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The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Jerry Bergman and Racism

Replies to Bergman's "Are Jerry Bergman and Henry Morris Racists?"

Copyright © 2003
[First posted: February 6, 2003]
[Last updated: July 21, 2003]

Other Links:
Jerry Bergman, Ph.D., Biology
A short biography from Answers in Genesis that links to a few of his online articles. Notice that his degree in "human biology" is from Columbia Pacific University which as discussed in the Some Questionable Creationist Credentials FAQ is a diploma mill. Quackwatch documents that it has been shut down.
Bergman v. Bowling Green State University
The text of the decision of the appellate court in the case which Dr. Bergman unsuccessfully sued Bowling Green for religious discrimination. It includes reasons besides religion and reverse discrimination for his termination.
Dr. Bergman's Response
Dr. Bergman's reply to this article.

Reply by Jim Lippard and Tom McIver

Jerry Bergman has authored a piece on the web titled "Are Jerry Bergman and Henry Morris Racists? An Example of the Irresponsible 'Research' of Darwinists (The Cases of Jim Lippard, Lenny Flank, and Tom McIver)". In his article, he takes issue with writings by the three named authors, characterizing them as irresponsible and libelous.

In this article, we wish to recount the history of the writings in question, respond to Bergman's criticisms, be more explicit about the point we intended to make, and defend the accuracy of what we have written. We also raise some questions for Bergman to answer.

The first of the writings Bergman takes issue with appeared on the Internet in a January 15, 1994 Usenet posting by Jim Lippard to the newsgroup. This posting was republished on the web site under the title "Creationism and Racism". This short document was written as a report on a forthcoming work by Tom McIver, which it quoted from (an unpublished book, the relevant chapter of which was published in edited form as "The Protocols of Creationism: Racism, Anti-Semitism, and White Supremacy in Christian Fundamentalism," Skeptic 2(4, 1994):76-87).

The information in this posting was then used by Lenny Flank in a piece titled "Does Science Discriminate Against Creationists?".

All use essentially the same information, derived from McIver, though Flank mistakenly takes the publication date of one of the works cited by McIver as the date an event described in that work occurred.

The main point of the original Usenet posting by Lippard was to bring the forthcoming work by McIver to the attention of the readership of the newsgroup. Later, I (Lippard) gave approval for its inclusion on the website as a brief summary of the chapter of McIver's book. The chapter points out that although some creationists (such as Jerry Bergman) insist that evolution is inherently racist (see, for example, Joe Conley's "Is Darwinism Racist?: Creationists and the Louisiana Darwin-Racism Controversy"), there have been significant connections between racism and creationism. It is not difficult to find examples of creationism and the Bible being used to defend racism, and McIver points out some of them.

While Bergman maintains that racism can only be defended using the Bible by distorting the Bible, we maintain that the same is the case for attempts to defend racism on the basis of evolution. Evolution does not involve a moral order of being in which some beings are superior to others.

The main point of contention by Bergman, however, is a specific paragraph and footnote by McIver regarding Bergman's denial of tenure and dismissal from Bowling Green State University. Bergman has on multiple occasions stated that this event occurred "solely" because of his religious beliefs, and did so in print at least as late as 1987. A representative example is his statement in Christianity Today, Feb. 3, 1984, "It is abundantly clear from the court transcripts, numerous affidavits, and letters in my possession that my creationist and religious beliefs and publications supporting my views (such as a monograph I wrote, published by Phi Delta Kappa) comprised the sole reason for my tenure denial and subsequent termination."

The following is the paragraph and footnote from McIver which appeared in Lippard's posting:

"Evolution and racism are the same thing," declares Jerry Bergman (McIver 1990:21; see Bergman's "Evolution and the Development of Nazi Race Policy" in Bible-Science Newsletter [1988] and articles in Creation Research Society Quarterly [1980], CSSHQ [1986], and Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal [1991, 1992]).[2]

[2] Bergman has been featured in many creationist publications for his complaint that he was denied tenure and dismissed from Bowling Green State University "solely because of my beliefs and publications in the area of creationism"; a cover story, for instance, in the Creation Science Legal Defense Fund's magazine Creation ("The Jerry Bergman Story," 1984). In Bergman's The Criterion (preface by Wendell Bird, foreword by John Eidsmoe), Luther Sunderland said Bergman was fired "solely" because of his religious beliefs--his creationism (1984:64). But in a signed letter published in David Duke's National Association of White People newsletter, Bergman stated that "reverse [racial] discrimination was clearly part of the decision"--i.e., that it was not solely religious discrimination (Bergman 1985:2).

