Dr. Johnson Varkey had worked as a biology professor at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio for 20 years. Over the course of time, he has taught the same facts about human development and biology. Varkey has “consistently received exemplary performance reviews” until he was terminated in January, his lawyers at First Liberty Institute stated.
Varkey’s teaching was supposedly “offensive” to some students, despite the fact he never shared his personal views with them. He had taught them human biology this fall 2022 semester, “just as he did in his previous 20-year career as a professor,” claims his lawyers.
Although he never spoke to his class about his personal views, they were evident in his life outside of being a college professor. Dr. Johnson Varkey and his wife are associate pastors at the International Bible Church, as well as him hosting Rehoboth Voice, his Christian radio show.
His lawyers said he never talked about his personal beliefs in classes, and, until late last year, never received any complaints. However, the public community college accused him of an “ethics violation.” They claimed they were receiving various complaints from students about “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric and misogynistic banter.”
Therefore, in a June 20 letter, lawyers accused the college of violating Varkey’s rights to free speech and religious freedom. Unless they reinstate him, the lawyers threatened to sue St. Philip’s College.
His “offensive teachings” consisted of basic human biology that has been taught for centuries around the world.
“Four of Dr. Varkey’s students walked out of his class [in November]when he stated, consistent with his study of human biology and his religious beliefs, that sex was determined by chromosomes X and Y,” their letter states. “Although St. Philip’s College refused to explain any details about the ‘complaints’ directed toward Dr. Varkey, he presumes that the complaints came from these students.”
Varkey has also taught his classes that human life begins in the womb throughout his entire career.
Varkey feels “obligated as a Christian and as a professor to teach accurate, true concepts that comport with his many years of research and study in the field of human biology. Dr. Varkey’s extensive study of human biology has consistently shown that life begins at conception,” his lawyers state.
“It is preposterous that, after teaching for more than 20 years, St. Philips would fire Dr. Varkey for teaching basic, widely accepted biology,” said Keisha Russell, counsel for First Liberty Institute. “Dr. Varkey received exemplary performance reviews for twenty years, teaching fact-based, widely accepted science. But now that cultural elites are at odds with these ideas, the school no longer supports professors who teach them. The college violated Dr. Varkey’s constitutional and statutory rights when it fired him, and it must reinstate him immediately.”
We are praying for Dr. Varkey and the journey he is fighting to stand for The Truth! We are also praying for the hearts of those at St. Philip’s University to be softened towards the Gospel. God will have the victory in this!
“With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” 1 Corinthians 15:58