"Are We Teaching and SELLING Creationism/Intelligent Design at Annapolis High School...and other schools? ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Are We Teaching and SELLING Creationism/Intelligent Design at Annapolis High School...and other schools?

"Are We Teaching and SELLING Creationism/Intelligent Design at Annapolis High School?"
On Sunday, March 16th CP reported the following:

"3. A MESSIANIC SCIENCE TEACHER AT ANNAPOLIS HIGH.....We read with little more than a raised eyebrow about this one in today's paper until we came to the part where this supposed science teacher said he considers his teaching "to be one form of ministry." Uh oh. CP promises to look into this more...."

Unfortunately, The Capital's article is not available on The Capital's web-site, but the story gets weirder.

Annapolis High School Science Teacher Neill Russell, a self described Messianic Jew, which likely means he considers himself Jewish but views Jesus as the messiah and the New Testament as the divinely revealed word of God, is teaching science to our children in our public schools....or is he teaching "creationism" and "intelligent design"? He has just published a book called, "Newton's Riddle. The Psalm 83 Conspiracy Revealed" which The Capital describes as a "Bible based thriller..."...and it gets weirder....

This is a concern not because of the teacher's personal religious beliefs, but because he is making them quite well known to the public as evidenced by the book, and this article in The Capital which states that he considers his teaching "to be one form of ministry." Creationism and so-called "intelligent design" is nothing more than a pseudo-intellectual game, a smokescreen for fundamentalist beliefs cloaked in the rhetoric of science.
Mr. Russell is putting his books into the hands of students and staff at AHS and using them to sell his book!

Let me make this very clear. CP has no objections to a person of faith practicing or teaching science. The concern is whether his beliefs, which are profound enough to lead him to publish about them, are spilling over into the classroom. And read on, because you'll see how he has brought them into his classroom.

There may be more of this going on. No less than two science teachers at nearby South River High School extol the book in The Capital. One is named Debie Lesko and the other is Linda Lamon.

It gets yet weirder....
Annapolis High Principal Don Lilley says he likes "the way Mr. Russell connects Biblical stories to the modern day...." but seems to have no concerns otherwise. Lilley was at a conference and unavailable for comment as of Monday morning. A call was not returned by late Monday afternoon.

It gets yet weirder....
The Capital says, "Mr. Russell sees no conflict between his firm grounding in science and his faith.....said he believes in intelligent design and has a Web site devoted to explaining how God could have created the universe in 'six days and 15 billion years.' "

Oh yeah. I could have graduated in high school in four years or a billion years and maybe never attended classes as well.

I believe that School Superintendent Kevin Maxwell needs to look into this matter and consider it carefully. It's not just one teacher and one book.

Visit www.newtonsriddle.com to see a video about the book or at http://www.godtube.com/neill which describes the book as, "More thrilling than the Da Vinci Code.....Find out for yourself what God does not want you to know...Satan's Prophetic Plan for planet Earth". This video shows a student wearing an Annapolis High School sweatshirt extolling the book in an AHS school science classroom. In other scenes, also filmed in Annapolis HS, shows more students AND STAFFERS holding up the book saying, "Read this book".
These videos used AHS students and staff-members in Annapolis High School classroom's, hallway and an office. So he is using his students to promote his book for his commercial, religious and even his political (see it for yourself...) gain. Imagine the conflicts--including asking students to promote your own book!

In a web-site about his wife's "miraculous" recovery from liver cancer, a picture shows Jesus in the hospital operating room. In the video on that site, he tells his daughters that "Jesus healed momma." www.cindysmiracle.com

Remember, this is what The Capital said on March 16:

"...he considers his teaching 'to be one form of ministry' and his book another."

Superintendent Maxwell and Principal Lilley, we need you to weigh in on this one and quickly please. Again, the teacher's beliefs are not the concern. It's that he is using students to promote them in the school. There are plenty of private religious schools in this area. Creationism and other pseudo-science based on theology belong there, if they choose, but not in our public schools. Let's get to the bottom of this and make sure that Mr. Russell, and these other science teachers, are teaching science, and not their religious beliefs.

Interviewed on a Bible prophecy radio show, Russell was asked about the reactions of students to his book and said

“I truly believe that this is again God. I teach in a public high school and to have a book that’s loaded with Biblical prophecy and scriptures read by students is that’s God. It has to be. Umm, every student that has actually read it has come up to me and said I’d like to share this with other people. How can I get a copy? See students, one thing, we have sanitized God out of the public arena especially in the public schools and students at that age, especially around 16 to 18 years old they’re looking for their future. They’re looking for that type of, uh, of foundation that uh, you know, that we had-- that’s truth and it’s not being found at the public school. When they read the truth, they get excited and that’s what’s happening these kids are really excited they’re coming up to me, they’re hearing about the book and they want to buy it.”

Go here to listen to the full interview:


Mark said...

