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David Paszkiewicz, an anti-LGBTQ pastor who made headlines in 2006 for preaching in his public school classroom, is now running for public office in Kearny, New Jersey, and his long history of bigotry is once again under scrutiny.

Paszkiewicz (pass-KEV-itch) was a U.S. history teacher at Kearny High School when he first came to the public’s attention nearly 16 years ago. One of his students, Matthew LaClair, recorded several of their classes and had proof that Paszkiewicz was urging students to convert to Christianity, denying the reality of evolution, and claiming dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark.

The school district initially responded by reprimanding Paszkiewicz (a slap on the wrist, at best)… and passing a new rule forbidding kids from recording their teachers in the classroom.

The LaClairs soon filed a notice of claim over the matter, preserving their right to file a lawsuit. Both sides later settled the case with the district promising to conduct mandatory church/state separation training for all teachers.

In 2012, filmmaker Vic Losick made a short movie about that entire controversy called “In God We Teach,” which is now online in full:

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Bottom line, though: Paszkiewicz never faced any serious repercussions for what he did. He’s still teaching at the high school today. He’s still preaching outside of school (which is, of course, perfectly legal).

But David Paszkiewicz recently announced his candidacy for Kearny Town Hall, equivalent to a local city council, and that means a lot of that history is getting a second wind. Making matters worse for him, it’s not like he’s been silent over the past 15 years. The most damning statement he’s made since that classroom controversy came last year when, during one of his livestreamed commentaries on Facebook praising Donald Trump, he equated LGBTQ people with rapists and pedophiles.

When I was growing up, you heard about people that were homosexual—they had given into sin and had gone in that direction. And then it became, you know, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer.

And now they added a plus sign to it! What is the plus for? What will the next letter be? Will it be R for rapist? Will it be P for pedophile? Will it be H for human trafficker? Will it be B for bestiality?

This is insane!

The insanity is coming from inside the house…

It’s not like Paszkiewicz is limiting his bigotry to Facebook rants, either. He has gone to school board meetings to fight against non-discrimination policies that would help protect the humanity of trans kids, calling anything outside the gender binary a “delusion.”

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That same Christian bigot now wants to hold a leadership position in the city itself. He said in an early video announcing his campaign that he was inspired to run because a manger scene near town hall was “obscured” by trees and… that’s about it. That’s apparently a travesty he cannot live with. He added that there was also once a prayer vigil in the community and members of the town council were absent. It was only near the end of the video that he mentioned any issues that don’t involve personal promotion of his religion.

For what it’s worth, Paszkiewicz is running against an incumbent, Eileen Eckel, who has been in that seat for a while, which means it would take a strong candidate to defeat her. Paszkiewicz isn’t just a weak candidate; he’s a local embarrassment whose religious bigotry and commitment to ignorance would make the town a worse place to live.

The election will take place on November 8.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.