CCP Professor Accused of Pushing Evangelical Agenda

By Michael Alan Goldberg
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 49 | Posted Mar. 2, 2011

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When Elisabeth Levinson enrolled in a Fundamentals of Writing/Reading Improvement course at Community College of Philadelphia this semester, she never expected to get a lesson in constitutional rights. Nor did she imagine she would become embroiled in an ongoing dispute with CCP administrators over allegations that her English professor is using the course as a vehicle for religious proselytizing.

It began in January when Levinson, a 23-year-old first-year college student, was placed in a remedial English class taught by CCP professor Melanie Morningstar, who has been a full-time instructor at the school on 17th and Spring Garden streets for more than 10 years. While the course—designed to develop students’ academic reading and writing skills—doesn’t count toward graduation, students must pass it in order to move on to the required English 101 course. By the second week of class, Levinson says she felt that something was amiss. “I got the books and started going through them and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” she says.

The three texts on Morningstar’s required reading list? Angel Unaware, by Dale Evans Rogers, which depicts a couple getting closer to God and their Christian faith via the death of their 2-year-old child who was suffering from Down syndrome; Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, a 2008 self-help tome by twin brothers Alex and Brett Harris, whose stated mission is to get young people to “do hard things for the glory of God”; and 1995’s Gianna: Aborted, and Lived to Tell About It—by Jessica Shaver Renshaw and published by Focus on the Family, which advocates Christianity and delivers an uncompromising pro-life stance.

“They’re ridiculous,” says Levinson of the books, noting that she was born Jewish but considers herself agnostic.

There was more. A chapter-by-chapter Do Hard Things study guide handed out to the class included such “questions for discussion or reflection” as “What is the biggest fear that is keeping you from becoming a change maker for Christ?” and “If you are not a Christian, try to identify what questions or concerns are preventing you from responding to the gospel.”

Levinson was also required to keep a journal (which she provided to PW) in which she answered homework questions relating to Angel Unaware. In addition to making grammar corrections to her journal entries, Morningstar wrote such comments as, “It would be a shame to have been alive for so long & ‘going it alone’ when we could have had his priceless wisdom and presence!” and “We are created in God’s image as stated in the Penetuke [sic] and such a God can be known and loved and understood more and more as He loves us and especially His chosen people.”

“I didn’t think it was right,” Levinson says. “I almost have to laugh because it’s so absurd, like, right-wing gone insane. It’s wrong, and it’s kind of exhausting to deal with.” Two other students in the class—one who identifies himself as “Dee” and another who asked to remain anonymous—also say there is a heavy evangelical Christian slant to the class. “It’s definitely pretty religious,” Dee says. “It’s not what I expected.”

At first, Levinson says, she decided to go along with it. “I was like, I just wanna get over this hump and get on to my next class.” But she said she became so disturbed with what was going on that by the end of her second week in the class she decided to show her mother—who is footing her CCP bill—the books, the study guide questions and the journal comments. Her mother went ballistic.

“I got so emotional,” says Ellen Levinson. “I said, ‘I cannot believe this. You’re going to a public community college.’ This is atrocious.”

Angered by the idea that Morningstar was indoctrinating students with her religious beliefs in a required English course, Levinson called her daughter’s professor. “I said, ‘What are these books? How can you do that at a community college?’ [Morningstar] said, ‘If you meet with me, I’ll explain it to you.’ But I got so angry. I’m not paying tuition at a community college for this, so my reaction was, ‘Give me the name of your supervisor.’” Levinson then called Cindy Giddle, head of CCP’s English department, told her what was going on, and set up a meeting between Giddle, herself and her daughter.

Giddle says that after she received Levinson’s initial complaint, she contacted Morningstar and examined the teacher’s syllabi, assignments and written commentary. “I concluded from reading these materials, talking with the student and Prof. Morningstar, that the course is being taught in accordance with department guidelines. I did remind Ms. Morningstar that she cannot proselytize,” Giddle writes in an email to PW , adding that Morningstar has no record of student complaints during her CCP tenure.

Elisabeth says she had no idea about the scheduled meeting until she went to a private tutoring session with Morningstar, who told her about the impending sit-down. She says, “Basically what [Morningstar] said was, ‘Do you feel like I’m making a mistake?’” And then, the student alleges, “[Morningstar] said, ‘God has worked in my life so many times that I find it hard to separate him from my work.’”

