Teacher gets fired for suggesting the bible isn't literal

Mikey 42 comments
Teacher gets fired for suggesting the bible isn't literal

Proof that even the educated can be moronic and close minded, a college teacher claims he was fired for suggesting that the story of Adam and Eve mentioned in the bible should not be interpreted literally.

Sixty year old Steve Bitterman said he made the comment on Tuesday and was fired on Thursday. Said Bitterman:

"I'm just a little bit shocked myself that a college in good standing would back up students who insist that people who have been through college and have a master's degree, a couple actually, have to teach that there were such things as talking snakes or lose their job

I put the Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other religion. Their god wasn't given any more credibility than any other god. I told them it was an extremely meaningful story, but you had to see it in a poetic, metaphoric or symbolic sense, that if you took it literally, that you were going to miss a whole lot of meaning there."

Anyone with at least a single brain cell can see Bitterman's free speech rights have clearly been violated, but apparently it's only the dogmatic zealots with less than a single brain cell who think his comments were meant to be derogatory.

Further reading.

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Thursday 4th October 2007 | 10:25 PM

what no such thing as a talking snake? next you'll be saying santa is not real...

all jokes aside it does make one wonder at times ummmmm

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Friday 5th October 2007 | 08:15 AM

Maybe the employers were just looking for any reason to fire him. Maybe he was a bad teacher and the complaints from this comment was all they needed. It still sounds like an unfair dismissal and I wouldn't be surprised if he is reinstated if they say that was the reason he was fired.

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Friday 5th October 2007 | 04:40 PM

Yeah. Shame he didnt do that in a Muslim country. They would probably shot or stoned him to death.
Reminds me of a female teacher in North Africa who dropped a Koran on to the floor. The students killed her for that crime.
What right does a teacher have in teaching whatever they please. Do they have more rights than parents. Are they smarter than anybody who is not a teacher. What makes there beliefs more valid than mine, the talking snakes bit anyway. For all we know he might believe in ghosts or aliens or any number of things people claim to be whacky far out things.
If somebody litteraly believes in Adam and Eve does that make them evil, bad, stupid? Likewise if somebody believes in ghosts or aliens does that make them evil bad or stupid.
My problem is that a Dictator school teacher cares for no others opinions than his own. What if he decided Hitler was right, that would be ok under free speach even with a braincell thats ok, Negroes and the KKK was cool Free speach Let him teach what he wants hey thats ok.Brain cell?

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Friday 5th October 2007 | 05:11 PM

Not really. It's no different to a science teacher telling the class that the world isn't flat, because it's a scientifically accepted fact that it's round despite what any ancient literature might say. Should the science teacher be fired for giving this scientific answer?

As with the bible, none of it is to be taken literally and that is all he said, and with care I might add because he said it was a meaningful story best absorbed in a poetic metaphorical sense. How could that offend anyone? The students have the right to disagree. Firing him was too harsh.

To answer your other question - if he was to say "hitler was right" then yes he has the right to say that and it would naturally offend a lot of people, and he should be fired not because he is a Nazi but instead because teaching racism goes against the schools best interests.

In this case though we was clearly fired for going against the schools best interests, but the schools best interests are being dictated by a religious nut who simply wont accept anything not inline with his own way of thinking.

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Friday 5th October 2007 | 06:56 PM

Science as much as you would like to think cant prove its not a literal book.
While his opinion does not offend me the fact that he is teaching that the Bible is a fairy tail does. Its not a hard decision to respect others choices or beliefs. Providing those beliefs dont hurt or discriminate others.

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Sunday 7th October 2007 | 11:37 AM

Science can't prove it's not a literal book but by all rational thought it's highly unlikely.

To emphasise lets say you wrote me a letter that said 'this morning I watched the sun rise '.

Someone from a thousand years ago would have simply accepted a literal interpretation of that. But people today know that not to be true. The truth is you didn't watch the sun rise at all, because the sun doesn't rise. It's stationary. What actually happened was you made yourself available to a point in space and time during the earth's rotation where the sun would eventually come into view.

But my point is people are smart enough to know your letter wasn't meant to be interpreted literally. We use examples of this in our every day lives passed and present and people are smart enough to realise that snakes can't talk and were never able to, therefore a non-literal interpenetration must have been the original intention.

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Monday 8th October 2007 | 12:09 PM

Sorry Brian wrong. As stated in the Bible, the sun does in fact move. Its on a supposed 230million year orbit or something like that. I dont have the information in front of me but Google should help.
Yes the Bible states the sun is in an orbit.
Just because you dont believe what is written does not make it impossible. Demon possessions- search that to if you like. Cant a serpent be possessed?
Rational thought is so limited.

