An Oxford Hills School Board member who resigned last week amid an outcry over divisive comments he made on social media says he’s not a racist and doesn’t deserve the scorn heaped upon him by critics.

“I am not the problem. The problem is what’s being taught in the public schools to Christian boys and girls,” said Robert Celeste, a former construction company owner who calls himself pastor of the web-based Church for the American Christian Patriot.

Celeste, 74, strongly denied that he’s a racist despite posting material calling for the defense of “the white race.”

“God created four races – white, red, yellow and black,” he said Monday. “Man created a fifth race through rape, slavery and prostitution – the mixed race.”

Celeste has a history of making racist comments on social media.

In a November 2015 post on Facebook that followed deadly terrorist attacks in France that killed 130 people, Celeste posted “An Open Message To Members Of Maine State Militia” that said in part, “Last night in Paris, France the Obamites showed their hand. I and others expect something like it will happen here, on US soil.”

An image of a handgun firing a bullet accompanied the post and bore the words: “To All Muslims: The USA has the highest concentration of Armed Christians in the world. Just in case you forgot.”

In a June 2016 post about how to break up an anti-Trump rally he included a picture of a poster that said: “How to break up a Black Lives Matter protest!” The poster showed black men running and a little boy in the foreground with a speech bubble that said, “Are you my dad?”

Elected to the regional school district’s board in 2016 when his only opposition was a write-in candidate, Celeste also regularly submits opinion pieces to various newspapers expressing his views on race and religion, often prompting rebuttals from members of the community.

He believes there is nothing wrong with trying to protect white people.

“Nobody tells the yellow race they need to integrate and water down,” Celeste said.

Richard Colpitts, superintendent of the regional schools, said Celeste always has been polite on a panel that has diverse viewpoints and had not brought up many of the issues that appear on the website for his church.

Colpitts, however, was surprised by the contents of the website and said Celeste’s decision was “probably in the best interests of the board.”

The Oxford Hills district comprises Paris, West Paris, Oxford, Norway, Harrison, Waterford, Hebron, Harrison and Otisfield.

Celeste said he gave up the seat because his wife is becoming more ill and he was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer four years ago. He knows his time is limited and he wants to complete a Bible translation he has been working on.

“I’ve put in my dues,” he said. “It’s time for someone else to do it.”

Celeste is no stranger to controversy.

He began fighting for gun rights and other conservative issues more than three decades ago. The barbs tossed his way didn’t bother Celeste, he says, because his beliefs are rooted in the Bible and his love for America’s freedom and Republican government.

“I have said nothing controversial,” he said.

Public schools, on the other hand, have much to defend, he said.

Take dinosaurs, for example.

Celeste said it has been only about 6,450 years since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, a place where people and animals lived in innocence and harmony.

So when books and teachers in schools say that dinosaurs lived “millions and millions of years ago,” Celeste is more than just dubious. He is outraged.

“What that is saying is that God lied,” Celeste said.

Public schools are telling Christian children, he said, that what they learn at church is wrong.

Without offering proof, Celeste cited as an example his belief that dinosaurs were still flying around “out West” when cowboys first ventured out toward the Rocky Mountains. Most scientists agree that dinosaurs disappeared from Earth roughly 65 million years ago.

Celeste said Christian parents ought to teach their children at home or send them to a church school, although he is open to letting them take specific classes in public schools on subjects such as chemistry or vocational training that don’t provide “lies” meant to undermine faith.

Celeste blames public education for much of what he does not like about society today.

“Where are they taught guns are bad and abortions are good?” he asked.

The answer, he said: public classrooms.

It is tough to be a Christian these days, Celeste said.

For example, there are a lot of 14-year-old girls wearing clothing that is “too provocative.”

“Why do girls want to make me want to commit adultery?” he asked.

Contemplating his own question, Celeste said that even if one of those girls pranced naked between him and the television, he is so old and sick that he would just tell her to get out of the way.