The above paragraph has but one point: that Jerry Bergman is an advocate of the extreme viewpoint that evolution and racism are to be identified with each other, a view which we dispute. The footnote is an observation about Bergman's reliability: that while he has insisted to creationist audiences that his 1979 denial of tenure and 1980 dismissal were because of his creationism, he has also found fit to write to a publication known for its racism a letter maintaining that reverse racial discrimination was also part of the decision.

Bergman characterizes the footnote as "an example" of charges which are "not only false, but also appallingly irresponsible." He calls it "entirely misleading" because it "implies that I falsely claimed that the reason I was denied tenure was religion when the real reason was in whole or in part because I am a white supremist [sic] and racist." He states that he did believe he was fired solely for his religious beliefs until litigation by the National Education Association on his behalf turned up evidence of reverse discrimination in 1984, and that the claim that he was fired "solely" because of his religious beliefs is from Luther Sunderland. However, the first quote in the footnote above is from Bergman himself, in the Bible Science Newsletter's September/October 1986 "Contrast" insert section (vol. 5, no. 5, p. 1): "I was, in essence, fired quite openly in 1980 solely because of my beliefs and publications in the area of creationism." This was a 1984 WBGSU radio interview with Bergman, published in 1986, which he has never offered any retraction for or correction to. In the September/October 1987 Contrast (vol. 6, no. 5) is another article on academic tolerance based on another WBGSU radio interview with Bergman, in which he repeatedly states that the cause of his denial of tenure and dismissal was his religious beliefs, with no mention of any other cause. This interview was edited by Bergman before publication. Further, the book in which the quote from Sunderland appears--The Criterion--was written and edited by Bergman.

Bergman also stated that the firing was solely due to his religious beliefs (and more specifically his creationism) at the 1986 International Conference on Creationism (ICC) in Pittsburgh, where he gave a talk entitled "Contemporary Religious Discrimination Against Creationists in Academia." The ICC conference program paragraph about Bergman states that he "has most recently been involved in the news for having been illegally discharged from the faculty of Bowling Green State Univ. because of his creationist interests."

In Bergman's response piece, he admits that he had knowledge of reverse discrimination in 1984 as a result of the NEA lawsuit. So why did he continue, in 1986 and 1987, to assert to creationist audiences that his loss of tenure and dismissal was due solely to his creationism?

And what is Bergman's explanation for the letter? In his rebuttal piece, he states that he is unfamiliar with the letter and does "not recall seeing it," and suggests that it was part of his research to obtain "information from racists groups for [his] research against racism." But the letter in question appears to have been written as a letter for publication, and makes no request of information. Rather, it sets forth the story of Bergman's denial of tenure and dismissal as a story of reverse racial discrimination, tailored to an audience with a vested interest in hearing such stories. The letter is quoted below in full.

Bergman asks, after stating his unfamiliarity with the letter, "but I wonder how Jim Lippard saw it?" The answer is that I (Lippard) obtained a copy of the letter from Tom McIver, who obtained it from John Cole. McIver and Cole were present at Bergman's 1986 ICC presentation. During the Q&A session following Bergman's talk, Cole asked Bergman about the letter to the NAAWP Newsletter. Bergman initially denied that there was such a letter, at which time Cole produced a copy and volunteered to read it aloud.

At that point, Bergman suggested that perhaps someone else had used his name, or that David Duke had published a private correspondence. Cole asked Bergman if he would file a lawsuit for misappropriation; Bergman indicated that would be too expensive. At one point, Bergman (who has occasionally published under the name "Havor Montague," and sometimes cited his works under that name without noting that it is his own work) asked why Cole thought that "Jerry Bergman" was his real name, stating that "I have to live a dual life--I have to go under a different name, a different person and a different background where I'm teaching. They know I'm here, and you don't know where I'm at! I use different names. ... Well, fortunately, my real name is not Jerry Bergman so I can't tell you the name I use."

We are quite surprised that Bergman has no recollection of this event. A partial transcript of the ICC Q&A session appears below.

