If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Townhall)   Professor forces a student to violate his religious beliefs. Student complains the college. College does A) apologize, B) Bring the Professor before a committee, or C) Suspend the student and go into denial mode   (townhall.com) divider line 477
    More: Asinine, jesus, Florida Atlantic University, Paul Kengor, colleges, students, Delaware Democratic Party, professors, Ryan Rotela  
•       •       •

18552 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Mar 2013 at 1:06 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



477 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-03-24 09:22:42 AM  
"Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper," 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."

Ryan Rotela, a devout Mormon, was in the classroom and refused to participate - telling television station WPEC that the assignment was insulting and offensive.
"He had us all stand up and he said 'Stomp on it,'" Rotela said. "I picked up the paper from the floor and put it right back on the table. I'm not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated."


Which illustrates the professor's point nicely, I'd say.

.
 
2013-03-24 09:41:12 AM  
Is there a reason our society treats religious ideas so much more gingerly than other kinds of ideas?

This isn't a troll. I'm seriously asking.
 
2013-03-24 09:52:20 AM  
Professor forces a student to violate his religious beliefs.

Does Mormonism have a tenet that you can't step on the name of Jesus?
 
2013-03-24 09:56:10 AM  

Dinki: Professor forces a student to violate his religious beliefs.

Does Mormonism have a tenet that you can't step on the name of Jesus?


Probably just the opposite. The Bible warns about idolatry and the worship of graven images. He should have stomped that piece of paper good to prove his faith.
 
2013-03-24 10:10:42 AM  
I think I could see how being asked to write the name of your divine spirit on a piece of paper and then being required to step on it might be offensive. I'm not sure who designed this particular exercise, but it kind of sucks ass. There are much better ways IMHO to teach how hypocritical and ridiculous many religious teachings are without doing dishonor to the essential message behind them which is essentially love and tolerance. Jesus was a great man in many respects and even as an atheist, I'm not sure I would want to write out his name and then stomp on it.
 
2013-03-24 10:12:49 AM  

St_Francis_P: Dinki: Professor forces a student to violate his religious beliefs.

Does Mormonism have a tenet that you can't step on the name of Jesus?

Probably just the opposite. The Bible warns about idolatry and the worship of graven images. He should have stomped that piece of paper good to prove his faith.


I've always liked that Christians pray every week to a God who condemned them for false idols while being surrounded by false idols.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-03-24 10:13:32 AM  

eraser8: Is there a reason our society treats religious ideas so much more gingerly than other kinds of ideas?

This isn't a troll. I'm seriously asking.


Because they are crazy and there are a lot of them?
 
2013-03-24 10:16:49 AM  
"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."

Sounds like the students were not "forced" to step on the paper at all.  The point of the exercise was to get the students to think about  why they didn't want to step on the paper.  Sounds like a potentially interesting exercise, but conducted in a ham-handed way.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-03-24 10:20:37 AM  
FloydA:

Sounds like the students were not "forced" to step on the paper at all.  The point of the exercise was to get the students to think about  why they didn't want to step on the paper.  Sounds like a potentially interesting exercise, but conducted in a ham-handed way.

Assuming that a Town hall article is even loosely based on reality.
 
2013-03-24 10:27:29 AM  
The university did not explain why students were only instructed to write the name of Jesus - and not the name of Mohammed or another religious figure.

Oh, that's easy. They would be the target of terrorist attacks and called "racist" if they had told the students to write Mohammed.

Also, "Mohammed" is harder to spell than Jesus and most of the student would probably have been unable to do so.
 
2013-03-24 10:37:05 AM  

Happy Hours: The university did not explain why students were only instructed to write the name of Jesus - and not the name of Mohammed or another religious figure.

Oh, that's easy. They would be the target of terrorist attacks and called "racist" if they had told the students to write Mohammed.

Also, "Mohammed" is harder to spell than Jesus and most of the student would probably have been unable to do so.


Muslim students would hesitate before stepping on the name of Jesus, because they consider him one of the great prophets.  Many American Christian students would not hesitate to step on the name of Mohammed, so they would not have learned the lesson that the exercise was intended to teach.
 
