Texas Biology Professor Fired for Facts That Offended Students Reinstated

Dr. Johnson Varkey was fired for “religious preaching” after stating biological facts.

A Texas professor and associate pastor fired for “offending” LGBTQ+ sensibilities with biological facts is being reinstated.

St. Phillips College, San Antonio, dismissed Dr. Johnson Varkey in January 2023, citing complaints about “ethics violations.”

In their official letter of separation – published by First Liberty – St. Phillips accused Dr. Varkey of “religious preaching.”

This included accusations that Dr. Varkey had made “discriminatory comments about homosexuals, and transgender individuals.”

As well as allegations the biology professor used “anti-abortion rhetoric and misogynistic banter.”

Without any real, apparent, internal investigation, Dr. Varkey’s impeccable 19-year career teaching biology ended with the words:

“The seriousness of your behaviour warrants the prohibition of any further employment with the College District.”

Refuting the claims, Dr. Varkey, a Christian, and American with Indian heritage, said,

“During my lecture on the human reproductive system, I stated that human sex is determined by chromosomes X and Y.

“Reproduction,” he asserted, “must occur between a male and a female to continue the human species.”

He was teaching the same detailed biological realities he’d taught for over two decades without complaint; utilising slides from a “college-approved textbook.”

St. Phillips – a “historically black and Hispanic college” – “refused to offer details about the complaints beyond the vague ‘religious preaching,” and hate speech defence.

Dr. Varkey’s termination of employment was probably related to a November 28, 2022, staged walkout by four students.

They appear to have been offended by Dr. Varkey teaching “that sex was determined by chromosomes X and Y.”

He also taught, “When sperm and egg form the zygote, life begins, not when the baby is born.”

All these facts, he added, were “consistent with his study of human biology, and his Christian faith.”

In other words, life begins at conception. There are only two genders, and the ideal for procreation rules out aberrations, if a species is to survive.

That ideal is man for woman, and a woman for man, both for each other. (My summary, not Dr. Varkey’s).

After being notified by the college of these alleged violations, a surprised Dr. Varkey sort clarification, saying that he was not aware of any breaches to D.4.10.1: Facility Code of Professional Ethics.

Throughout the entirety of his teaching career, no one had ever complained.

As a professor of biology, he had never been accused of failing to be tolerant of different viewpoints, or that he’d violated “the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity.”

When Dr. Varkey asked, the college refused to dig deeper.  They simply referred him to the Human Resources Department.

Neither reason nor explanations were ever given.

Taking on the case First Liberty argued, St. Phillips had violated Dr. Varkey’s right to free speech, and religious freedom.

The college, they argued, breached the law by:

  • “terminating Dr. Varkey because of his academic statements” in the classroom context.
  • “discriminated against the biology instructor based in his viewpoint.”
  • “expressed unconstitutional religious animus against” him.
  • refused to allow Dr. Varkey to due process, acting on the “assumption” that the apparent LGBTQ+ activist accusations were true.
  • “tarnished the professor’s reputation, without substantiating complaints” made against him.

First Liberty concluded:

The lack of “due process, evidence, or opportunity to respond, demonstrates the hostility of St. Philip’s College toward Dr. Varkey because of his religious beliefs.”

Additionally, Dr. Varkey’s personal opinions were deemed “unacceptable, and offensive.”

This strongly suggested the Christian, biology professor’s dismissal was both arbitrary and reactionary.

Responding to the strength of First Liberty’s case, St. Phillips gave Dr. Varkey his job back in February. One year after terminating his employment.

A First Liberty press release announced the news, stating that legal, and political pressure on St. Phillips had swayed the college to quietly reach a “favourable settlement.”

i.e.: After being made accountable, St. Phillips quietly conceded that cancelling biological realities – in order to placate LGBTQ+ sensibilities – negated its higher education eligibility.


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