Lenny Flank's paragraph on this same subject, which Bergman calls a "far more irresponsible and blatantly libelous piece," says this:

Another oft-cited "victim of scientific intolerance" is Jerry Bergman, who in 1984 was denied tenure and dismissed from his position at Bowling Green University, as he puts it, "solely because of my beliefs and publications in the area of creationism." (Jim Lippard, "Creationism and Racism", undated) However, Bergman himself pointed out a more significant reason for his dismissal (one which other creationists are understandably reluctant to talk about): In a signed letter published in the newsletter of former Klan head David Duke's white supremacist National Association for the Advancement of White People, Bergman declared that "reverse discrimination was clearly part of the decision" (cited in Lippard, "Creationism and Racism", undated). In other words, as Bergman himself admits, it was NOT his creationism that got him kicked out. Apparently Bergman's sob story changes according to which particular audience he is sobbing to.

Bergman is correct that Flank erred in dating the denial of tenure at 1984 instead of 1979. Flank appears to have mistakenly used the date of "The Jerry Bergman Story," cited above, as the date for the denial of tenure. Flank also writes "it was NOT his creationism that got him kicked out" when, to be accurate, he should have written "it was not solely his creationism that got him kicked out" (which more explicitly shows the contradiction in Bergman's public statements). Apart from these two mistakes, Flank's paragraph appears accurate.

Bergman writes that "Flank and many others accuse me of being a racist neo-Nazi (or worse)." Neither Lippard nor McIver has ever made any such accusation about Bergman. Flank has made such an accusation in a Usenet posting, which Lippard and McIver agree is unmerited and irresponsible.

Bergman also writes that an unnamed "contact" informed him of a magazine called Blindspot that stated "Bergman is also suspected of links to various far-right white supremacists groups ... [and] neo-Nazis." But as Bergman notes, the article in question, by Julian Ichem, is about a Raphael Bergman. Who, apart from Bergman and his unnamed contact, ever confused Raphael Bergman with Jerry Bergman? Bergman appears to be grasping at straws to paint himself as a victim.

Much of Bergman's response is devoted to discussion of actions by his "distant relative," Walter Bergman. In our opinion, the actions of Bergman's relative are irrelevant to discussions of the actions of Bergman. "Innocence by association" is no better an argument than guilt by association.

Bergman makes the point that it is incorrect to conclude that being published in a racist publication makes one a racist or that being a creationist predisposes one to becoming a racist. The latter point refers to an editorial title on the web page which includes Lippard's piece and another by Rich Trott, "Creationism Implies Racism?" We (Lippard and McIver) do not suggest or conclude that creationism predisposes to racism, but rather that creationism does not preclude racism. We agree with Bergman that authors need not be in agreement with the views of editors of the publications their work appears in, though we do question the wisdom of submitting a letter for publication in a racist newsletter which gives aid and comfort to undoubted racists. One can consider affirmative action to be "reverse racism" without being a racist or a white supremacist, but why would anyone concerned about racism air their concerns in a forum which gives ammunition to real racists and white supremacists? This shows, at the very least, incredibly poor judgment.

Reply by Richard Trott

I would like to make a few comments about some of the things written about me at (accessed on February 5, 2003).

Jerry Bergman writes that I "concluded [material authored by Henry Morris] was racist because the curse involved 'dark skinned' people."

The use of the words "dark skinned" in quotation marks gives the reader the impression that they are my words. The words appear nowhere in my text (

The reason the Morris passage is easily interpreted as racist is because Morris refers specifically to "Negroes" and their "genetic character" that he alleges makes them less "intellectual" than others.

Here's Morris's own words: "Often the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have become actual personal servants or even slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane matters, they have eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites."

Next, Mr. Bergman writes that ,"historians do not generally regard the Hamites as a race." This gives the reader the impression that I have fabricated the correlation of "Hamites" in Morris's text to some "races." It is Morris himself, however, who states that in his opinion, "all of the earth's 'colored' races,--yellow, red, brown, and black--essentially the Afro-Asian group of peoples, including the American Indians--are possibly Hamitic in origin." This quotation makes it clear that Morris believes that white Europeans are generally not of Hamitic descent. The previous quotation ("especially the Negroes") makes it clear that Morris believes (or believed) that "Negroes" generally are Hamites.

Thus, if anything is at odds with the historians Bergman speaks of, it is Morris's passage.

