars – atheist or not.

  • Lucilius

    As a member of the media, my philosophy is that you spend a lot of time talking through your ass.

  • WallofSleep

    Perhaps. But I dare you to pick a medium out there that is not colored by human bias. Just one.

    EDIT: For clarification… The fact that media is colored by human bias has absolutely no bearing on the observable fact that many words do indeed pass through my posterior. Just thought I should point that out.

  • NewEnglandBob

    I always laugh at organizations like Illinois Family institute which is actually anti-family and anti-people in their issues. They also don’t have the guts to allow comments on their web site.

  • Layla13

    ***The first educational institutions to succumb to censorship,
    indoctrination, and oppression were our colleges and universities. ***

    Keep up the good work, colleges and universities!!!

  • Whitney Currie

    It occurs to me that they probably wouldn’t be grasping quite so hard at those straws if you weren’t doing just fine, Hemant.

    Welcome back, by the way, hope you had a great time!

  • TheG

    Personally, I would love to go to a club called “Sexual Anarchy,” but I’m afraid I would run into someone like Ms Higgins protesting outside.

    Actually, considering the history the most shrill of these types have with battling their own demons, the more frightening thought is that I would be more likely to see her within the club.


  • TheG

    Be careful with that hate speech. It could raise her some money.

  • Then Leftist sexuality dogmatists

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means. “You are free to live your life how to see fit free from persecution” is not dogma.

    We’re going to pressure you into following what we think you shouldn’t do… is.

  • Marie Alexander

    Hemant, welcome back! I find it hilarious that they chose this blog as their boogeyman; as far as the internet goes, this is as tolerant and friendly as the Internet gets.

    Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody.

  • Jay

    I have to agree with the IFI here. Hemant is really hostile towards Christianity, and he continuously undermines all efforts to prop it up. We can’t have someone going out in public and saying these things! Think of the children!

    He’s posted about Penis Amputation:

    Criticized God!:

    Mocked Christmas:

    It takes all of 2 minutes to see that he is hateful, hostile, and utterly anti-Christian. And as a bunch of us masturbate looking at his picture while eating babies, he promotes sexual deviance as well.

    God Bless you, Hemant.

  • Funny, you never see Joe Klein inviting Dennis and Fran to SpeakOut Illinois.

  • The IFI has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center quite some time ago. Like any troll without a good argument, IFI’s director Laurie Higgins even pulled a Goodwin’s Law by comparing homosexuality to Nazism. Then there was former executive Peter LaBarbera who attacked Anti-Bullying programs for schools.

    I’m not sure what his exact reasons were for going against a campaign towards teaching children to be tolerant of others and act like decent human beings. That’s just two examples of crap they pulled that I can remember right off.

  • Phil Robertson didn’t stop with his GQ interview. Recently he spoke about marrying girls that are 15 years old instead of women of legal age.

  • smrnda

    Me? I’d like teachers to stay on topic with the courses they are teaching and not hijack classes to talk about their opinions on other issues. Not that I expect teachers to be robots or anything, just if I was hired to teach mathematics, a discussion about the merits or demerits of religious beliefs is diverting time away from what the kids are there to learn.

  • What makes you think she’d be outside protesting? From what I’ve seen, the sexually repressed seem to have some surprising kinks.

    Sorry, reading comp fail on my part.

  • I didn’t change the outgoing link to the second “HERE”…

    That link now just leads to a busted page. Funny thing is the haven’t even fixed it in their article.

  • onamission5

    I had no idea you worked on your blog “feverishly.” Here I figured you made posts in what little free time you have, and when you don’t have free time or you want to use it for yourself, you handed some blog space over to a handful of other contributors.

  • Richard Thomas

    I mean, this blog IS a hate group, after all. That’s why that library couldn’t take our money. These guys are just pushing back the only way they know how, by being an even BIGGER hate group. (Hater? Hatier? I dunno. You get the point.)

  • Fentwin

    Thats why its call it talking out of my a posteriori. It based on experience that we know the biases inherent in the system:P

  • jen

    Sexual Anarchy Parade is the name of my new band.

  • Jeremiah Traeger

    Hemant, they called you the “not-so-friendly-atheist”! Are you going to take that? You’re just using your FREE SPEECH!!!!111!!one1!1one!!!

    Either way, I have learned that any organization with the word “family” in it is anti-family in many cases and have shitty opinions.

  • God Satan Bless you, Hemant.

    There. Fixed it for ya.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I love the fact that the IFI ignores the racist comments that robertson made. They are deliberately lying, but that’s usual for a group with family in the name. As gus said in a previous post I would be proud to be accused of promoting goodwill towards sexual deviance since to people like laurie anything not missionary, lights off, for kids is sexually deviant.

  • BoGardiner

    Good heavens… if you and this blog — a great example of civil discourse — are the best they can come up with to scare people, they need to join the real world and find something real to worry about.

  • B Dallmann

    The article didn’t even quote what I think is the worst part of it, the part where he says the right kind of woman can cook a meal and carries her Bible.

  • Matt D

    Sauce be upon him.