In the meeting, Ellen Levinson says she told Giddle that the books were “propaganda” and “a promotion of a form of belief,” but says that Giddle accused her of advocating censorship.

Citing Morningstar’s right to academic freedom, Giddle writes, “I did characterize withholding that academic freedom as banning books when Ms. Levinson yelled at me that I should forbid Prof. Morningstar to use certain books.”

“At that point I said, ‘There’s no resolution here, and I’m going to fight this,’” says Ellen Levinson. “So I went home and I called the ACLU.” And she says she plans to file a lawsuit against CCP “on principle.”

“What this teacher has done is so obviously prohibited [by the First Amendment],” says Mary Catherine Roper, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. “It’s absolutely true that professors have a lot of freedom to determine what they’re going to teach in their courses. She can include religious stuff on her reading list—what she can’t do is make the reading list exclusively religious. And a professor at a public university may not use his or her position to proselytize. So the remarks that were made to the student about God—those are completely out of line.”

Morningstar did not respond to phone calls or emails seeking comment.

Giddle says that she twice offered Elisabeth the opportunity to transfer to another section of the course, including once during the meeting with her and her mother, and that “both times she declined.” Both women say that Giddle told them the other sections were closed.

Levinson, who remains in the class, says that since her complaint, Morningstar has given her the option of reading Jubilee, a book about slavery by Margaret Walker, instead of Gianna.

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Comments 1 - 49 of 49
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1. Anonymous said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 03:52PM

“Wow. First Chestnut Hill College, now CCP. Don't these schools have PR professionals to advise them that when you are caught plainly violating someone's rights, it's best not to deny, deny, deny? I predict this will end badly for CCP.”

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2. dtmfa said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 05:11PM

“The most hilarious part for me is in the last line, where the professor offers Jubilee as a substitute for Gianna, when this is perhaps the type of real literature she should have been teaching in the first place!”

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3. Anonymous said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 05:32PM

“#2: click on page 2, the story continues!”

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4. Anonymous said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 05:58PM

“Who cares what books she's teaching as long as the student learns to read? Also, it is very unlikely the student couldn't be moved into another section of English. That just sounds like bullshit. There are a lot of sections.

And why is the mother even involved? The student is 23 years old FFS.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 06:39PM

“Read between the lines of this incident (which the reporter apparently didn't bother doing). The student was offered alternative sections of the class and didn't take them. Why not? The student (who is an adult) isn't the one making the accusation; the mother is. Why? The mother yells at the English Dept. Chair and tries to drag in the ACLU. Is that reasonable? Think what you want about the advisability of the teacher's book choices, but it doesn't sound like college reading and writing aren't being taught. It doesn't sound like anyone's grade is dependent upon whether they agree with the religionism of the texts or the professor. It doesn't sound like any students have complained before. Bottom line: it doesn't sound like there's a story here. Or maybe there is, but it's not the one written by Michael Goldberg.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 07:43PM

“LOL @ #4 & #5. As long as they learn to read and write, guess it's OK to violate the Constitution!”

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7. Tom Johnson said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 08:01PM

“The comments of #5 Anonymous sounds like either Morningstar herself, or a supporter of Morningstar's agenda to proselytize about imaginary friends in the name "helping" students. If I remember correctly, CCP is a secular and public community college and therefore religion should not be taught in no way, shape or form outside of a comparative religion class. In addition, academic writing and reading is based of the cornerstone of critical thinking, and Morningstar's agenda does not even seem to apply or encourage any critical thinking skills at all. Further, any academic learning, be it quantitative or qualitative is based upon scientific methodology, and if I recall correctly religion is based on faith and believing.

In summation, what Morningstar has done is completely despicable, and she has failed to do what most respectable instructors do: teach to the needs of their students, which in this case is to promote critical thinking skills.”

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8. Anonymous said... on Mar 2, 2011 at 08:57PM

“Ms. Morningstar's required reading list, which imposes her born-again Christian ideology upon her students, is totally inappropriate, if not downright illegal, in a secular, publicly-funded institution with a diverse student body including Jews, Christians, Muslims, atheists, Hindus and Buddhists. What would happen if a Muslim teacher at CCP required that her English composition students read only literature emphasizing the importance of observing Islamic dietary laws, modest dress and subservience for women, and the obligation to wage jihad against Islam's enemies worldwide? Would this teacher be defended by her Department chair and allowed to continue presenting her curriculum to CCP English students? Ms. Morningstar's born-again Christian curriculum is equally offensive, equally inappropriate and equally illegal.”