I don't understand why no one has commented on your enlightening and great critique of Newton's Riddle. You have really hit on a huge problem going on in our public schools. Imagine the nerve of school officials letting this weirdo teach in our schools. Public schools are a place for nurturing and incubating our children, not influencing them with ideas of God. The courts in 1962 ruled there will be no more prayers in school and God will not be a part of our public schools. He must have been the problem with schools to begin with, getting him out was the best thing for America! Am I right? God and America don't belong together! After all, since that ruling violence in schools has only increased incrementally by an average of 23% per year. School shootings have become yearly events and we now average 32 deaths a year in our schools. Did you know just last year 20% of all public schools experienced one or more serious violent crimes such as rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault and 71% of public schools reported violent incidents and 46% reported thefts. The National Center for Education Statistics, a part of the Institute of Education Sciences of the United States Department of Education, said that perpetrators directed 1.3 million non-fatal crimes, including 473,000 violent crimes and 817,000 thefts, against teachers in 2007. Since God was taken out of schools our incubators have turned into breeding grounds of crime, violence and death. Who do we have to thank for getting God out of our schools? Why it was fine people like yourself Mr. Foer. Thank you very much you must be so proud. I believe Mr. Russell is a God fearing gentleman who God has blessed mightily and revealed his power through his wife's incredible healing. You, and people like you, have no where to turn but to try and belittle people like Mr. Russell to justify your own self worth and dismal outlook on life. I say if Mr. Russell wants to bring God into Science class then by golly let him! We should teach both sides of the story to our children. Let them decide, we shouldn't be hiding anything from them.

Paul Foer said...

Mark: Where do I begin? How about by asking you to identify yourself by something other than Mark?(Maybe Luke, Matthew--hey I'm Paul)

Who says there are "both sides of the story?" What story and whose sides? Well, you got at least one part right--Christianity and all religions are just stories. Genesis is a story. Sure, we should teach religion in our schools and we can begin by looking at the story of how religion has looted, murdered, maimed, oppressed and sparked hatred and violence for thousands of years. We could talk about the Inquisition, autos da fe, the Crusades etc., etc., etc.

Look Mr. Mark, I don't worship science or empiricism and I don't ask you too either. I'm not a Godless, secular heathen, but I don't want you or Neill Russell to use our public schools to inculcate our children in your beliefs. If Neill Russell wants to believe in demons and angels, that's his thing, but this country was founded on the principles of separation of church and state whether you wish to see that or not. Neill Russell can teach in public school, but his ideas of creationism and so-called "intelligent design" do not belong there. And he should not be using students to shill his book. This belongs in the home and in the private religious schools, of which there certainly are enough in this area and in many areas of the country.

And if you think that we are hiding something from our public school children by not including your narrow-minded and self-righteous beliefs, I just suggest you learn a little bit about Galileo. That's just one story among many, but you seem to like stories, so try that one! Religion in general and Christianity and Islam in particular have been keeping people ignorant for centuries. Do you suggest we teach the Koran as well as The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. After all, they are stories too!

But in the final analysis, what does any of this matter? God has revealed the future to us, the way it is going to be, so why bother? The way things are is the way they were meant to be--including violence in schools and Neill Russell's wife getting cancer--and her becoming cured of her cancer. It is written.

Mark said...

Let's try and straighten out your aim here, as it seems you like to shoot from the hip. I have only presented the facts of what has happened since Supreme Court rulings effectively ended the practice of state-supported and state-mandated school prayer in the 1960s. Anyone could conclude there is a correlation there. You make a statement that, "this country was founded on the principles of separation of church and state". Actually, this was added to the constitution as an amendment. Our founding fathers who signed and authorized the US Constitution did not foresee the need of separating church from state until later. It was, however added as an amendment but not for the reasons you think. The First Amendment, prohibits the establishment of a state-supported church, requires the separation of church and state, and guarantees freedom of worship, of speech and the press, the rights of peaceable assembly, association and petition. It was never intended to end state-mandated school prayer or take God out of the schools.

I am glad you bring up Galileo, he is a perfect example of how the truth tellers can be persecuted. He was simply defending Copernicus' theory of heliocentrism which turned out not to be a theory at all but the truth. It is interesting that Copernicus himself was a Catholic Cleric. Yes, it was the church that swayed public opinion against Galileo, but remember it was the church who crucified Christ. The Church can be Godless at times as well. Since you must be an expert on Galileo you know how the story ends, the truth prevailed and Galileo became the founding father of modern physics.

You call me narrow minded? Mr. Paul you only want the kids to hear the science of evolution, which is based on one man's theory, of which was recounted on his death bed. I am a well versed individual and have studied all the theories of evolution that are being taught in our schools. The fact of the matter is that it takes more faith to believe that all life, as we now know it, started from little strands of nucleic acids then to believe in intelligent design. For the record I don't believe creationism to be a story at all but fact. If you go outside and really look at nature you would be ignorant to concede there is no God. It is scientists like Mr. Russell who have really done a great job of trying to find the Biblical truth in science who should be credited not discredited.

I disagree with you, I believe that all theories of how life began should be introduced to our children in school. Let's keep them from being dogmatic. Since the Courts can't prove which theory is the truth all theories should be taught. I will continue to pray that you realize you are doing more destruction to our schools by trying to remove a good teacher. Our children need good teachers more than they need to be protected from hearing about creationism.

Paul Foer said...

Mark..who still will not identify himself....I am glad you are praying for me. I need all the help I can get. Yes, let's teach all the theories of creation in school--except that evolution is fact, not a theory, and it does not say anything about creationism. Natural selection is the theory.

I don't want to argue with you. One cannot debate much with one who bases his life on faith. I want Mr. Russell to be happy teaching where he is most appropriate--in a Christian school. As for teaching all theories, I am all for it. The great turtle, a thought in the mind of Timothy Leary, whatever....flat earth, demons, Sasquatch, Loch Ness monster, parthenogenesis, spontaneous combustion, Athena sprang from Zeus' head...whatever...just don;t force your religious views into the public schools...(and how do you account for the rise in churches and church attendance with the rise in all these other social ills to which you refer??)

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