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Student suspended for not denying Jesus

If you needed further evidence that Christians are under attack and religious tolerance is a joke, here it is. This story just appeared in the Christian Post: A Florida Atlantic University professor made his students write the name "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then trample on…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

If you needed further evidence that Christians are under attack and religious tolerance is a joke, here it is. This story just appeared in the Christian Post:

A Florida Atlantic University professor 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 stamp 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.

Stamping 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."

Ironic that the university would say that "a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate," yet it would foreclose the possibility of debate by suspending the student. Shades of 1984 doublethink.

And it's interesting that Professor Poole, who is rated low by students on RateMyProfessor.com, is backed by the administration, while the student who pays for classes designed to help him be open-minded, is suspended. Where is the accountability in a state-funded institution?

So, my question is, how should those of us who are followers of Jesus respond? I, for one, will be writing FAU President Mary Jane Saunders asking for her response. Her email: [email protected]

What do the alumni of Florida Atlantic think of this? What do the taxpayers who support it think? What do you think?

Comments (16)

  • As kingdom citizens, Jesus said to expect this, and then rejoice.
    As American citizens, demand an apology.

  • Why didn’t this “very wise” professor use Mohammad instead? He dare not because the outcome will not be the same as using Jesus. No way!!

    Thank God for Rotella and his like here and there, who dare to suffer for the name of Jesus, thereby making Him known. How I wish they were more Rotellas in the class… maybe after now… He/They, will not lose their reward.

  • Uche, I was going to say the same thing re Mohammed. And I also agree with Mark. Yes, I will email the President. The teacher needs suspension, not the student.

    How many other students who go by the name of Christian did NOT stand as this one man did? Babylon had three that stood in the fire. Now there’s only one?

  • It took courage for this student to stand up for his beliefs and I give him credit. He used his actions in such a non threatening way to make his point. Sounds like a debate is underway. Isn’t that what the professor supposedly wanted. He should be commended not suspended.

  • If it had really been about debate the student would not have been suspended, but rather thanked for speaking his mind, actually generating debate, but alas it was about mind control and collegete brain washing,

  • This is going on much more than many of us realize as our history rewritten (check out the federal “common core” initiative) and our God removed further and further from our children and our culture. The god-less progressives that have taken over much of education require us to act if we want to save the next generation…it may already be too late.

    Prayer, supporting those who stand and removing our children from this system are some of the answers…hope to hear more from others.

  • How is this not a clear violation of Freedom of Religion when an agent of a state orders you to commit an act against your religious beliefs for which I’m sure there are other ways to make the point. Has someone put him in touch with religious rights attorneys and organizations?

  • Just emailed my letter to President Mary Jane Saunders. Having been a college professor of Intercultural Communications, I believe what this instructor did was totally unnecessary and the resultant militant stance when faced with justified opposition is a bit indicative of “The lady doth protest too much, me thinks” guilt.

  • Whatever the professor on that subject was trying to achieve, his means was so pathetic that it does not deserve a comment! However that Christian student should be given merit for his highly intellectual, morally/culturally based reaction and socially accepted behavior in expressing his refusal to do what that professor thinks is a simple act of trampling over Jesus name written on a piece of paper.
    Is is not clear enough to that professor and school director that a BIG LESSON ON INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION was indeed being displayed by the student on a very peaceful manner here? That the goal of communication is to attain UNDERSTANDING and PEACE among the people involved in an issue?

  • Pleased to see someone stand up: 1) for Jesus, 2) for their constitutional rights. I wonder though, were there other christians in the group? Most likely someone had some church background and some modicum of faith. But here, a Mormon saves the day. Agreed about Mohammed. If you are going to use one person, i.e. Jesus, why not all major religious figureheads – Brahman, Buddha, Confucius, Dali Lama, Mohammed, etc… Put em all in the pot. How about the teacher’s name – stomp on that. Or the college President’s name.
    Also interesting is that they defer to the textbook as the authority to determine what is morally and ethically appropriate. Take responsibility for your own course of action…it should be obvious this exercise/assignment would be exceptionally offensive and put someone in a position of extreme conflict. If it’s an academic lesson, then a student has a right to fail. I’m sure the professor has given an “F” to someone for not completing a project. How many has the University suspended for it? The list goes on, if they want a fight, this University is on the losing side of any legal battle.

  • This is absolutely and insult and an attack on Christianity, may the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ forgive them for their satanic behavior. In the mean time I ask that if we know anyone who is attending or planning to attend this university that we advise them against it. Back in the olden time many things were accomplished by “boycott” that’s right “boycott.” Let them figure out how they get paid now. Maybe they will go to their knees before our Lord “Jesus” and beg His forgiveness. The tell tale signs are all around us. Praise God for that young man that stood up. The university is not worthy of such a student. I hope he counts his blessings.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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