If you want your students to respect you, then don’t implicitly threaten to punish them for not believing in sky-faeries. Quit fucking proselytizing when you’re supposed to be teaching criminology, and also quit telling apocryphal tales from the time you spent in fifth grade. And above all, do not compare your stupid ass to Thomas Jefferson, a gambit dangerously close to the “they laughed at Galileo” move. You, sir, are a garden-variety crank.
Recently, I received a rare student complaint over an e-mail I had sent to all my classes. In the e-mail, which welcomed all of my students back for a new semester, I characterized myself as an “outspoken Christian professor.” I admitted that I had been critical of some aspects of Darwinism and that I saw my students as more than mere “random mutations.” Finally, I said my Christian views would cause me to treat them differently – namely, by holding them all to a high standard that would help them find their purpose in life: a Divine purpose given to them by their Creator.
Gee, I can’t possibly discern why anyone took issue with that.