Religion is the enemy of education says history professor


A history professor said “religion’s the enemy of education” in response to the stir following his comment on a Z Energy Facebook post about diversity in the workplace.

He wrote, “Who needs employees if they stop work five times per day to talk to an imaginary being?”

Richards was accused of confusing the Sikh in the photo on the Z Energy Facebook page with a Muslim.

However, he said this was not the case. “I did not confuse Sikh and Muslim. My comment was on the original post, which was about diversity, not on the photo.

Richards said he made comments on all kinds of religion and that it was his right to do so through freedom of speech.

Richards teaches American history and religion at the University of Waikato. But he said his opinion is his own and do not represent those of the University.

On his own Facebook page he said, “In Saudi Arabia and other Islamic theocracies, Muslims would kill me for criticizing their stupid beliefs.”

“In New Zealand, they go after my job. They will fail, and they need to learn respect for evidence, reason and freedom of speech.”

Richards said he had deleted his Facebook comment himself, “because I do not want extremists coming after me”.

That fear may be well founded. In 1998, the university hired a security guard to protect Richards while he was on campus after two death threats were made against him following a lecture he gave on the Mormon Church’s history of violence and polygamy.


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