2013-03-24 10:37:37 AM  

ginandbacon: I think I could see how being asked to write the name of your divine spirit on a piece of paper and then being required to step on it might be offensive. I'm not sure who designed this particular exercise, but it kind of sucks ass. There are much better ways IMHO to teach how hypocritical and ridiculous many religious teachings are without doing dishonor to the essential message behind them which is essentially love and tolerance. Jesus was a great man in many respects and even as an atheist, I'm not sure I would want to write out his name and then stomp on it.


 Id have no problem stomping on it.  Im an atheist and I have doubts on if he even existed.
 
2013-03-24 10:45:56 AM  

raerae1980: ginandbacon: I think I could see how being asked to write the name of your divine spirit on a piece of paper and then being required to step on it might be offensive. I'm not sure who designed this particular exercise, but it kind of sucks ass. There are much better ways IMHO to teach how hypocritical and ridiculous many religious teachings are without doing dishonor to the essential message behind them which is essentially love and tolerance. Jesus was a great man in many respects and even as an atheist, I'm not sure I would want to write out his name and then stomp on it.

 Id have no problem stomping on it.  Im an atheist and I have doubts on if he even existed.


Well good for you? I wouldn't do it. Not with Jesus' name, Mohammed's, the Buddha's, or Shiva's. The sacred isn't meant to be a literal interpretation. It's meant to be something we invest with significance. It's meant to reflect our best instincts and should be cared for.
 
2013-03-24 11:03:22 AM  

FloydA: Happy Hours: The university did not explain why students were only instructed to write the name of Jesus - and not the name of Mohammed or another religious figure.

Oh, that's easy. They would be the target of terrorist attacks and called "racist" if they had told the students to write Mohammed.

Also, "Mohammed" is harder to spell than Jesus and most of the student would probably have been unable to do so.

Muslim students would hesitate before stepping on the name of Jesus, because they consider him one of the great prophets.  Many American Christian students would not hesitate to step on the name of Mohammed, so they would not have learned the lesson that the exercise was intended to teach.


Which was what exactly?

The article fails to mention that and in the interest of getting a more objective view I've read a CBS article about this which also failed to explain what lesson it was trying to teach.

What was the lesson?

Is it that students will stomp on the name of a religious figure they believe in if an authority figure tells them to?

Is it that Jesus represents a religion that has had many things done in its name that were unjust?

Is it something completely different?

Do you even know what lesson was trying to be taught?
 
2013-03-24 11:05:10 AM  
Well, to me they are words.  Hence why I would not have any issues. They are not sacred to me.  If I was a participant in this activity I'd have passed with flying colors.  Now, if I was an observant of a religious event or something I'd be more respectful, but with this assignment, Im getting an A.
 
2013-03-24 11:16:03 AM  
Okay, Fark Townhall and fark the CBS article I read.

This one was slightly more informatiive:

"This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings," says the manual, which predicts most students will hesitate to step on the paper. The manual says the instructor should ask students why they can't step on the paper and "discuss the importance of symbols in culture."
Rotela said Poole brushed him off when he tried to object to doing the exercise.
After the class, Rotela said, he expressed his concerns to Poole and said he would tell Poole's supervisor and the media about the incident. He said Poole told him to leave the classroom.


I think that lesson could have been taught without the actual exercise of stepping on a piece of paper. I'm not even religious and I would have had a problem with it because I respect other people's faith. Not everyone in the class was a devout Christian (I'm just guessing, but I think that's a safe bet). They could have used an American flag as well.

To quote one of my favorite movies "It's a test designed to provoke an emotional response". Emotion is not intellect. It is not learning. There are hundreds of ways to demonstrate that symbols are very powerful things without targeting the students religions - or patriotism - and asking them to denigrate either.
 
2013-03-24 11:16:11 AM  
Limbaugh was ranting about this earlier in the week.  I got the impression that there were details missing from the story.
 
2013-03-24 11:16:37 AM  
My religious sensibilities were offended when I got a TownHall pop-up ad advertising a book titled "Obama's Four Horsemen."  Equating out president to Satan is far more offensive than anything that could have happened on some campus at a college in Florida.
 
2013-03-24 11:20:05 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: My religious sensibilities were offended when I got a TownHall pop-up ad advertising a book titled "Obama's Four Horsemen."  Equating out president to Satan is far more offensive than anything that could have happened on some campus at a college in Florida.