  • *pawbump*

  • Moi

    Great job, Hemant et al. It’s unfortunate that these folks have denied the ability to respond to them directly on these posts. Common theme on most of the sites run by the fundraising faithful… afraid of some factual responses, I guess.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Their Bible is full of sanctioned rape, polygamy and incest. They’re the ones who promote sexual deviance.

  • Artor

    But…but…if they joined the real world, where would they get their money?

  • anniewhoo

    Do they have any idea how difficult it would be to make a palindrome out of “Not-so-friendly-atheist?”

  • Artor

    I don’t have a problem at all with atheist teachers teaching atheism, as long as religious teachers can teach their views.

    Therein lies the problem. How would you feel about a religious teacher teaching biology, but injecting his creationist beliefs into the curriculum? That would be a shitty class to take. How about a Home Economics class, with an extra helping of misogyny & “traditional” gender roles? Or, for that matter, an atheist History teacher who feels compelled to berate Xian students for all the historical crimes of their co-religionists?
    Let’s keep doctrine out of school entirely, and focus on learning a balanced curriculum.

  • Carmelita Spats

    So true…Pastor Mark “Jesus Died For Your Crappy Little Sins So Put Down the Porn and Listen Up, Sicko” Driscoll claims that rascal Yahweh beams interminable images of his parishioners’ sexual sins into his wee brain…Pastor Buckeye** stupidly stuck himself in an endless loop on the Yahweh Non-Consensual And Violent And Illegal Porn Channel 24/7. All he needs now is a shiny set of jumper cables, a giant vat of margarine and a rake.

    (**everyone knows that a buckeye is a hairless nut).

  • A3Kr0n

    Richard Wade swears, too, I saw him do it once. How many times have I seen Joe Klein swear? Zero times, because I really don’t know who he is.

  • The IFI is nothing but a bunch of homophobic, anti-intellectual fear mongers. They were staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage in Illinios and spent a pretty penny fighting against it (because we all know Jesus would prefer this to helping the needy). Whenever I politely confronted them on their Facebook page about their stance, they responded by blocking me, deleting my comments, and then posting replies to me that could not be responded to.

  • UWIR

    They do need to be institutionalized, so at least that part of their name isn’t baseless.

  • Jeff

    Other than his use of colorful language, he is correct that the media is full of bias. It is a NECESSITY of media to be biased. I’m not talking Fox News/MSNBC bias. I’m talking time. There are 24 hours in a day, and the world is a rather large friggin’ place. There are 22 minutes of time in the National Network News broadcast, followed by 22 minutes (or less) of the local Network News broadcast. By fact of time, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE in the hierarchy of the news network decides what is and isn’t news. Whether they make that decision based on what will draw the most eyes (and Fox will run a different story than MSNBC, because people watch media that says what they want to hear, so they will pander to their audience) or what will draw the most advertisers, or what will check off their boxes for their public service stories, a bias is required. The news business is a for-profit service. Facts are interesting, but they must have viewers to pay the bills. They will “approach” a story from the point that will most attract their audience, period. Now, you can shout about what you learned in school about journalism all you want, but it isn’t some holier-than-thou enterprise, it’s a friggin’ business. And to be a business, it has to make money, and that brings in bias. It isn’t the big conspiracy socialist-liberal-somethingfornothing versus conservative-taxcut-letgrandmadie. It’s about money.

  • Jeff

    I dont’ give a rats backside about the teachers opinions. Teach the subject matter. Teach how to critically review the subject matter. Leave your personal opinions out of it.

  • UWIR

    You seem to have messed up your anchor tag.

  • UWIR

    “As a member of the media, my philosophy is”

    Your philosophy is a member of the media?

    Strictly speaking, “media” is the plural of “medium”, and a medium is a means through which people communicate.

  • UWIR

    My understanding is that this recently came to light, but the actual speaking was not recent.

  • UWIR

    Wow, you’re really harsh on him. The guy never heard black people complaining about their treatment. What was supposed to conclude, other than that black people were well treated? Like how I went to North Korea, and no one there had any complaint at all about Kim Jong-un. The people in South Korea, on the other hand, were constantly complaining about their government. And yet people look at me strange when I say that people in North Korea are better off.

  • baal

    @dave, link?

  • Dave
  • I guess I can use this link twice today. 🙂

    Christianity is based on the idea that Christians are so wonderful that everyone else feels a need to persecute the Christians.

    The Christians are trying to impose their immorality on others through the government, which the Bill of Rights protects us from.

    The Bill of Rights exists to promote fair play.

    Why do so many Christians oppose fair play for others?

    Why do so many Christians hate America?

    Reasonable Doubts did a three part podcast series exposing this myth.

    Episode 113: The Myth of Martyrdom (Part 1) with guest Candida Moss


  • They want their religion to run the government, so this is not surprising.

    Just put our God in charge and pay no attention to the way we dish out Wrath and Jealousy and other Godly virtues.


  • Have you considered that the reason people in South Korea constantly complain about their government is because they are allowed to do so? Speaking ill of a totalitarian regime if you are under that sort of rule is generally considered a form of sedition and treason. These actions have unequally harsh punishments from hard labor and long prison sentences, to even execution.

