Facebook can be a very useful tool but it can be akin to a shovel for people to dig themselves into a deep hole.

New Jersey Catholic high school teacher Patricia Jannuzzi is facing extensive backlash after she posted that gay activists “want to re-engineer western civ into a slow extinction”.

We need healthy families with a mother and a father for the sake of the children and humanity!!!!!” she wrote.

Jannuzzi also said the idea that gay people are protected under the 14th Amendment is “bologna”.

The theology teacher made the comments in response to Dan Savage’s invitation to likely presidential Republican candidate Ben Carson to “suck my dick” to prove that being gay is a choice.

Leading the backlash charge is Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon, who supported her gay nephew Scott Lyons after he shared a letter he sent to Jannuzzi, his former teacher.

While I respect the fact that people have different opinions on the matter, what I can tell you from my heart is that I urge you to be careful with your words and the messaging you are putting out there,” Lyons wrote.

In support, Sarandon wrote: “So proud of my nephew Scott and the dialogue he started. He was responding to a teacher he had at his high school who still believes homosexuality is a learned behaviour.

High school is a tough time anyway … students don’t need teachers making it even more difficult.”

The school has ordered Jannuzzi to take down her Facebook page.