Comments about ‘Mormon student at Florida Atlantic University punished for refusing to 'stomp on Jesus'’

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Published: Tuesday, March 26 2013 4:55 p.m. MDT

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Alexandria, VA

Mostly I am liberal - but here I will say that the University, and all of it's staff involved were just wrong. Period!

Salt Lake City, UT

No state-supported university should hire a Democratic activist to teach a class in "inter-cultural communication". That's just asking that the class become a propaganda for a political party.

St. Georg, UT

Ok all you "enlightened" folks out there, answer me this. Why did the professor not use Mohomad to stomp on? Yea that's right, if he had he would probably have death threats now. But its ok if you disparage Christians in such a way now days, right? The ones taking the side of the professor and the college most likely have some hate issues over religion and love this kind of thing. I am sure you're argument is I don't know you, but really I do know your kind.

KTC John
Wetumpka, AL

Since when did stomping on a piece of symbolically inscribed paper constitute "dialogue and debate?" There is no two-way exchange of ideas in such an exercise. That is not an intellectual or academic event. It is called indoctrination. The assignment clearly revealed the agenda of the professor and trampled on the rights of the students, rights that extend beyond religious rights. The professor should not engage in such a practice even if he required the students to write "Satan" or "Mother" or "President Obama" or anything else on a piece of paper. Stomping is a physical exercise for the gymnasium.

Collegeville, PA

As a professor at an East Coast institution of higher education who has witnessed religious bigotry occur in academies far too often, I can tell you that this young man is very courageous and correct in his behavior. Students in the academy have an obligation to protect those revered as religious leaders, whether they be Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha. What this professor did was shamefully wrong. College teachers are not to proselytize their views nor to attack the opinions of students, especially those held sacred. In addition, the first university statement was indeed a punishment of the student. The professor needs a serious reprimand and should be pulled from the course so that this young man and other men and women in the classroom have their beliefs protected. While it is legitimate to challenge ones belief through a course of proper inquiry, the actions of this professor assumes there is no need for honest inquiry and that questions regarding religious belief have been settled. Indeed, in far too many institutions in America, views are protected from almost every realm, but religious belief is often denied its due respect.

Three cheers for this young man for defending religious belief!


So, the article states he was suspended - but later states he was told not to go back to the class he had issues with.

There is a big difference between being suspended and being told not to attend a class where you are having a dispute with the teacher.

Important facts are definitely missing from the story.

Kearns, UT

So how come no one has called for the suspension or firing of this instructor? I for one, were I in a position to do so, would at the very least suspend this instructor. Mainly for being stupid. I'd most likely fire her also. Whatever point she was trying to make has backfired and frankly has no place in an academic setting. If she doesn't like Jesus, then try to make the point in another way. She's there to teach, not shock.

Santa Clara, UT

Substitute the word Jesus with ZERO or Mohammed and let the "exercise in advanced nonsense" continue. Private or public this undoubtedly tenured professor is only trying to get under someones skin. The weird do have control of what is taught to our students and future leaders and in my opinion it ain't good. You're fired Teach.

Allen, TX

Obviously the textbook has a bias.

Burke, VA

Juan Williams, a commentator on FOX News wrote an opinion article about this incident and clarified some of the issues. The university included these remarks in their web posted apology, "Contrary to some media reports, no students were forced to take part in the exercise; the instructor told all of the students in the class that they could choose whether or not to participate." Moreover, the university denies that the student was suspended because of this episode stating, "... while student privacy laws prevent us from commenting on any specific student at the University, we can confirm that no student has been expelled, suspended or disciplined by the University as a result of any activity that took place during this class.”

And so it appears that someone, either the student or those reporting on the incident, is not being honest. Of course the right wing media is focusing on this issue as another example of the so-called war on Christianity. But with the evidence of dishonest remarks I'm wondering who should really be the subject of our disdain. And when will Christians get over their persecution complex and start doing the work that Jesus asked them to do?

Somewhere in Time, UT

This shouldn't even be a point of debate because it never should have taken place. The fact that this even happened in a college classroom is an indication of just far we have sunk as a culture. It's just disgusting. How much time do we have left before we completely go over the cliff?

