Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: High School Teacher edition.

Kids at San Benito’s Veterans Memorial High School got one hell of lecture from their teacher the other day. It seems she has all manner of… interesting beliefs about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the coming apocalypse, and aliens:

San Benito Teacher Replaced After Bizarre Classroom Rant About Jesus, Mary Magdalene, UFOs & The Apocalypse – Houston News.

Before the teacher was done, she told a roomful of alternately jeering and frightened public school students that Jesus Christ impregnated Mary Magdalene just before his crucifixion. Then she switched to Spanish and over the objections of her students, elaborated at great length on her beliefs.

She told the class that Jesus fell in love with Mary Magdalene when he was 12. They met while he was piloting a boat across the sea. Mary was on the shore, weeping after a bad breakup, the teacher continued, and Jesus saw her and invited her aboard. Mary soon fell in love with Jesus’ eyes, and he kissed her. After that, she says, they were seen together at parks and parties, according to a bilingual commenter’s line-by-line translation at valleycentral.com.

[…] She said that an army of God was coming to destroy this world on December 21, 2012, but not to worry, because Jesus had created another planet that was more beautiful than this one, a Utopia full of waterfalls where everybody was always 25 years old, where money does not exist, but Christmas does, complete with Santa Claus.

And it just keeps getting better from there. Go read the full article for the rest of her claims.

The school has yanked the teacher from her position and replaced her with a sub for the rest of the year. They’re claiming that this is all the result of a bad reaction she had to some of he medication, but it sounds more like she needs to be medicated. The thing is, this isn’t the first time she’s made such proclamations and when asked by a reporter why she said these things her reply was “Because it’s true.” They followed up with her husband who would only say that his wife likes teaching and keep your fucking nose out of our business.

Based on the YouTube video (embedded below)  one of her students made of her outburst, I’m inclined to think she believes every word of it. And, again, I have to point out that from an atheistic standpoint I’ve got as much reason to believer her claims as I do any other Christian. Who’s to say that Jesus hasn’t been in contact with her and plans to marry her and bring an army of UFOs this coming December? Nothing she said is all that much more outrageous that a lot of stuff you’ll find in the Bible. Given an all powerful yet mysterious God who does things we struggle to understand it’s hard to see how we can question any of the claims she makes. Yet I bet most Christians will say she’s clearly delusional and talking nonsense without the slightest whiff of self-awareness in doing so.

Here’s that fun YouTube video:

8 thoughts on “Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: High School Teacher edition.

  1. It wouldn’t seem likely that this young woman is a member of a cult that believes the stuff she is talking about. Therefore, I wouldn’t blame this problem entirely on religion–i.e. a belief that she is the reincarnated Mary Magdalene wouldn’t have been acquired from a religion. She was, at least by the standards of the Independent School Districts in southern Texas, an outstanding teacher in the past, as she had earned her district’s teacher of the year honor. If her brain hasn’t been impacted by medication or drugs, perhaps she has an incipient brain tumor or hit her head when falling off a horse. There are all kinds of possibilities, and if the mental problem cannot be remedied, it would be tragic.

  2. Bob Carlson wrote:

    It wouldn’t seem likely that this young woman is a member of a cult that believes the stuff she is talking about. Therefore, I wouldn’t blame this problem entirely on religion–i.e. a belief that she is the reincarnated Mary Magdalene wouldn’t have been acquired from a religion.

    I’m not blaming anything on her religion, I’m blaming it on her faith. That whole belief-without-evidence thing. There’s nothing in the article that suggests she’s a member of a cult or that whatever church she attends — if she attends one at all — is responsible for planting these ideas in her head, but it’s clear that she believes them to be true. That’s an issue of faith.

    If her brain hasn’t been impacted by medication or drugs, perhaps she has an incipient brain tumor or hit her head when falling off a horse. There are all kinds of possibilities, and if the mental problem cannot be remedied, it would be tragic.

    Those are certainly possibilities, but there’s nothing in the article that would indicate any of them are a probable cause. I find it interesting that you assume she has a mental problem that needs to be remedied. Christians like to promote faith without evidence as the ultimate virtue to strive for. She has clearly achieved just that, but the ideas she has faith in are not traditional and so the natural assumption is that it must be a mental problem that she needs treatment for.