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9. Anonymous said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:39AM

“We read "Last Temptation of Christ" in one of my CCP classes, but we skipped over all references to God and Jesus because the teacher didn't want to get in trouble with the ACLU. That made the book much shorter, for which I was grateful. "The Brothers Karamozov" also goes much quicker without the Jesus bloat. Suck it, Grand Inquisitor.”

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10. Anonymouse said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:57AM

“Marjorie Morningstar works at CCCP? That was an awesome movie.”

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11. college prof said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 01:34PM

“@ Tom Johnson: In what secular dystopia do you live in that religion can only be mentioned in college in a comparative religion course? Religion influences human behavior (psychology), causes geopolitical conflict (history/political science), guides culture (anthropology), inspires great works of art (art and music and literature). Your argument that the scientific method cannot be applied to religious topics is an obvious attempt to confuse the practice of religion (which relies of faith and belief) and the study of religion, which can be scientifically studied like any other social science topic.

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12. What's up with that? said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 03:33PM

“The ACLU cannot tell a college professor what book to use. Where the instructor crossed the line was in her comments on the student's journal. At that point, she veered away from her role as a writing and reading teacher into the role of an evangelist. Hopefully the chairperson steered Ms. Morningstar away from such behaviour in the future.
But Ms. Morningstar was dumb in terms of choosing her reading selections. They were obviously slanted. Where is the spirit of intellectual rigorous debate in that?
If religion is to be a topic in the class, why not represent several religions so that students can apply critical reasoning skills in a more meaningful way? The teacher needs to try to "save" her students by appealing to their intellect and reasoning--not by saving them through cajoling, intimidation, or the implicit fear of eternal damnation. She can save that kind of "saving" for the pulpit.”

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13. 23? said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 03:46PM

“At 23, that kid should be fighting her own battles.”

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14. Opprtunity said... on Mar 3, 2011 at 04:28PM

“This seems like a teachable moment. That department should examine how issues of faith impact the classroom. A lot of students at CCP are super religious. A lot aren't. Conflicting values don't have to be avoided, and people don't have to be strongarmed into believing what their teachers believe. Take advantage of CCP's diversity and use faith issues to make students smarter in terms of critical thinking.”

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15. Anonymous said... on Mar 4, 2011 at 12:11PM

“If the girls disagrees with the teacher's point of view, she could always argue something to the contrary. Or she could run home and cry to her mother, which seems to be what she did.”

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16. Tom Johnson said... on Mar 4, 2011 at 09:06PM

“@ college prof: Religion should not be taught as a content subject outside of a comparative religion class and what Ms. Morningstar is doing is teaching "writing" though her own religious agenda. That to me is completely unacceptable. As for your comments about religion influencing human behavior, geo-politics, music and art, I will agree that this is true. However, in these instances religion is not the core content of such classes and should not be taught as such. The bottom line is that this student enrolled in an introduction to academic writing class and not a born again Christian philosophy class. Therefore, the reading material should contain effective examples of academic writing, not an instructors proselytizing agenda.

As for religion being studied using scientific method, most religions guard against such methodology, probably due to the fact that many of their tenants would be proven to be fabricated.”

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17. Anonymous said... on Mar 5, 2011 at 06:21AM

“CCP is a great school! However, Morningstar is only one of the many issues at CCP never addressed. She has been doing this for years. Everyone knew about it. The students complained about it. But nothing has happened until now. She is not the only Professor who is not teaching appropriate material to their students or treating students with the same respect they are given. There are MANY faculy and staff members who need to be fired. I believe it starts from the top down. The President of the college sits in his office and has NO contact with students. He schedules student meetings, which are NEVER announced, after 5pm when majority of them are not there. This is done because he does not want to hear the numerous compliants that the students have about the college. This also has been going on for years. Change needs to happen NOW.”

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18. Anonymous said... on Mar 5, 2011 at 08:32AM

“If you look at her page on ratemyprofessor, the only complaint about Morningstar is that she gives too much homework. Can you imagine? She demands too much from students! Clearly she needs to be fired immediately.”

