TN teacher fired over Rick Warren video

Monday, May 9, 2016
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

hand on chalkboardA teacher in Tennessee has been fired for showing students a video that featured a prominent pastor. 

Mary Simms was allegedly fired from a Collierville school after using Pastor Rick Warren in a "TED Talk."

Such video presentations feature prominent speakers who give short talks designed to share ideas on a variety of topics. 

Warren (pictured below) is the author of the best-selling "The Purpose-Driven Life." His TED Talk "A life of purpose" has been viewed 2.6 million times, the website shows.

"Today's society is pretty conditioned to have the equivalent of an allergic reaction whenever Christianity is so much as mentioned," says Center for Religious Expression attorney Tony Mangini, who is representing Simms.

Collierville is a suburb of Memphis. 

Rick WarrenThe fired teacher's case seems like a case ripped from a Hollywood script – especially one from recent memory – since Simms' case is similar to teacher "Grace Wesley" in the 2016 film "God's Not Dead 2."

"Why am I here, what am I here for, where am I going?" Warren asks in the video. "These are not religious issues. They're human issues."

Warren acknowledges he believes the claims of Jesus and used a Bible story as an example. But the talk never asked the students to choose Jesus or pray or make any declaration of faith.

Still, after one complaint and with no hearing or even discussion, Simms was fired.

To keep students from hearing Warren, simply because he's a pastor and mentioned God, is crossing the line, says attorney Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute.

"And this school district should be held accountable," he says.

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