California high school history teacher violated the First Amendment when he told students that Creationism is "superstitious nonsense," a federal judge ruled on Friday.
James Corbett, a 20-year teacher at Capistrano Valley High School, made that comment and other disparaging remarks about Christians during a 2007 classroom lecture.
Chad Farnan, an Advanced Placement European history student, accused Corbett of repeatedly promoting hostility toward Christians and advoctating "irreligion over religion" in class.
The judge said the ruling should remind teachers of their legal "boundaries" as public school employees.
"Corbett states an unequivocal belief that Creationism is 'superstitious nonsense,'" U.S. District Court Judge James Selna said. "The court cannot discern a legitimate secular purpose in this statement, even when considered in context."
Farnan's lawsuit had cited more than 20 inflammatory statements attributed to Corbett, including "Conservatives don't want women to avoid pregnancies - that's interfering with God's work" and "When you pray for divine intervention, you're hoping that the spaghetti monster will help you get what you want."
However, Selna dismissed all but two of the statements. That included Corbett's comment "When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth."
Source: The Orange County Register