Next, Mr. Bergman goes on to say that "Morris is only trying to explain and interpret history, not condone or exploit it to denigrate a race." I agree with this statement. I do think the explanation/interpretation provided by Morris in this case is racist. Contrary to what Mr. Bergman's comments suggest, I am not drawing an unreasonable conclusion. Morris states quite clearly that "Negroes" (and other "Hamites") are generally less "intellectual" than non-Hamites and he is asserting that this is in their "genetic character."

So why do I then turn around and say that Morris is, in fact, not a racist? Morris may have simply written this particular passage somewhat more carelessly than he should have. Or this may reflect a view Morris once held years ago but no longer holds. (For the record, I suspect a combination of both of these things to be true.) That's why I conclude at the end of my article that Morris, in fact, is not a racist.

Mr. Bergman's assertion that I believe Morris is a "racist" is simply false. Because I say that I believe Morris is "not a vile racist," Bergman uncharitably assumes that I think Morris is a racist, just not a "vile" one. Mr. Bergman is the first person that I am aware of to interpret what I wrote that way, and I maintain that it is a rather peculiar interpretation on his part. (I will concede, however, that many atheists and anti-creationists have used the quotations I use in my article to draw very different conclusions about Dr. Morris. However, I do not share their views.)

Mr. Bergman also writes that "[Trott] infers that a connection exists between the conclusion that humans were created (as opposed to evolved) and racism." This is untrue. Oddly, just prior to this, Bergman quotes a passage of mine wherein I write exactly the opposite of what he here wrongly concludes the article "infers." I wrote that I was trying to address the fallaciousness of citing "evolution as the supposed root of racism. The argument...applies equally well (i.e., fallaciously) to creationism."

In other words, suggesting that creationism is the root of racism is, in my opinion, as absurd as suggesting that evolution is the root of racism.

Addendum (July 21, 2003): Jerry Bergman has appended an email of mine (which essentially served as an early draft for my text above) to the end of his article. He has also included a response to my email. I address his response here.

Bergman suggests that I "either did not research [my] material very carefully, or chose to ignore" relevant information. This is regarding writings by Morris that Bergman believes demonstrate that Morris is beyond reproach when it comes to issues regarding race. This charge against me is incorrect, as the passages in question are irrelevant to the point my article was making.

The point of my article was to address (hopefully, in a novel way) a certain creationist argument that comes up from time to time. Some creationists (including, apparently, both Morris and Bergman) have tried to discredit evolution by asserting that it is the root of racism. Of course, racism can and has been propped up by abuses of nearly everything. For example, the Biblical curse of Ham was used by proponents of slavery in the United States. It's just as easy to use creationism to support racism as it is evolution, and in fact, Biblical literalism has been misused in exactly that way. Rightly, no creationist would think that this discredits creationism. Yet, some creationists, apparently including Morris and Bergman, believe that the fact that evolution has been misused in the same way discredits evolution.

Bergman still seems to insist (at least publicly) that my article promotes the line of reasoning that creationism and racism are linked and thus creationism is discredited. Bergman seems to take on a somewhat self-congratulatory tone when I "admit" that such a line of reasoning is flawed--something I have been saying all along. The result is rather like an unfunny sketch comedy routine.

Bergman goes on for several sentences regarding a one-word discrepancy between my quotation of Morris and what is in Bergman's copy of the book. Almost certainly, he is using the first edition (although he doesn't specify). I quoted from the second edition (which I specified). After writing for several sentences and pointing out his supposed magnanimity for not drawing unwarranted conclusions regarding the discrepancy, Bergman mentions, in a parenthetical afterthought, that a creationist source of his reports that my quotation is, in fact, completely accurate. Gee, thanks, Jerry!

It is a delicious irony that, although Bergman appears not to realize it, his version of the quotation probably makes a stronger case for my argument than the quotation I had used. It turns out that in the edition that Bergman has, Morris didn't ascribe the characteristics of "Hamites" to their "genetic character." He ascribed it to their "racial character." I'll be sure to mention this version of the quotation in subsequent revisions of the article.

Appendix 1

NAAWP News. 1985 [ca December 1]. Page 2: "Letters to the Editor":


There have been many discussions relative to reverse discrimination in academia, a serious problem which is of major concern to many professionals.

Advertisements often state: "Minorities are strongly encouraged to apply."

