An Ohio school teacher of over 20 years has come under attack recently by school administrators because of a Bible that he has kept on his desk for his entire career.
Earlier this week, instructor John Freshwater was notified by the school's principal that he would have to remove both a tapestry of the 10 Commandments and his Bible from the classroom in line with what the principal said was the establishment of religion clause which bars religion from the classroom.
Although Freshwater agreed to remove the 10 Commandments, he stood firm on keeping his Bible which he said governed his entire set of values and beliefs – values and beliefs that were protected by the constitution, he said.
"The removal of it (the Bible) will be nothing short of the infringement on my deeply held religious beliefs," he said in a statement, according to the conservative Focus on the Family's Citizenlink, which monitors attacks on Christianity.
"Discrimination against religions and religious views is un-American. In a land where we treasure free speech rights, no force or forces have the right to expel from the public forum those who have views with which they disagree. It is what has made America free," he explained.
School officials representing the school district, however, issued a statement of their own.
District officials don't oppose religion but are required "under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to protect against the establishment of religion in the schools. As a public school system the district cannot teach, promote or favor any religion or religious beliefs," they wrote in their statement, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Supporters and longtime associates of Freshwater, however, argued that throughout his entire career he had never once tried to preach or teach from the Bible while in the classroom.
And most recently, in an act of solidarity with the well liked science teacher – and defiance towards school administrators – students throughout the school have announced the beginning of what they called "take-your-Bible-to-school day."
Dave Daubenmire, spokesman for Freshwater, summarized the recent events as yet another development in the ongoing war against Christianity.
"Please notice that the attack on religious freedom in America is on Christianity. No one is trying to silence the religious freedom of Muslims or atheists or humanists. Quite the contrary. We are told to 'understand' Muslims, to be sensitive to the atheists and to tolerate the humanists and their various denominations of 'isms' (environmentalism, feminism, secularism, socialism, communism), which we teach openly in our schools," he wrote in an entry for WorldNetDaily.
Freshwater has said that he would argue his case in court if necessary.