The Des Moines Register reports that a community college instructor was fired for calling the story of Adam and Eve a “fairy tale.”
A community college instructor in Red Oak claims he was fired after he told his students that the biblical story of Adam and Eve should not be literally interpreted. Steve Bitterman, 60, said officials at Southwestern Community College sided with a handful of students who threatened legal action over his remarks in a western civilization class Tuesday. He said he was fired Thursday…
Bitterman said he called the story of Adam and Eve a “fairy tale” in a conversation with a student after the class and was told the students had threatened to see an attorney. He declined to identify any of the students in the class.
“I just thought there was such a thing as academic freedom here,” he said. “From my point of view, what they’re doing is essentially teaching their students very well to function in the eighth century.”
Hector Avalos, an atheist religion professor at Iowa State University, said Bitterman’s free-speech rights were violated if he was fired simply because he took an academic approach to a Bible story.
“I don’t know the circumstances, but if he’s teaching something about the Bible and says it is a myth, he shouldn’t be fired for that because most academic scholars do believe this is a myth, the story of Adam and Eve,” Avalos said.
“So it’d be no different than saying the world was not created in six days in science class.
“You don’t fire professors for giving you a scientific answer.”