Apr 14, 2013

Christians Discriminated Against and Disrespected

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Christians Discriminated Against and Disrespected

STOMP ON JESUS: Top Florida Democrat exposed for hate speech forced on Christian college student

Florida Professor Makes Class Trample on Jesus' Name; Suspends Student Who Refused
By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter
March 22, 2013

A Florida Atlantic University professor [Deandre Poolemade] made his students write the name "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then trample on it, as part of a "lesson in debating," a student suspended for refusing to participate in the exercise has revealed.

"I'm not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated," student Ryan Rotela, a Mormon, told WPEC. "I truly see this as I'm being punished."

Rotela explained that his Intercultural Communications class was told to write Jesus' name on a piece of paper, then gather together and stomp on it. The student refused, however, and picked up the paper from the floor and put it back on the table.

The professor, Deandre Poole, was apparently trying to teach the students a "lesson in debate," but the student found the assignment to be insulting and offensive.

"I said to the professor, 'With all due respect to your authority as a professor, I do not believe what you told us to do was appropriate,'" Rotela said. 'I believe it was unprofessional and I was deeply offended by what you told me to do.'"

The student was suspended afterwards by the university, who is defending the instructor.

"As with any academic lesson, the exercise was meant to encourage students to view issues from many perspectives, in direct relation with the course objectives," Noemi Marin, the university's director of the school of communication and multimedia studies, told Fox News.

"While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate," Marin added.

[So why was the student suspended?  The student WAS dialoguing and debating ! ]

Stomping on Jesus' name is actually an entire lesson, which is included in the textbook for the class, called "Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition."

"Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper," a synopsis for the lesson reads.

"Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can't step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture."

[Comment: If this was an expected outcome, according to the lesson plans themselves, - why is a student suspended ! ]

Paul Kengor, the executive director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College, told Fox News that such a lesson is a direct example of secular society targeting Christianity.

"These are the new secular disciples of 'diversity' and 'tolerance'empty buzzwords that make liberals and progressives feel good while they often refuse to tolerate and sometimes even assault traditional Christian and conservative beliefs," Kengor said.

[Comment: I'd like to see this university try this exercise stomping on the name of Muhammad - The point being, they wouldn't because the instructor might very well end up being killed for instructing students to do so! But more to the point, no religious belief should be disrespected in this manner]

University Apologizes to Student Who Wouldn't Stomp on Jesus

Thursday March 28, 2013

Florida Atlantic University has finally backed down and apologized after it tried to bring academic charges against a student who filed a complaint when his teacher told students to write Jesus’ name on a piece of paper and stomp on it.

Professor Deandre Poole, who is also the vice chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, told students in his intercultural communications class to stomp on Jesus’ name as part of an assignment about cultural symbols.

Student Ryan Rotella, who is Mormon, took offense to the classroom assignment and complained to school officials.

The school issued a statement that didn’t specifically mention the incident but supported academic freedom and the right of professors to offend. As a result of his complaint, Rotella was suspended from the class.

[Comment: What ! Because this student stood up and made a complaint through official channels, he got suspended! Where is freedom of speech, the right to dissent guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and due process? ]

The story soon went viral and brought a lot of heat to bear on Florida Atlantic, which sort of fake apologized late last Friday but then tried to bring academic charges against Rotella and bar him from all classes.

On Tuesday, university officials apologized profusely after Rotella lawyered up with the help of the Liberty Institute.

Hiram Sasser, Rotela’s attorney, said, “They are wiping the record clean for Ryan. They are reinstating him for a plan to complete the course without that professor. … One of the university officials told us lots of people were offended by the assignment and they were very sorry about that.”

It shouldn’t take a national outcry for a university to figure out that an assignment to stomp on Jesus’ name might be religiously offensive.

You’d think academics would realize the historical roots of that assignment in persecution of Christians in 17th-century Japan, an incident that led to thousands of deaths.

But maybe that’s asking too much from liberal educators.