In actuality, quite often minorities are hired over better qualified whites.

The writer recalls attending a convention which was primarily for the purpose of recruiting new faculty. While discussing a faculty position with the dean, we not uncommonly had the experience of another dean walking in, uninvited, exchange small talk with the dean the writer was being interviewed by and state, "Do you have any blacks in the area of sociology?"

In one case in particular, the dean answered, "No, but I have a highly qualified white who has published quite a few articles and has impressed our faculty considerably." The answer to this was, "No, we're not interested, we're looking for a black," and he walked out!

I was recently informed relative to a position in criminal justice for which I applied why I would not be hired. My second doctorate, which I am currently completing, is in criminal justice. I received a letter from a friend who, although a secretary and not a faculty member, stated that she talked to the hiring committee about the status of my application and whether it was complete. She was then openly told that they were only considering women candidates for the position. This, she informed me in writing. Thus, regardless of my qualifications, I was not going to be considered!

Probably the most blatant example was a position the writer applied for at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. It was specifically stated in writing that unless a minority candidate could be recruited (specifically a black), the position would not be filled. The college was not able to recruit a minority candidate (they all probably had far better offers elsewhere) and felt the position needed to be filled, thus the writer was finally hired, but only temporarily. The writer was then terminated after seven years, and a minority was hired. This was true even though the writer was the most prolific member in the department, and his student ratings were in the 90 percentile.

Admittedly, in the writer's case, other elements entered in, such as objection to the writer's political-religious values. Nonetheless, reverse discrimination was clearly part of the decision to terminate the writer.

The Ohio Civil Rights Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission both refused in essence to investigate these concerns. It seems apparent to the writer, in reviewing the Ohio Civil Rights function and actual practice, and interviewing about a dozen persons relative to their performance, that their major interest is not in carrying out the Civil Rights law, but their major concern often is specifically helping blacks. They seem vigilant in fighting cases of discrimination against blacks, but far less so in helping whites.

It has been found that educated blacks now actually begin with a higher starting salary than whites. The writer interviewed a colleague of his at a small college and asked why there were no blacks on the cafulty. He answered that, as a small college, they simply could not afford to pay the salaries blacks demanded. They have repeatedly tried to recruit blacks, but most can obtain a far higher salary elsewhere, so go elsewhere.

Another case was when the writer was employed at a small college. At the same time he was hired, a black was hired in the same department. This man had a master's degree, but hadn't published and had no teaching experience. The writer had a decade of teaching experience, over 230 published articles, and the equivalent of three Ph.D.'s, and was formally completing his second Ph.D. at the time. Because of a severe decline in enrollment, it was decided that one of the persons hired in the writer's department should be let go. Needless to say, the writer was let go instead of his black colleague who was far less qualified. He discussed this with the dean and others, and they were quite open, stating simply "There's no way we could let so and so go. He would bring a charge of discrimination against the college and probably win." He further added that a black with a master's degree is about equal to a white with Ph.D.

In reviewing literature relative to discrimination, a great deal of concern seems to be expressed relative to discrimination in favor of blacks which, in essence, amounts to preferential status. The writer has uncovered a great deal of religious discrimination, discrimination against other groups such as whites and little concern seems to be expressed to right this wrong. I am certainly not advocating discrimination against blacks, but I stronly [sic] believe persons should be hired purely on their qualifications. There are serious problems, though, when the blatant reverse discrimination, which is clearly occurring, exists. This, in the long run, hurts all of us. Hiring should be based upon qualifications and not on skin color. This reverse discrimination is deplorable and will have tragic results for our nation.

Jerry Bergman, Ph.D.

Appendix 2

Questions during Q & A period following Bergman's 1986 ICC talk.

(Transcription based on contemporaneous notes and recollections of John Cole and Tom McIver.)

JB = Jerry Bergman
PA = Paul Ackerman
JC = John Cole
Q = question from audience

JB: Do you know of a creationist, anywhere, at any time, who was out of the closet who received tenure at a state college or university? I have yet to be presented with a single case of a creationist anywhere in the past 20 or 30 years that was a known creationist that got tenure. Everyone got fired.

The likelihood of getting a job in the first place is virtually zero. I can list a dozen cases of Ph.D.s from Harvard, Cornell, Stanford who have been unemployed for years. A friend of mine who has a Ph.D. from Stanford has been unemployed now for 20 years because he's a creationist.