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19. Anonymous said... on Mar 5, 2011 at 01:47PM

“Quote from #8 :
"......a secular, publicly-funded institution with a diverse student body including Jews, Christians, Muslims, atheists, Hindus and Buddhists.
What would happen if a Muslim teacher at CCP required that her English composition students read only literature emphasizing the importance of observing Islamic dietary laws, modest dress and subservience for women, and the obligation to wage jihad against Islam's enemies worldwide?..."
The selection of unrelated course material by professors is happening in many of the "Liberal" colleges.
It is time students spoke up about being taught what they are paying for when selecting a course requirement

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20. cookie said... on Mar 5, 2011 at 02:30PM

“#17 commenter-I am so curious as to what happens when CCP students complain to the administration or wherever-and also re: other professors who use inappropriate materials in their courses; is it religious stuff or controversial ...can you give an example ?-What is up with CCP ?- it sounds like this PW article is just the tip of the iceberg. Are students organizing or doing something about this ongoing situation ? Thanks”

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21. Leslye Friedberg said... on Mar 6, 2011 at 11:25AM

“Consider, if you will, the irony of me, a Jewish/Atheist, writing on behalf of Melanie Morningstar in this matter.
As a colleague and loving friend, I'm aware of how and what Melanie teaches. She is an amazingly insightful, adept professor with seemingly endless patience and an equally tireless dedication to students. She has made a huge difference in the lives of many students who, beginning at the very challenging level of developmental English, have gone on to four-year colleges: two of them are graduating from Temple this May. They, and I, would eagerly tell you that Melanie Morningstar is a major factor in their motivation and continued success.
To those above who've judged Melanie's courses and teaching, you know ONLY what you read in the article. And, while I always sympathize w/ students--even when they're disagreeing w/ me or unhappy with MY course content--this student,if displeased w/ the readings, could've easily switched to another section when offered the option.”

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22. RoughAcres said... on Mar 6, 2011 at 09:48PM

“With all due respect to Ms. Morningstar's teaching prowess, I am troubled by her narrow 'inspirational' focus. I am particularly concerned that she is working in a government-funded facility, receiving a taxpayer-subsidized salary. I cannot imagine a Jew, or a Muslim, or an atheist, or a Buddhist, being permitted to proselytize in a public school in this fashion. Does her ability to inspire students (who desperately need to be inspired, and I have enormous admiration for those who can do so) extend beyond her religious beliefs? If so, a change of material is in order. If not... perhaps she should be working in a religious school.”

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23. Anonymous said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 07:35AM

“Hi this is #17. Students should organize but they don't. Students who are in developmental level reading and writing (English 098/099) are required to read The Iliad. These students have difficulty with reading comprehension, forming sentences, and other basics, yet they have to read the Illiad. This does not make sense to me. It's as if the college is setting the students up to fail. If anyone really wants to know what goes on at CCP, have a meeting with students only (throughout a day) and a rep from the ACLU or US Dept. of Education. They will get an earful!”

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24. Leslye Friedberg said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 08:18AM

“So, now, the objection is to another/different text? That text is not "required" in ALL sections of dev. English at CCP. (I regularly teach these courses by the way.) Never a good idea to make generalizations based on a single example!
And your remedy for not liking the required reading in a course is to call in the ACLU? Odd, indeed!
Also, as I tried to make clear in my first comment, this article has not presented an accurate or full account (conveniently? irresponsibly?). A few minutes of research online--which I did--will enlighten and, undoubtedly,
lead to some necessary questions and different conclusions. (You might do that much before calling the ACLU, CIA, National Guard....)”

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25. John Thomas said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:06AM

“religious zealotry is one one step away from insanity.”

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26. Ken said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 01:23PM

“To Leslye Friedberg:

As a teacher myself I understand and in some ways admire you sticking up for your friend and colleague. However, it appears that your loyalties have clouded your judgment in this instance. The facts are clear, the professor used exclusively dogmatic religious books for the reading list, assigned homework of a proselytizing nature, and made proselytizing comments on the student's homework assignments. That is wrong and it is against the law. The student and the parent felt violated and they were well within their rights to complain. Bringing up the professor's patience and tireless dedication and anything else in the context of these facts is both beside the point and an insult to our intelligence. It reminds me of that old joke - "Other than the shooting, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

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27. Ken said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 01:28PM

“It also appears that the student and the parent went through the necessary channels before contacting the ACLU. Perhaps if the college rectified its mistakes earlier or didn't let the professor teach that kind of material in the first place they wouldn't be in the mess they are in now. I think the student showed a lot of courage by saying something. Ms. Friedberg, perhaps you should show a similar amount of courage and stand up for what is right instead of standing up for your friend and colleague.”