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Monday 8th October 2007 | 01:43 PM

Ah but you know what I mean - it doesn't go up and down like a yo-yo. My point is that saying the sun rises and sets is not meant to interpreted as literal, and neither is the notion of a talking serpent.

Can a serpent be possessed? That's frankly quite a stretch if you ask me. Obviously you are clever enough to know a reptile can't talk but you are compelled by your beliefs to accept the bible as literal. So there must be a rational explanation right? Of course the snake must have been possessed! That makes a lot more sense than taking it as non-literal.

There isn't mush hope for humanity while there are people out there who think a possessed talking serpent before makes sense. Surely God had the ability to use metaphor?

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Monday 8th October 2007 | 03:56 PM

Oh contrare
The Bible said the sun is on a circuit, not up and down. The Bible also stated the Earth was a sphere that floated in space, while the rest of the known world had it held up by Turtles or Atlas and that it was flat.
Your problem is you cant understand how a serpent can talk. I cant understand how a TV can show an image and talk at the same time. The TV isnt even alive.
Can a Demon transform into a serpent, or be a ventriloquist?
There isnt much hope for humanity if people cant make there own choices, or if God had to use metaphors.
People do see Ghosts/Aliens, I am sure of it.
Explain that?

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Monday 8th October 2007 | 05:07 PM

Oh contrare. You misunderstand. My point is that we use metaphors all the time, often without even realising it.

That's true I cant understand how a serpent could possibly talk - because it's an insane notion. So where are the records of all the other talking serpents throughout history? Or was it only ever just the one in the history of mankind? A bit convenient don't you think?

Without going into detail a TV simply receives and decodes signals sent over an airborne carrier wave. One signal is for video the other for sound, and there is a separate signal for digital. It doesn't need to be alive. It's elementary stuff.

People do see Ghosts Aliens so they say. For years I had thought I had seen a ghost sitting in a tree in our backyard until I was proven wrong. Turns out it was our neighbours backyard lighting playing tricks on my eyes. But I was totally convinced I was seeing a ghost. How embarrassing.

That's just one explanation. And even if ghosts do exist (and I still don't believe they do) how does that prove anything?

Anyway as for aliens I believe they exist because it's highly improbably they don't.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 12:27 AM

It amazes me how people can "write an article" that follows absolutely no journalistic principles.
No sources, no accuracy, no counterpoints... just some idiotic rant by Mikey.
This is why computers should still cost thousands of dollars, so that morons like this can't put this shit online.

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Rational Thoughts

Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 03:51 AM

Anyone who takes the Story of Adam and Eve literally over the age of 12 should be immediately shot in the head to keep your weak mental genes from mixing with the rest of society.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 04:04 AM

So..... The way I see it, people should be allowed to believe as they wish. Religion provides comfort and warming thoughts to people, and often times helps people through rough times.

Having said that, I am an athiest, and stongly believe that there is no god. I mean really, we are force fed a 1800+ year old book, that is full of feats quite impossible for us, that have never been repeated in modern day. If a school thought kids from a 100 year old text book, there would be uproar, but its accepted to deal with one that is 1800+ years old?

If there were a god, answer this. Why would he spend all the years covered by the bible, getting us freedom, doing amazing feats, sending his son to earth and doing cool stuff, and then leave us here in modern day without so much as water into wine?

Also, for someone who has created the whole universe, why is a "burnt sacrifice" "Pleasing" to him? I mean, if I made the entire universe, I dont think my main intrest would be burnt goat.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 08:19 AM

Hi 'silencer'. I guess you just skimmed through it without really having a proper read. It's not really an article as such. I mean my contribution is only a mere 3 paragraphs and the rest is quoted from the source article. And yes there is a source link at the end of the article.

On the subject of idiotic rants - rather ironic don't you think? Your comments are among the biggest waste of disk space to ever grace this site :-)

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 08:25 AM

Cmon people....talking snakes!

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 09:50 AM

@ silencer: You don't need a computer to put stuff online. I blog from my mobile phone when I have to. What century are you living in?

Even if a traditional computer was the only way to put stuff online your idea that computers should be expensive is dumb. By your idiotic logic only people with money can put something online worth reading. It appears you are the moron here.

The idea behind this site is to generate discussion and judging by the comments on this article and others it seems to have succeeded. If I am not mistaken the Zeitgiest article on this site contains the largest discussion thread on the entire Internet for that subject and yet it was initiated by 3 short paragraphs. Mission accomplished there too.

If you need to go trolling the internet for stories that don't fall in-line with your idea of what makes good reading then I am sure the owners of this site would rather you wasted other peoples time elsewhere.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 11:05 AM

Mike, the comments were possibly only viewed as inflamitory because they were essentially contradictory. In saying that though, this is a community college, and in neither article did it specify which religion the college adhered to. Many, in fact most of the more progressive christian religions no longer view the various tales and parables as literal stories, though as it is a religious document, I would see why some would interpret it 'religiously' (literally).