Ogden, UT

There are some interesting comments by people deriding conservatives on this article, and noting the "duplicity" involved. Perhaps you can tell us how we should be happy about treading the name of our Savior underfoot while embracing gay marriage and other things that go against our values. You really aren't any more tolerant than anyone else; you just take issue with conservative, traditional values.
This comment thread is like the university. If you don't like what's going on, go somewhere else. It seems incredible to me that "progressives" can, in one breath, castigate us for holding to our beliefs as well as for not embracing theirs. It's not us being reactionary or them being more forward-looking. It's simply a group of people trying to shame others for having a set of values that doesn't change with the cause du jour...

Salt Lake City, UT

What would have been the outcry if they were asked to write "Mohammed" on the paper and stomp on it? Go to a different university if you don't like it? Hardly. Talk about duplicity.

Santaquin, UT

Why do so many people become inflamed over a newspaper article that may not be entirely accurate? I am always skeptical of news reports that consist entirely of a summary of information gathered by a different news agency. It has the feel of gossip to me. I have some questions about the incident and those involved although I doubt they will be answered. Did any other students besides the subject of this article complain about the incident? Have any other students in the class been interviewed to learn their views and perspectives? Were there others in the class who refused to stomp on the name of Jesus but did not take their story to the media? Is this the first time this exercise has been done in class or has the instructor used it in previous semesters? What are the religious beliefs of the instructor? Is he Christian, Muslim, non-believer? If the university has apologized to the student and any others who might have been offended by the incident, should we feel compelled to accept the apology and move on?


Claudio, I suspect your reaction would be totally different if a Muslim was told to stomp on the Koran at BYU (which of course wouldn't happen). You liberals are all for something that tear at the core values of this country (Christian principles), but sure can't take any offense to alternative values.

Iowa City, IA

Funny it took the University a few days to "recognize" all religions and faiths. Disappointed it wasn't automatic. I be this student won't get an A out of the class.

Morgan Hill, CA

If the student was asked to step on the name of Muhammad, Buddha, or Mahatma Gandhi, I venture to say that the politically correct community would be up in arms.

Beaver Native
Garland, UT

The student was suspended from class for going to the dean and complaining about the activity. The institution claims that he was not suspended for anything that happened in class. Evidence indicates that this statement is misleading at best. Had he been suspended for his conduct when he met with the dean, the punishment would be suspension from the university instead of suspension from one particular class. Surely, he would not have been suspended had Muhammad or Martin Luther King been written on the paper. In fact, it would be likely that the professor would be facing the discipline.

I agree with "Civil", who recommended you do a search for and read this article published by Forbes: FAU College Student Who Didn't Want To Stomp On 'Jesus' Runs Afoul of Speech Code. The article, written by an atheist, outlines how mainstream academia lives by a double standard when they support discrimination against Christians that they wouldn't tolerate were it directed towards another religious or ethnic group.

Columbus, OH

Everyone asking why not use Mohammad for the exercise, the answer is quite simple. Because the point of the exercise was to get the students to think why they couldn't step on the paper. For the exercise to work, the students need to be predominantly Christian--a Christian will not feel the same sense of conflict if Mohammad is written on the paper.

You have completely missed the point. The teacher was not trying to get the students to disavow Christianity and stomp on Jesus. She was trying to get students to think about why a scrap of paper with a name holds such symbolic value in society. The assignment assumes, in fact, that students WON'T step on the name.

To me, this sounds like a student looking to get offended. There seems to be a high incidence within the LDS church of members wanting to be persecuted, to feel like they're standing up to something. My guess, reading between the lines, he went on a self-righteous tirade and was asked to leave for that, not for refusing to "stomp on Jesus."

Sandy, UT

Situations like this show the hypocracy of many on the left. What if the paper said "Mohammed" or "Black People" or "Jews" or "Women"? There would be outrage and that professor would run out of town on a rail. What the purpose of the exercise was has little relevance. How many Christians stepped on the paper because they are intimidated by other students or feared getting a bad grade from the professor.

It is ironic that there are protections in the workplace against a "hostile work environment." However, students who are far more at the mercy of the professor, have virtually no protection. There are not many professors who truly welcome open debate. It is agree with them or suffer the consequences. "Academic freedom" applies to professors, but students have virtually no rights - unless the professor is dumb enough to make a sexist or racial comment - in which case the professor will be promptly disciplined.

This is not teaching, it is bullying, and this professor and the assistant dean should be out on the behinds. The same should happen to any other professor who tried the same thing with the paper reading "Mohammed", "Buddha", "Black People", "Jews" or "Women".

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