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28. A student with her ears open said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 01:33PM

“@Michael A Goldberg

CCP's publicity office--the Office of Communications--is a joke. They do not offer advice, support, or advertisement for campus activities let alone PR advice. What do they do? They have come up with stupid "branding" campaigns like the Path to Possibilities, where they spent lots of money putting vinyl tiles with that logo in front of every campus door. Then it rained, the vinyl got slick, and people fell. Lawsuits! This is just one of the dumb ideas PR's top person comes up with. The VP who runs it has also evidently cost the college a lot of money because her past employees have filed grievances for mistreatment. I doubt the college can get rid of her because she has been there so long. The faculty don't have faith in the administration when this kind of stuff gets approved by the President, and the administration wonders why the faculty don't get on board with each new trendy educational idea so they create more and more red tape.”

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29. A student with her ears open said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 01:33PM

“@Michael A Goldberg

CCP's publicity office--the Office of Communications--is a joke. They do not offer advice, support, or advertisement for campus activities let alone PR advice. What do they do? They have come up with stupid "branding" campaigns like the Path to Possibilities, where they spent lots of money putting vinyl tiles with that logo in front of every campus door. Then it rained, the vinyl got slick, and people fell. Lawsuits! This is just one of the dumb ideas PR's top person comes up with. The VP who runs it has also evidently cost the college a lot of money because her past employees have filed grievances for mistreatment. I doubt the college can get rid of her because she has been there so long. The faculty don't have faith in the administration when this kind of stuff gets approved by the President, and the administration wonders why the faculty don't get on board with each new trendy educational idea so they create more and more red tape.”

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30. A student with her ears open said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 01:47PM

“Part 2: I want to be a teacher myself, and feel I got a great start with my education, off and on at CCP while dealing with family shit these last several years. But I have also received an education on the side. CCP has a lot of good teachers, and most try to distinguish course aims better than Morningstar, in my experience. But they are hampered a lot. It has made me want to teach younger kids, not older ones, whitch is a real switch for me. I have realized, the hard way, that part of what interferes with a good social aim like CCP's is people getting in the way of that aim. Morningstar confused the aim, Levinson's mom wants to use it to deepen her pockets by suing, and the various factions, teachers and admins, don't get along very often. Maybe it;s the same at every school. CCP is teaching me about the real world, and not always in the classroom.”

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31. Anonymous said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 01:51PM

What law is it in violation of? This is college, not public k-12. Please cite the law you are referring to and give a link so we can see how it applies to colleges. Your comments appear lucid otherwise, but we need more.”

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32. Lit Lover said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 02:11PM

“If we tell one teacher what books can or can't be used, where does it end? This is college, not high school. Morningstar was obviously one-sided in her approach, but it raises a larger issue. What if a student doesn't want to read a work because it has a reference to magic, ghosts, or the devil? Suddenly you're banning things like "Young Goodman Brown"--which, if you don't know the story, is an important piece of American literary history. Obviously Morningstar's reading selections have not made it into the American cannon. That's where she needs to be corrected. If her department has standards for literary selections, then these books may not meet those standards. Get her in tune. Bringing in the ACLU is ridiculous, because they have as much or more an interest in maintaining academic freedom than in cow-towing to this student. The student did, however, do a great service to the school's English program in pointing out an area where academic freedom may not be achieving course goals.”

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33. Gervasia said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 02:15PM

“Although remedial, this was an ENGLISH class. Even at high-school level, English classes normally teach literature and critical thinking. There is a huge amount of bona fide literature suitable for students who need help with reading and writing. This is not a case where the only choices are the Iliad on one hand or religious/self-help claptrap on the other.

The CCP administration has been negligent in allowing this situation to exist. It's not about academic freedom (unless one believes that instructors in the Biology department should be able to teach creationism if they fancy it). This concerns an educational mission at a public institution--as well as separation of church and state. Ms. Morningstar's reading list would be more appropriate at Bob Jones U.

