Society Magazine

Lawsuit Challenges “Religion of Atheism”

By Cris

A high school physics and chemistry teacher in Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that evolution is atheism and because atheism is a religion, it cannot be taught in public schools. Here is the complaint:

1. The Plaintiff is Thomas J. Ritter, Jr., an adult individual residing at 320 MacArthur Drive, Orwigsburg, PA 17961.

2. The Defendant is The Blue Mountain School District, 685 Red Dale Rd., Orwigsburg, PA 17961.

3. Logically, The Blue Mt. School District does teach that evolution without the possibility of a Creator is the only explanation for the existence of life.

(The Blue Mt. SD does teach evolution. See BMHS biology teacher Anne Creyer’s website @ http://cryerbio.wikispaces.com/. Kitzmiller v. Dover SD forbids any teaching of evolution that includes a Creator: “ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause of …the Constitution”. -ID is Intelligent Design).

5. This teaching in unscientific.

6. This teaching is actually Atheism (no Creator = no God).

7. Objectively, Atheism is a religion, albeit a silly and unscientific one.

8. This is like teaching Jesus is Lord.

9. Defendant wants to tax Plaintiff to support its scheme. (See exhibit A)

10. Plaintiff does object to supporting this scheme in any way.

Wherefore, Plaintiff does ask this honorable Court to find the Blue Mt. School District is an illegal body so long as it teaches Atheism, and is thus not entitled to pursue any further actions.

Although Ritter appeals to logic, the logic of his complaint is more than a bit muddled. I have always been baffled by the argument that atheism is a religion. Atheism/religion is a binary of opposition — atheism is the absence of religion.

Because Ritter filed the complaint without an attorney (i.e., pro se), the judge is required by the rules of pleading to try to make some sense of the complaint and given him some leeway. Even if the judge draws all conceivable inferences in Ritter’s favor, I fail to see how the complaint can survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.


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