Jackson native featured in CBS Sunday Morning atheism piece

Apr 28, 2015

Photo: Facebook

By Kate Royals

CBS Sunday Morning viewers in the metro area saw a few familiar scenes in the show’s most recent segment aired this past weekend. The piece focused on atheism, and Jackson native Neil Carter was one of three people from across the country to share his story.

Carter, who went from being a Sunday School-teaching, seminary-attending member of First Baptist Church to becoming an atheist, shared on the show what it was like to finally listen to what he called his “inner skeptic.”

The realization five years ago resulted in strained personal relationships and a divorce, though he notes additional factors played into that decision.

But, he says, it also took a toll on his professional life.

Carter, a former 7th grade history teacher at Northwest Rankin Middle School in Rankin County, says his teaching contract with the school was non-renewed after students and administrators discovered he was an atheist.

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5 comments on “Jackson native featured in CBS Sunday Morning atheism piece

  • ” We were driving around town and I was showing them how the banks scroll Bible verses across their marquees, and they were just like ‘This is amazing,'” Carter described. ”

    Banks with marquees?!?

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  • Looking on this the way I did gay lib, every person who pokes his/her nose above ground is another stereotype eroded. So much of prejudice is a based on a rigid stereotype. People are so convinced that know exactly what every gay/atheist is like.

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  • During Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution young people were recruited to lead the vanguard and root
    out revisionist elements in the party and society. Children were encouraged to renounce teachers for any perceived deviation from Mao’s authority and “Little Red Book” ideology.

    A middle school student in Neil Carter’s classroom confronted him. He was effectively “outed,” denounced and fired for his personal atheist worldview. For privately held views about nature, the cosmos and the supernatural which presented no harm or threat to others, he lost his civil rights, his human rights. Illegal,
    immoral, Insufferable in our democracy.

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  • Ah me, so glad I live in NZ where a transgender mayor became an MP, where we have many openly gay MP’s, where we have a cross dressing lawyer who may turn up to courts dressed as a woman, where meetings often start with a prayer because most Maori and Pacific Islanders are Christian but where it is usual to invite anyone present to open a meeting in any way they so wish because in the main people respect people in NZ! And where there wouldn’t be a cat in hells chance of a teacher losing their job for being an atheist, firstly it wouldn’t be tolerated and of course here it would be illegal!

    Didn’t come out on Openly Secular Day cos everyone already knows, no biggy here NZ!

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