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A Tale of Two Community Colleges - McHenry & St. Philips

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

According to a letter sent by First Liberty, a law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty, to St. Philips Community College in San Antonio, Texas, the school fired Dr. Johnson Varkey for teaching a biological fact in a biology class he has been teaching for twenty years.

The problem reportedly began on November 28, 2022 when four students “stormed out” during the middle of his Human Anatomy and Physiology class after Dr. Varkey explained that sex is determined by the X and Y chromosomes, which is both inarguable science and consonant with Dr. Varkey’s religious beliefs. He is also a Christian and pastor.

Two weeks later, Dr. Varkey received notification that the school had received an ethics violation complaint against him, and two weeks later he was fired. While he was not permitted to see the complaint, the school claims the complaint alleges that Dr. Varkey engaged in “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter.” Dr. Varkey denies sharing his personal religious beliefs on those topics in class.

Further, it should be clear at least to conservative Christians what leftists mean when they refer to religious preaching, discrimination, and misogyny.  In the mouths of leftists those terms refer to the expression of moral and ontological views that leftists hate.

It is noteworthy that in twenty years of teaching, Dr. Varkey “had consistently received exemplary performance reviews and was never once subject to discipline.”

First Liberty is seeking Dr. Varkey’s reinstatement, claiming that in firing Dr. Varkey, St. Philips has “violated the Free Speech Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, among multiple other statutory provisions.

While Dr. Varkey is being punished for teaching basic biology in a biology class, at McHenry County College (MCC) in Illinois, psychology professor Christine Grela and ethics professor Tim Seitz, are team-teaching a sexuality course titled “Talking Dirty,” which they have co-taught since the fall of 2015 when Tim Seitz was hired by MCC.

Illinois taxpayers are paying the hefty salaries of these “educators” to lecture students—including minor students—on foreplay; genital cutting; bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM); porn; prostitution; gender theory; and paraphilias (i.e., kink).

One of the textbooks the professors use is For goodness sex: Changing the way we talk to teens about sexuality, values, and health written by creepy 59-year-old homosexual high school English and sexuality teacher Al Vernacchio of whom the New York Times wrote a glowing profile in 2011. That article shares some of the inappropriate discussions and materials found in Vernacchio’s classes for high school students.

For years, Vernacchio has been encouraging kids to share and discuss colloquial metaphors relating to sex and explain their meanings. He discusses penis sizes, giving and receiving oral sex, and shaving pubic hair. He shows a “research video… of a woman ejaculating… and a couple of dozen up-close photographs of vulvas and penises.” Vernacchio has handed out worksheets “with the five senses printed along the top and asked the students to try and list sexual activities that optimized each. (There were examples to prod their thinking: under hearing, for instance, was ‘listening to your partner read an erotic story.’)” 

Vernacchio, who says he doesn’t “necessarily see the decision to become sexually active when you’re 17 as an unhealthy one,” also “rarely misses a chance to ask his students to examine gender bias in their sexual attitudes or behavior.”

Here are some other troubling tidbits of information from the Talking Dirty course description:

“[E]xtra credit (5 points) will be awarded to any student who is tested for STDs during the course.”

Say what? Where, oh, where is Mortimer Adler when we need him?

Since we encourage open and honest discussion of sexuality both inside and outside of the class, any personal attitudes or information shared are confidential. This means that they cannot be revealed in any way outside of class that would identify the person involved — either directly or indirectly. … Any violation of this confidentiality will be subject to disciplinary processes, including being withdrawn from the class.

College classes at public colleges are not private counseling sessions. No professor should expect students to keep any secrets about any information shared by peers or professors during class. Instead, professors should make clear to students that any information shared in class may be shared outside of class, so don’t share private information.

[B]e aware that this course is specifically designed for adult college students. Sexually explicit language, films, slides, and other teaching materials will be used at times throughout the quarter. … [T]his course is rated “NC-17.” It is intended for adults and includes frank and explicit language.

Campus Reform reported that a MCC student saw three students in the class whom he knew were under 18.

According to GovSalaries, Christine Grela  was paid $121, 507 in 2022, and her co-teacher Tim Seitz was paid an eye-popping $129, 514 in 2022 to talk dirty to McHenry County students. Are Illinoisans okay with funding that?  


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