  • TCC

    Your sarcasm meter is broken.

  • TCC

    Assuming you’re referring to the image in the banner, I think you mean ambigram.

  • Sorry, I didn’t see a sarcmark ( /s ) at the end of his post. Also I’ve seen the exact same statements before by people who weren’t joking about that very topic. Both in the case of Phil and the DPRK.

  • TVG

    Ironic, as the Nazis persecuted homosexuals, at least the ones that weren’t Nazis themselves.

  • TVG

    That’s the mandatory Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope reference for the week.

  • jimlouvier

    Media has also become synonymous with the news. Most often thought of as television or newspaper reporting.

  • Cato

    Yeah Hemant, you should stop pushing your silly atheist math unto unsuspecting little kids. I bet the only number you’re teaching them is 666. And every Good True Christian knows that 1+1+1=1, not 3.

  • MerchantMariner

    Everything I know about sexual deviance I learned from reading the bible… 🙂

  • Randay

    Journalists and editors are the gatekeepers of what is fit to print. Apparently Wikileaks was just going to upload their hundreds of thousands of pages, but newspapers convinced them to work with their supposed experienced and expert reporters. They sifted the material and released what they thought was important or acceptable. Who knows whether there was worse stuff that was rejected for publication?

  • MerchantMariner

    Interesting point you make. Here in Sydney we have a mad old mongrel state politician, the “reverend” Fred Nile. He’s your classic right-wing godfearing fuckwit. One of the many things he’s campaigned against is pornography. He once claimed that even a quick glance at a copy of Playboy would utterly corrupt you forever.

    Back in the days that the NSW police had a vice squad my mate Corbs was a sergeant with them, and he had to go and see this bloke as part of an investigation. He told me that he had the biggest collection of porn he’d ever seen, all neatly indexed and sorted in stacks of archive boxes. As he said to me afterwards, “If reading Playboy will corrupt you, what sort of dirty bastard is he ?”

    More recently he’s been in the news campaigning against same-sex marriage, running the usual line that god only wants men and women to marry so that they can have children. Just before Christmas, old Fred, who’s 79, married a 55-year old woman…

    Can’t wait to hear all about the baby shower.

  • Buckley

    Teaching Anthropology is exceptionally freeing…I get to talk about religion and atheism in society…but it’s hard to not bring in personal beliefs, it is hard to play devils advocate, but I’ve been quite successful for many years so I guess it’s possible.

  • WallofSleep

    The reason it is collectively referred to as “The News Media” is because they use more than one medium to disseminate the news. I thought this was common knowledge.

  • anniewhoo

    Ah, yes. I did. Thanks!

  • oz

    I am so glad I was not born in America. Seriously.

  • Sue (Yet, She Persisted) Blue

    OOOOO!!!! Tolerance and diversity – so scary! Everyone knows those sneetches that don’t have stars upon thars aren’t really sneetches at all, and should be forcefully reminded of it at every opportunity! Comprehensive sex ed – so deviant! Every girl should learn about virginity and purity from Daddy and every boy from Father Joseph or Pastor Jim, just the way that Jesus intended! Them kids don’t need to know a thing about sex until they’re married at age 16! Math and science – why on earth would someone who is just going to join the teeming masses of minimum-wage workers need to learn that stuff? So they can figure out how they’re getting screwed on their paychecks and go on strike? Heaven forbid!

  • Tervuren

    The reason I read you daily is that you are Friendly (maybe a good name for a blog), some sites are a little too sarcastic for me. Also I am a fellow teacher. Although I tend not to get into heavy philosophical discussions with my Special Ed third graders.

  • allein

    You made my day with the Sneetches reference. 🙂

  • Tor

    Hemant, if the IFI is criticizing/attacking you, then you are doing something right. Please keep the good work up. And happy new year, I hope 2014 will be a great year for all of us.

  • Tor

    Many days I wish I could join you.

  • Tor

    Like the gum commercial: “Three, three, three flavors in one chewy stick!”

  • Tor

    Anti-same sex marriage was the only reason for the existence of IFI. They are now looking for a new reason to exist. Actually aiding humanity has not yet crossed their radar.

  • Tor

    You must add in the “fertile time” to that equation. Otherwise faithful man-husband is just whacking off in the bathroom.

  • Tor

    Wait – no – he can’t be doing that either. He’ll go to hell or grow hairy palms or something. How pitiful to be them.

  • Tor

    That was…. Until they murdered the Mehlman Homosexuals among them.

  • Oranje

    So polyamory is going to be a bogeyman now? Great. Yeah, I’m just so scary, with my relationships between consenting adults and all that. Threatening all of that traditional monogamy in the bible. Oh, wait…

  • Oranje

    Yup, one of only three Star Wars films ever made.

    Only. Three.

    *fingers in ears*

  • aaa

    Don’t forget the Christmas special!!!

  • Greisha

    Additional badge of honor. And since you are working for a public school, the First Amendment protects you.

error: Content is protected !!