The freedom issue--a constitutional one--is Ms. Levinson's freedom FROM religion. She should not be put in a coercive situation (the instructor holds the power of grading) or forced to transfer to a different section.”

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34. Leslye Friedberg said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 02:54PM

“Ken,, I've said this twice before but I'll try again (I have the patience of Job)! The article doesn't give all the information.You've drawn conclusions w/out having all the information (oh, but, do keep on ranting anyway!).
I've called & emailed the writer and editors but have had no reply.Perhaps they, too, don't care that they've omitted quite a lot.
Finally, these Comments have turned into a forum of criticism of CCP in areas unrelated, and that's neither fair nor warranted.

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35. not ranting said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 05:17PM

“Leslye You keep saying information has been omitted - Please tell us what other information should Mr Goldberg have included in his article-What do you feel is missing ? And why is it that CCP should be granted immunity from intensive examination ? Thanks”

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36. Leslye Friedberg said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 06:37PM

“I've been waiting all day to see if the writer and/or editors would furnish the info. or, at least, say they don't have it. It was their responsibility to do some background research, or now say they didn't do it (which is mindboggling if they didn't).
I wrote earlier that by doing some online research yourself--just as I did--you will likely discover some interesting info. which puts a very different, bizarre spin on this and which calls into question the student's claims and her motives. Perhaps the student, herself, will come forward and say what should be said, starting with, "Prof. Morningstar has done nothing wrong" and ending with, "I'm sorry."”

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37. Tonya said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:28PM

“@ Leslye: You have a lot of weird punctuation and capitalism errors for an English teacher. But I hear your passion.
@ Ken and Gervasia: Neither of you has specified an actual law the teacher was in violation of.
@ Everyone: CCP performs a valuable mission. I am sure the teachers, staff and old heads in charge are reading this stuff and examining what they do. Elisabeth Levinson pointed out a good opportunity for the English department to review what they do and improve. Not everyone uses the books Melanie Morningstar does.
A new CCP commercial is on TV right now and it is a good reminder that the school is an inexpensive place to start one's educational dream.”

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38. Tonya said... on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:37PM

“@ Leslye: You allude to the fact that there is more information. WHAT IS IT? You are obviously commenting as a member of the faculty because you say you work there. So what are we missing? You are doing what you say Philly Weekly is doing: hinting at information but not giving the full deal. What are you referring to? What is the "interesting info" about the student that is so bizarre? Either site it or stop alluding that the student has bad motives.”

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39. the Militant Evangelists' Tracts said... on Mar 8, 2011 at 02:02PM

“ianna-Aborted and Lived to Tell About It / Jessica Shaver Renshaw / Published by Focus on the Family (James Dobson)-website

"Perhaps modern historians should apologize to Hitler for vilifying him as the worst demon, the 20th century has produced. The fact is, in terms of numbers of victims, cultural damage, and the sheer inhumanity of their methods and motives, the pro abortionists of our current day take precedence. pg 200
Do Hard Things / Alex & Brett Harris Twins/ Forward by Chuck Norris/ Published by Multnomah Books
"The Rebelution needs Christians all over the world to be living as salt and light in business, science, medicine, law, politics, homemaking,and parenting, engineering, education, the arts and every other field of endeavor. God's Word is Truth for all life and our unique makeup as individuals allows room for beautiful diversity within a generation committed to - do hard things for the Glory of God.". pg-174


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40. the Militant Evangelists' Tracts continued said... on Mar 8, 2011 at 03:03PM

“Angel Unaware /Dale Evans Rogers/Revell- published in 1953 with a foreword by Norman Vincent Peale
Dale Evan Rogers is, for those of you not aborted and unfamiliar with icons the '50's, the faithful wife of Roy Rogers; famed cowboy and star of stage and screen.
Norman Vincent Peale was a religious icon of the 50's -he was author of 'The Power of Positive Thinking' and hosted many tv and radio programs He was a pastor and chairman of the ultraconservative Committee for Constitutional Government, which lobbied vigorously against New Deal measures. In 1960 Peale, as spokesman for 150 Protestant clergymen, opposed the election of John Kennedy as president. "Faced with the election of a Catholic," Peale declared, "our culture is at stake." He was close to President Nixon's family. In 1968 he officiated at the wedding of Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower. He continued calling at the White House throughout the Watergate crisis, saying "Christ didn't shy away from people in trouble."”