[A] Stanford Ph.D. candidate worked for years and published about three dozen articles in thirty journals. At his oral exams they asked him "Who was the greatest philosopher who ever lived?" He said, "Jesus Christ." One of his committee members threw his pencil on the table--blew up--and said you're not going to get a doctorate from this university. And he didn't. And the person who did this, by the way, is an internationally famous Nobel Prize winner--if I mentioned his name I'm sure you'd all recognize him -- anywhere in North America -- US or Canada.

... remarkably similar to Nazi Germany ... in other words, if you're a creationist, you're insane.

I've worked for a number of psychiatric clinics for years and that's the terminology we use. [Cites Nature, Nazis and Jews.]

That's almost exactly the same thing that Isaac Asimov -- a Russian Jew, by the way -- said: "This is an example of the stupidity of the creationist viewpoint; all of their other points are equally stupid" -- it's totally irresponsible -- "except for where creationists are outright lying. So I want you to tell your classes, because you can see that you can figure out the answers, that creationists are stupid, lying people who are not to be trusted in any way." That's right, he's dogmatic -- he is a Jew after all...

I did a survey, I reviewed over 4,000 articles on creationism -- my review, by the way, got to be so much work and so extensive that I got contract just to publish my list of articles -- I got a contract from a New England publisher to publish the list of artaicles I reviewed, and of the 4,000 articles I located which talked about creationism, every single one of them without exception was anti-creationist. And almost all of them, with very few exceptions, used name-calling. I managed to locate, in secular journals, a grand total of four articles written by creationists, and all of these four were followed by six articles or so refuting what the creationists had to say.

And I can tell you where they're at: in Phi Delta Kappa, Academia, Creation/Evolution, and Science Digest.

The fairest of all journals was Academia, which is published by AAUP... The editor said when professors "condemn creationists, we take it with a grain of salt."

People went to the Supreme Court over how high the window shades should be. ... list of word: incompetent, simpletons, etc., [?] most common [?].

... I was unemployed for almost ten years giving Bowling Green as a reference. Well, I stopped doing that, and seven years disappeared from my life. I told them I was in prison or something -- and I got the first job I applied for: teaching science at a state college. They don't know I'm a creationist. But I've no doubt thought that if they found out who I am they'll terminate me. So I can't reveal where I'm teaching, and my activities here have to be separate.

Teaching biology, I have to teach things I know are not true....

[About Bowling Green State Univ.:] They admitted they had no evidence... [here reads snippets of testimony from his tenure denial case]. [They claimed] he might be meeting with students on religious issues. [Gives example of] an atheist high school teacher who questioned whether we had souls, professed atheism, etc.

They were suspicious that I might have said that homosexuality isn't the healthiest of activities or something like that (I don't know).

They objected to my [religiously oriented] mail... [They] called me a "religious fanatic."

I worked for the court for three years and had a pretty good opinion of the court; of course, I worked for the side trying to convict people. Now that I have some experience on this side I have a totally different opinion of the court. For example, in my case, it took even to be heard about six years. Now six years is a long time. Do you realize that most of my colleagues could not even remember if they were at my tenure meeting, let alone how they voted or why they voted? How could you ever prove a case in a court if you have to wait six years? [Documents were lost, people died or moved in the interim, etc.]

The judge mocked me and called me names -- he said "You're insane!" I told him that my relatives came over here from Russia because of freedom from religion [sic] and I told him that my experience with this country and what I'm going through is increasingly turning me against this country, and I made it very clear to the judge that freedom of religion is an absolute lie. Do you know what his response was? He brought in his goons to carry me out. That's what his response was, and I told him I was absolutely disgusted with this court and with this system. He sat there and made fun of me. He said, "If I ever hear another word about tenure I'm going to kill myself." [He was] drunk...

I can't say whether he was drunk. Most of my friends don't drink. I honestly have never seen a person drunk.

I've found lots of creationists are paranoid. I've corresponded with people for years who -- I don't know their names.

[...?] who--I don't know their names. There's a friend of mine who teaches somewhere--I think it's Cornell [but his address is in Calif]. [blank] Letters are signed "T. Smith."

