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.