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41. Anon. said... on Mar 8, 2011 at 05:11PM

“@Leslie Friedberg: Be careful, Ms. Friedberg, be careful. Whether they mean to or not, some writers here may be tempting you into legal or professional trouble if you respond to their requests for the inside story. As a public relations professional, I applaud your discretion so far, and your advice to readers to take the article with a grain of salt. Even without knowing what, perhaps, you do about this situation, I think it's obvious enough that the reporter didn't close all the holes in this story before running it. But hey, this isn't The New York Times!

Discussion of reading and writing assignments, and where the political boundaries are in the classroom, would be best done in person among teachers and students, not bandied about in the dubious venue of the Philadelphia Weekly (Weakly?) online comments section.”

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42. Anonymous said... on Mar 8, 2011 at 06:06PM

“#41 -- please, PR professional, enlighten us as to the "holes" in this story.”

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43. to #33 Gervasia said... on Mar 8, 2011 at 07:01PM

“H igh school biology teachers reluctant to endorse evolution in class
Thursday, January 27, 2011
University Park, Pa. -- The majority of public high school biology teachers are not strong classroom advocates of evolutionary biology, despite 40 years of court cases that have ruled teaching creationism or intelligent design violates the Constitution, according to Penn State political scientists. A mandatory undergraduate course in evolutionary biology for prospective teachers, and frequent refresher courses for current teachers, may be part of the solution, they say.
t"Considerable research suggests that supporters of evolution, scientific methods, and reason itself are losing battles in America's classrooms," write Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer, professors of political science at Penn State, in the Jan. 28 issue of Science.
The researchers examined data from the National Survey of High School Biology Teachers, a representative sample of 926 public high school biology instructors.”

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44. Anonymous said... on Mar 8, 2011 at 07:06PM

“#42, check out #5.”

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45. Anonymous said... on Mar 8, 2011 at 07:31PM

“Those aren't "holes" - just comments from someone who unfortunately doesn't see a problem with a professor proselytizing at a public school.”

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46. Hypocricy in Action said... on Mar 11, 2011 at 03:50PM

“If Morningstar had chosen books that were exclusively pro-choice or pro-gay, would we even be having this conversation? If she had used study questions like, "Think about your anti-gay attitudes. What aspects of your life and upbringing have led to your attitudes?" no one would have even batted an eyelash.”

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47. Anonymous said... on Mar 11, 2011 at 04:41PM

“If Ms. Morningstar's name was Ms. Crescentmoonandstar, and she used study questions like, " How can praying more routinely help to rid you of your soulless western materialism?" everyone would see her actions as the batty ravings of a religious nut, that they are.”

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48. Anonymous said... on Mar 13, 2011 at 01:03PM

“The study questions come with the book, they're not the teacher's creation. And no law was broken. If the teacher were forbidding discussion of the issues raised by the books, then there'd be a problem, but that's not the case.

Levinson says she is an agnostic, so what's the problem with using religious books? It's all fantasy anyway. If her kid can read them, then she can dispute them. Is she afraid her kid might believe something she doesn't? Or isn't able to argue logically against them?

It's also interesting that Levinson turned down an opportunity to speak with the teacher. I wonder why. Is it because she might not have been able to make a case for not using these particular books? Instead she goes crying to the ACLU, who I hope have better things to do than deal with this.

Levinson needs to STFU and let her kid get an education.”

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49. Justin said... on Feb 5, 2013 at 09:15AM

“What I find funny is that today, college students and people in general are all INCLUSIVE when it comes to homosexuality, gay rights, same sex unions and more confusion to be ACCEPTED but let a born again child of GOD proclaim Jesus Christ and all of a sudden out-rage and contempt?! If you who are in favor of gay rights want acceptance, be tolerable when some one who is NOT accepting proclaims the opposite. I am anti-gay yet I don't bash those who are in favor of it. FREEDOM of expression, sure but don't in turn be so fast to condemn me for not warming up to YOUR alternative way of life. Ms. Morningstar was wrong by using CCP as her forum but she is within her rights to abstain from "acceptance" of gay rights. The student who felt "indoctrination" was occuring simply failed to under-stand; like her, Ms. Morningstar is an individual, OWN way of thinking. MUTUAL respect is to be maintained, always, with tolerance being standard.”


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