I have to live a dual life--I have to go under a different name, a different person and a different background where I'm teaching. They don't know I'm here, and you don't know where I'm at! I use different names. I have to. [Audience: "Where?"] At a school. This school had no idea who I was. They don't know that I taught at Bowling Green--I had seven years there. Well, fortunately, my real name is not Jerry Bergman so I can't tall you the name I use. I used to use Havor Montague but I don't use that any more either; you have to do this.

Q: Did the NEA really help?

JB: Yes--I got tenure and then they changed the system. [The] Ph.D. from Stanford finally committed suicide...since I've been through this I've changed my attitude. I can see that the scriptures say very clearly that death is a release, and it is. I'm not condoning suicide, and if I will I'll have a different attitude, but I've heard so many horror stories, there are all sorts of horror stories which are not simply dealing with creationism.

JC: Do you know of examples such as evolutionists who have been fired or turned down for tenure?

JB: I've never found an evolutionist who was denied tenure. And I've taught at a fundamentalist Christian college and we had an atheist there and they didn't deny her tenure--they gave her tenure and I thought it was very inconsistent--I mean, they could legally deny her tenure becasue she's an atheist--the avowed purpose of the College is fundamentalism, and they said, "Well, we need some balance in our faculty."

JC: [Question re Liberty Baptist.]

JB: But they have a legal right to do that and they make that clear. [If they kept an atheist on you'd say "these people are a bunch of hypocrites"] so I don't think there's anything wrong with firing people, see, but they should obey the law. Common response is evolutionists have been fired, therefore creationists should be fired. Well, the Arabs bomb the Jews, therefore the Jews have the perfect right to bomb the Arabs, right?

JC: But there are cases of discrimination against evolutionists.

JB: But it's perfectly legal because the people who made our laws said if it's a religious college, they can hire and fire [based on religion].

[Short notes.]
JC: [Insubordination issue.]

-- no one read my articles--testified in court
questioned methodology--Einstein article
Not involved in Campus Crusade
"Liberty Baptist would not hire me"
"Remarried--I'm a Methodist now"
wife a science teacher
legislators don't care
compare 75 creationists fired per year
versus 2 million abortions--latter has more political priority
less xxx We'll give you a degree but we'll make sure you never get a job.

PA: We've admitted creationists (cites Kurt Wise)

JB: If they're black or a woman it might [make] the diff


after 3 years, 4.0 average, how long? maybe 7 or 10 yrs, more

Bergman at Bowling Green got almost straight As but denied degree in criminology.

"your religion--that's it."

JC: [After several questions about Bergman's accounts of religious discrimination against him]. For example, you wrote to the National Association for the Advancement of White People that you were discriminated against because you were white. Is that something you think that is part of the problem?

JB: Yeah, there was a letter in my file which I discovered after I was let go which said that they had interviewed me but they said they cannot hire me because I'm white. It's a letter in my file-that they have to hire a minority person. And then they said we cannot find a qualified minority person. So Bergman's at the top of our list, but he's white. We can't get a Black above him so we'll-so that occurred-so I can't say that was important later; I think that was more important initially.

JC: Why did you go to this organization [NAAWP] instead of the NEA for example?

JB: I didn't go to that organization and I have no idea where they got that letter. I don't ever remember writing to them; I don't know what that organization is.

JC: Well, here it is, signed by you.

JB: Well, you find, when you write a lot of letters, sometimes you write to friends in California and they end up published in some paper in New York, and quite often publication is not that accurate. So, because it's published I don't think that really anything. But that is a problem-I think that reverse discrimination is clearly a problem, and I think it's--

JC: Would you sue them, then, if you did not authorize them to print this?

JB: Yeah--$100,000, take six years, and then they would say, Well, I'm sorry, this is a letter which was give to us by somebody who got it from somebody which Dr. Bergman sent to them. I didn't see-Schadewald sent me a copy of the letter or article you're referring to-that's the first time I saw it. He said "Why are you publishing articles in this magazine," and I said I'd never heard of that magazine and didn't know it was published.

JC: I must say I was quite startled and I think NEA or ACLU would support you; what's one more lawsuit?

JB: I guess because my experience with the courts is so negative that I want nothing more to do with the courts. I might win and the jury award me one dollar. Basically, the letter's not that bad. If you want to see the letter, I have the letter which says basically we can't hire Bergman because he's white. That's what they said, in a letter, we had to hire a qualified minority. And they say we can't find a qualified minority and-said OK, we'll have to hire Bergman. His ancestors on one side came from Russia, so maybe he'll fit in the minority category [nervous laugh]. And I do have relatives, far removed, but they're American Indians: maybe I can claim some of that.