In my humble opinion, this story seems too much of a farce, community college teachers are not highly paid acidemics, nor are they employed on the bredth of their qualifications. I would say that it is more likely that the resulting difference of oppinions between this teacher and the faculty concluded with irreconsilable differences rather than simply being turfed after speaking out of turn.

People's conflicing religious views are often the reason for contention in social, working and family life. In saying this, we must remember; it is not religion that makes the person, but the person that makes the religion.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 01:10 PM

Somebody believes in Aliens that they have never seen?
Could they be talking reptile like creatures, possibly?
Anybody who believes in creation should be shot in the head? Thats been happening for along time now and will happen more and more often. Think of the Jews, they only believed in God.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 01:32 PM

"it is not religion that makes the person, but the person that makes the religion"

The suicide bombers who kill in the name of Alaj would beg to differ.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 03:20 PM

Anderson, what an idiotic statement. Should I have any sort of empathy for their beleif over any other? Hell no.
Suicide bombers are extreamist fundamentalists and have nothing to do with the religion, bar the brainwashing material they've been fed by war lords and hatemongerers.

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Tuesday 9th October 2007 | 07:47 PM

silencer; you sir, are an idiot

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Wednesday 10th October 2007 | 11:33 AM

Lord grant me the strength to tolerate fuck-tards I can not change

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Wednesday 10th October 2007 | 01:14 PM

Interesting statement Greedy, especially considering that greed, or Avaritia is one of the seven deadly sins, and the 8th commandment can also be interpreted to denounce greed, especially that to do with stealing.

On another note, if I ask my god (myself) for something or to do something, or for advice, or even to change an aspect of my life or physical appearance, I get an answer, often instantly. If you ask your god for anything, pray to it, love it, send affectionate or even hatefull thoughts; you get nada... nothing... zip... zero... sweet bugger all.
Is that 'just it's way', nope, it just doesn't exist... well not in any more capacity than in your mind anyway.

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Thursday 11th October 2007 | 02:04 AM

Seven deadly sins Jake. You had better enlighten me into your atheistic beliefs. I am suddenly interested.

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Thursday 11th October 2007 | 10:46 AM

Although I don't quite understand what you are asking, I've not (to my recolection) outed myself as an athiest. Regardless, you presented two words that are a complete contradiction of each other, athiest and belief...

Agnostics have beliefs, athiests don't.

I assume that what you were asking was referring to my morality and ethics. We've discussed this previously Gillmeister, morals and ethics are environmental and really don't have anything to do with one's religion.

Generally speaking moral and ethical standpoints are those instilled in you from the way you are taught to perceive the world. Your parents, friends, extended family, aquantences, media all play a part in teaching you what is right and what is wrong. If those influences are morally corrupt, it is very likely that you will interpret their perception as acceptable and adopt it.

The rich breed rich, poor breed poor, racists breed racists, molesters breed molesters, nerds breed nerds. Obviously I'm stereotyping and this is not always the case, but I trust you get my point.

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Thursday 11th October 2007 | 05:00 PM

Too deep.
Just wanted to know what are these 7 deadly sins is all, and where they came from?
Athiest- Agnostic
potatoe- potatoe

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Thursday 11th October 2007 | 07:04 PM

Too deep?

That is rational thinking... much more rational than 'god made me good' or 'I was working on behalf of god'.

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Thursday 11th October 2007 | 08:00 PM

Answer the question.
God did not make me good either. That is my choice that I have to work on. I dont work on Gods behalf, I try to be a good person for myself and others.
Answer the question...Please...Jake.

Actualy Jake I dont care for your answer. I just wanted to point out that you dont know what you are talking about. You have and never have had an understanding of Christianity. You where raised in a cult and you know no better than what you have been taught by others in that cult, who have themselves only served that cult through there own ignorance.
I can understand why people here abouts are so bitter. Dont blame Christianity, blame the people who lied to you. Blame those who christend you in that cult.

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Friday 12th October 2007 | 09:08 AM

I blame them too Gilly, truely, I do.

Please Gilly, don't patronise me. I know as well as any that christianity is a cult. You call it a religion, as do governments, but only to ensure it never has to pay taxes.

It's all dogma. Smoke and mirrors. Fairy tales and riddles from cleaver writers, paid to write clever parable ridden stories. As for the whole belief in a deity thing, introduce me to your god and I'll she his or her or their hands, I won't worship them, but I'll shake their hand and ensure they know what a terrible job they've done over the millenia.

Here is a question, if you had been born to a family who had been born into a family who had no religious ties, and never encountered a religious propoganda pusher, do you think you would still live a good, prosperous and enjoyable life?

