You may recall that last week, I told you about Nancy Perry, a middle school teacher in Dublin, Georgia who told her class that President Obama isn’t really a Christian–and anyone who voted for him isn’t really a Christian either.
The parents of one child didn’t take this lying down, and demanded a meeting with Perry–which was attended by her husband, Bill, a former local talk radio wingnut who is also a member of the local school board. When that meeting went nowhere, the child’s parents complained to the full board. Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter later said he’d talked with Nancy Perry and told her that her actions were inappropriate–but from the looks of it, took no further disciplinary action.
I initially called this response grossly inadequate. However, if new information from longtime Georgia blogger Alan Wood is any indication, “inadequate” was being way too kind to it. When the parents held their meeting with the Perrys, rather than address their concerns, Nancy Perry handed the parents images from a Website backing up her views. On Friday, Wood, whose Georgia Watchdog blog initially broke this story, got a tip as to exactly what that information was. It’s a list from an outfit called the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission that lists seven reasons why Obama isn’t really a Christian. What are they?
- He believes there are many paths to heaven.
- He denies the authority of the Bible.
- He supports homosexuality.
- He supports abortion.
- He affirms Muslim prayer.
- He is associated with black liberation theology.
- He has no bona fide Christian testimony.
I’ve actually seen this list before. It was put together during the 2008 campaign by the CADC, a shadowy religious right group based in Vista, California; a suburb of San Diego. The reasons are expanded on in seven YouTube videos–one for each reason–narrated by Don Hamer, a prominent black pastor in the San Diego area who died in 2010.
Reasons one through six are standard religious right talking points. Reason #7 may be hard to understand at first. What does Obama’s testimony have to do with anything? Well, in the evangelical world, when you become born-again, you’re expected to talk about your experience without hesitation. Apparently Obama didn’t do so to the satisfaction of this bunch. Then again, we’re talking about people who think that by definition, you can’t be a Christian and be a Democrat.
When I first read about Perry’s actions, I couldn’t believe she got out of this with only a reprimand. After all, you shouldn’t need anyone to tell you that trashing others’ political views in this way is grossly unprofessional behavior. Even allowing for this being a congested-red area (it’s only voted for one Democratic presidential candidate in the last half-century not named Jimmy Carter), this is simply outrageous. It would be just as outrageous if she had been a strongly Democratic teacher trashing a Republican.
But after this, Perry should be out of a job. If she thinks it’s acceptable to respond to parental concerns in this way, you really have to question whether she has the temperament to be a teacher. And if she has so little respect for others’ views, she definitely doesn’t have the temperament to be a teacher. Both put together? There’s really no defensible reason for her to be in the classroom.
Bill Perry claims that the parents have made a lot of fuss over nothing. But after reading this list, their response looks remarkably restrained. If it had been my child, I’d have already begun the push to have his wife fired.