    If I were to suggest that a Christian who professes a belief in a man who restored life to the dead, turned water into wine, and died and then rose from the grave in three days had mental problems that they needed treatment for I’d be attacked as an insensitive asshole. Yet your immediate assumption about this woman is that she has mental problems because she makes claims that are different from, but no more outrageous than anything found in the Bible.

  3. Those are certainly possibilities, but there’s nothing in the article that would indicate any of them are a probable cause.

    Obviously, the woman has a college degree that qualifies her to teach ninth-graders, and she had been chosen as her district’s teacher of the year. I have no wish to defend religion; kids subjected to it do grow up with a sort of brain damage, but I think something additional has caused this woman’s odd behavior. I don’t suppose anything additional about the case will be made public, so we will probably not know how what any psychiatrists or neurologists may find after examining the woman. She has a child on the way, so if this ruins the life of the woman, the prospects for the child wouldn’t seem too great. This is not just an odd story; it is a very sad one, and feel compassion for the woman and her relatives.

  4. “I have no wish to defend religion; kids subjected to it do grow up with a sort of brain damage”
    I do tend to agree with this sentiment, however, many people who now describe themselves as atheist or agnostic were subjected to the same early childhood. There are examples of those raised in atheist or agnostic households that later define themselves as followers of many different faiths.
    As a parent I try to teach my children to do two things 1. Think for themselves 2. Acknowledge ramifications of actions and in-actions.

  5. Bob Carlson wrote:

    Obviously, the woman has a college degree that qualifies her to teach ninth-graders, and she had been chosen as her district’s teacher of the year.

    Indeed, but then that’s true of a lot of delusional people. There’s nothing about being delusional that says you can’t be a functioning member of society. Hell, most of us are delusional to varying degrees on any of a number of things in our lives. It’s all a matter of degree and she’s obviously taken her to an extreme.

    I have no wish to defend religion; kids subjected to it do grow up with a sort of brain damage, but I think something additional has caused this woman’s odd behavior.

    Again, I’m not criticizing her religion, whatever it may be. I’m criticizing her willingness to believe what she believes without any evidence to support it. I also don’t think religion literally causes brain damage, though I do think it damages people’s ability to think critically. It does that by encouraging things such as faith without evidence as being a virtue.

    It’s certainly not the sole cause of this woman’s problems, though, because she’s combined a number of different unsupported beliefs (UFOs, the Mayan calendar end of the world, etc.) into a big ball of crazy. She seems to be overly credulous on a whole lot of different topics.

    You are right that there could be a medical reason for this woman’s odd beliefs and it is a shame if it ends up ruining her life — though standing up for your beliefs no matter how crazy people call you is another thing Christians promote as a virtue — and I do feel for her. The two points I was trying to make are that a) it’s somewhat hypocritical for anyone who claims to believe in a God to claim this woman is nuts and b) blind faith is a bad thing for your mental health.

    Excelsiora wrote:

    As a parent I try to teach my children to do two things 1. Think for themselves 2. Acknowledge ramifications of actions and in-actions.

    That’s the approach I tried to take with my daughter. I also often challenged her when she made strong statements of belief about a topic as to why she felt that way. I never said she was wrong, but I tried to get her to examine why she held the opinions she did.

  6. We could look at this story in a different way. Perhaps working with 13 year olds drives even good teachers to mental exhaustion. Or it is simply the state of Texas that does it. Whatever way you look at it stay away from large groups of 13 year olds, the state of Texas, and religious belief. It still won’t save you but it is worth a shot.

  7. I think Les has a point here:

    she told a roomful of alternately jeering and frightened public school students that Jesus Christ impregnated Mary Magdalene.

    You can believe that, or you can believe that Jesus’ mother was a pregnant virgin. There is no reason to believe either, but I don’t think her’s is the crazier story.

    Then she switched to Spanish and over the objections of her students, elaborated at great length on her beliefs.

    Considering that Catholicism insisted on Latin for hundreds of years after the language fell out of mainstream use, this isn’t so bad.

    They met while he was piloting a boat across the sea.

    Would this story be less crazy if she had claimed that they met while Jesus was walking on that water?

    Mary soon fell in love with Jesus’ eyes

    Christian mystics tend to fall in love with the bloody holes in Jesus’ hands; again, which is odder?

    Jesus had created another planet that was more beautiful than this one, a Utopia full of waterfalls

    Again, crazy, but at least we know that waterfalls and other planets exist; we cannot say the same for heaven and hell.

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