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Friday 12th October 2007 | 04:33 PM

No, I would have been a selfish greedy thieving prick. I know me.
I know the road I was travelling down, I also knew what I was doing was wrong, and I enjoyed it.
See Jake you cant answer my simple question because you dont understand Christianity. You only understand religion.
You talk about 7 deadly sins. You think it has something to do with Christianity, it doesnt. Just about everything you believe Jake is based on stupid crap brought in to your life under the guise of Christianity and it is not. The fact that you think it is representitive of Christianity only proves your Ignorance.
Your comments on Christianity are at best stupid.

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Saturday 13th October 2007 | 10:50 AM

Many thanks for the kind words Gilly. Having walked an interesting path myself, I can say that it was most likely not jesus that pulled you out of the rut but yourself.

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Saturday 13th October 2007 | 03:26 PM

Yeah. You are right it was my decission to change.
Christ was the reason to do it.
Jake from the outset you and many others around here have based your comments on Christianity, on your beliefs in Christianity, not the facts of Christianity. Its really tiring at best. You dont understand Christianity. What you have been taught since you were a child is a religious system based on control not Christianity.Try to understand that a system based on a works= rewards is man made.
Christianity is a free gift.
You can turn it down.

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Wendy W.

Wednesday 19th December 2007 | 09:45 PM

The bible: Because all the works of science cannot equal the wisdom of cattle sacrificing primitives who think every animal species on earth lived within walking distance of Noah's house.

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Saturday 22nd December 2007 | 09:31 AM

Yet another flame war perpetuated by Gilly. "your comments on Christianity are at best stupid", I haven't read a single comment thus far in this thread penned by you that qualifies any better than that insult you threw at Jake.

If you don't like your beliefs being laughed at, then don't have such a funny religion.

And an interesting point Wendy, I wonder how believers would account for 2 of every animal gathering from all over the world to collect onto an ark, then not kill each other during the perusing 40 days and nights of floods that reached the top of the tallest mountain, which is physically impossible without the melting of glaciers, as the Himalayas can't be topped by any other means.

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The truth about “Gilley”

Tuesday 15th January 2008 | 12:43 AM

Gilley, be it a man or woman is a plant working for the Institute for Creation Research and The Center for Science Creation. He/She is paid to monitor this and several other sites, and create as much disruption as possible.

She does not use he own system of critical thought, and literally has no original though of her own. If you look closely, and do some research, you will see that all of her points, issues, and questions come from sites written by Walt Brown and Dr Gerald Lenner. Her plagiaristic and unoriginal work can be clearly demonstrated in the thread: https://rustylime.com/show_article.php?id=1106, where she represents this list of of questions as being her own http://www.drdino.com/articles.php?spec=76

Gilley, we free thinkers do not welcome your style or tactics. I am going to make it my personal crusade to expose you where is see your post. Change your screen name as often as you like, but you I.P. address and server I.D. will always make you easy to find

What ever credibility you did have is now gone…bye

Sincere regards,

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Thursday 12th February 2009 | 07:35 AM

I've heard stories of teachers getting fired for saying evolution is not real...

As for the article, I would have liked them to give more detail as to which school this teacher was fired from. I could understand them fireing him if he worked at a private christian school where he's expected to teach according to the school's beliefs. If he broke his contract.

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Thursday 12th February 2009 | 09:04 AM

I would like to point out he said that puts the "Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other religion. Their god wasn't given any more credibility as any other god." That doesn't sound, to me, like he's saying that it's "Wrong" or "Stupid" but rather that it is no more (or less) credible than Hindi, Islamic, or Pagan religions. That seems like an intelligent, balanced way of looking at things. I find it ridiculous that people could be offended by a man who seems to say we're all fairly equal. Leave to religious fanatics (not saying any of you are) to find offense in equality.

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Wednesday 25th February 2009 | 04:11 AM

Science can't falsify religion or prove it's existence. it's fair for a scientist to say that religion does not exist and that it is nothing more than a myth. Show me some evidence to the contrary. Religion does not exist to science. Science is how humans as a species better ourselves. Religion holds us back and is based on nothing but assumption.

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Thursday 26th February 2009 | 02:45 PM

In college I wanted to be an organic chemist, and specialize in genetics so as to create a virus to wipe out mankind. I thought that was selfish and horrible of me to judge humanity and sentence us all. Religious rants like this comment stream makes me wish I had.

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Friday 27th February 2009 | 03:34 PM

...in response to this comment by Gilly. You are obviously completely retarded. Have a nice day.

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Sunday 26th July 2009 | 08:58 AM

Successful Troll is successful.

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Humorous Pete

Friday 31st July 2009 | 04:42 AM

I guess Bitterman is a bitter man then ... Sorry.. had to say it

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