[Replying to other questioners:] Public colleges, schools, indoctrinate, so private and public colleges don't balance each other. My wife is--kind of one not to question a lot. She didn't think, she didn't question [??] she took good notes, she memorizes well and gave exactly what they wanted on test and did very well. And I find that with a lot of 4-point students-they're really dumb! The really are, and it's frightening to me.

Q: But Dr. Bergman, aren't you in some way perpetuating that? I mean your field is biology.

JB: Well, that's just what I'm teaching now.

Q: Is that what you were teaching at Bowling Green?

JB: No, I was teaching measurement evaluation, research methodology.

Q: All right, in your position, teaching biology now, are you using a two-model approach?

JB: No, I teach evolution.

Q: All right, are you not then doing exactly the same thing you say the students are doing because of your desire to maintain your position-you are doing exactly what is expected of you, using a single-track textbook rather than in you lecture and in accordance with what I'm presuming your view is-presenting a two-model approach or at least presenting options. How do you personally justify--

JB: Well, I went without food, I went without medical care, I had a heart attack, I went to a hospital and they kicked me out-my life was a [?]. My wife left me, my wife remarried, my son was abused, he ran away from home, he has serious emotional problems. It has just ruined my life totally. Now, I've remarried. She has two children. Now my son, he cannot live at home, so he was living with me, but he has so much anger, so much aggression that her two kids left to live with her ex-husband causing her to give the ultimatum "It's either your son or me"-in other words, it's divorce, a second divorce, or your son leaves. So now the state takes care of my son.

We do not live in a free county. My relatives came from the Soviet Union.

I am furious at this country. I am absolutely, vividly furious at this country, to say it has freedom of religion, and I told the court, is an absolute lie.

Q: What about your responsibilities?

JB: But the Scriptures are very clear about your responsibilities to your family. I have a son who is seriously emotionally ill; I have a daughter I haven't seen in years because of the court. You know, you have these responsibilities; I'm seven years behind in my child support and I've got a jail sentence facing me because I can't pay child support. You can go on and on about philosophical things, but the fact is we don't have freedom of religion. I'm forced to do something against my principles-I've yelled, screamed; and Liberty Baptist College won't hire me.

Q: You could make $11.00 an hour on a Ford assembly line.

JB: I know, I get this over and over. [But the fact is they want people with relevant experience and little education]. Too many people out there with relevant experience.

My wife and I have an agreement. This is the last conference I'll speak at.

You'll stay out of creationism-you don't write about it, you don't publish about it; nothing. I have a wife now, two kids to take care of. No teaching, no writing, no talking; don't mention it to anybody. I know professors from Christian colleges who cannot get jobs anywhere because they are Ph.D.s with top-notch credentials, but they're Christians, so they can't [get work]. Christian colleges don't need them, and a gas station won't hire them.

I have a friend who is personnel manager at GM and he says they won't hire anyone for the line who has more than a BA degree. If they find out you do, they'll fire you. People who work best on the line are people with IQs about 80-90.

Q: Civil liberties folks and the government are butting into religious schools to apply the law, but they ignore public schools.

JB: Yes, it's a double standard.

Q: I want to express to you my love and thank you for everything you've done, if this is your swan song in the creationist movement. I just want to say I'm really, really sorry for what you've gone through ["Amen!" from audience] and what makes me so angry with my colleagues whom I've given copies of your book to; after they read it they don't give a damn. And not only that, they'll come up with some silly-assed little caveat--OK well, maybe this little thing is wrong. Maybe a letter was published in some little racist journal.

JB: Some white journal, yeah.

PA: They don't care. God was so merciful; he waited to convert me until I was tenured. I come into my classroom, tell them I'm a creationist-a 6,000-year man-and I'm tenured and the turkeys can't do anything about it! By the grace of God I've-I teach psychology but I've got a book out, It's a Young Earth After All and we're going to have some fun at WSU this year. [Note: this identifies the questioner as Paul Ackerman of Wichita State Univ.] .. I've practiced as a therapist for years. So I know we all have our crosses to bear, so if you want to tell me about yours I'll be glad to sit down and listen for an hour.

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