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Dr. Varkey’s Resolution

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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

This true story has a positive ending. But it never should have happened. Dr. Johnson Varkey is a biology teacher, adjunct professor at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas.   

He was fired for stating a fact of human biology: that sex is determined by X and Y chromosomes.  

I learned in 9th grade that females have two X chromosomes in their cells, while males have one X and one Y. For 18 years, Dr. Varkey taught this in his Human Anatomy and Physiology classes at St. Philip’s. But in November 2022, 4 students walked out of Dr. Varkey’s class for presenting this basic scientific concept.

Two months later, St. Philip’s College fired Dr. Varkey, citing “numerous complaints” about his “offensive” speech in the classroom and accusing him of “unacceptable religious preaching.”  First Liberty Institute was asked to help. The firm’s attorneys wrote a letter to the school outlining the illegality of its action in firing Dr. Varkey. First Liberty states it also “filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”

Several members of Congress weighed in. Last month, a full year after Dr. Varkey was fired, St. Philips College and the Alamo Community College District — of which the college is a part — reinstated Dr. Varkey. According to the settlement, Dr. Varkey will be back in the classroom this fall.

In today’s academy, an admired professor gets fired for teaching biology because someone steps up and defines sex differently. Dr. Varkey is a quiet, serious academic. Since he’s known to be a Christian, he’s a target.

Christian professors in these environments are being told to lie. So are Christians in other workplace settings — think pronoun requirements. But people do not have to capitulate to woke policies and regimes contrary to their faith.

Last year, a Supreme Court decision affirmed postal worker Gerald Groff’s right to his reasonable practice of faith. That was First Liberty’s case. Its powerful protections are a game-changer. penna's vp small

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