Then don't read Townhall. Other news outlets are carrying this story too.
 
2013-03-24 11:22:37 AM  

Happy Hours: Then don't read Townhall. Other news outlets are carrying this story too.


Well, it was the source Fark linked to.  They didn't link to a different source.  As far as going to a different news outlet to read this story, no thanks.  It's an unimportant story.
 
2013-03-24 11:23:40 AM  
Happy Hours:
To quote one of my favorite movies "It's a test designed to provoke an emotional response". Emotion is not intellect. It is not learning. There are hundreds of ways to demonstrate that symbols are very powerful things without targeting the students religions - or patriotism - and asking them to denigrate either.

But if you REALLY want to get someone's attention, then jump starting their emotions is a good way to go about doing it.  the tricky part is calming them down and getting them back to talking about things in a rational manner.  it's a valid approach and it can work...but it's not easy to pull off.
 
2013-03-24 11:25:17 AM  

Happy Hours: FloydA: Happy Hours: The university did not explain why students were only instructed to write the name of Jesus - and not the name of Mohammed or another religious figure.

Oh, that's easy. They would be the target of terrorist attacks and called "racist" if they had told the students to write Mohammed.

Also, "Mohammed" is harder to spell than Jesus and most of the student would probably have been unable to do so.

Muslim students would hesitate before stepping on the name of Jesus, because they consider him one of the great prophets.  Many American Christian students would not hesitate to step on the name of Mohammed, so they would not have learned the lesson that the exercise was intended to teach.

Which was what exactly?

The article fails to mention that and in the interest of getting a more objective view I've read a CBS article about this which also failed to explain what lesson it was trying to teach.

What was the lesson?

Is it that students will stomp on the name of a religious figure they believe in if an authority figure tells them to?

Is it that Jesus represents a religion that has had many things done in its name that were unjust?

Is it something completely different?

Do you even know what lesson was trying to be taught?


FTFA:"Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper," 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."

Sounds like the kid did exactly what was expected and rather than understand the point he decided to cry "help, Christians are being oppressed." When the teacher's supervisor failed to share in the outrage the kid cried all the way to Fox News.

I suppose it's possible that the teacher messed up the lesson and rather than accepting the kid's refusal and using it, he tried to force the kid to do it. Considering where this is popping up, I'm guessing it's just butthurt about "oppressing Christians" but I have a friend that teaches down there and I'll ask her if there's anything more to it.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-03-24 11:29:38 AM  

Happy Hours: Then don't read Townhall. Other news outlets are carrying this story too.


"Other" news outlets?  You think world nut daily is a news outlet?
 
2013-03-24 11:32:23 AM  

Happy Hours: FloydA: Happy Hours: The university did not explain why students were only instructed to write the name of Jesus - and not the name of Mohammed or another religious figure.

Oh, that's easy. They would be the target of terrorist attacks and called "racist" if they had told the students to write Mohammed.

Also, "Mohammed" is harder to spell than Jesus and most of the student would probably have been unable to do so.

Muslim students would hesitate before stepping on the name of Jesus, because they consider him one of the great prophets.  Many American Christian students would not hesitate to step on the name of Mohammed, so they would not have learned the lesson that the exercise was intended to teach.

Which was what exactly?

The article fails to mention that and in the interest of getting a more objective view I've read a CBS article about this which also failed to explain what lesson it was trying to teach.

What was the lesson?

Is it that students will stomp on the name of a religious figure they believe in if an authority figure tells them to?

Is it that Jesus represents a religion that has had many things done in its name that were unjust?

Is it something completely different?

Do you even know what lesson was trying to be taught?



The article made it pretty obvious:


"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."The bold text here indicates the lesson that the students were supposed to learn.  The lesson was that people will hesitate before doing something that might seem disrespectful to the name of Jesus.  Then the follow up, after they  don't step on the paper, is the important part of the lesson - the students are then asked to think about  why they don't want to step on it.  Symbols are important, and even though the thing on the floor is really just ink on paper, it means something significant to the students.

Think about it, for a minute.  If the paper had "Hitler" written on it, nobody would hesitate to wipe their feet on it, because we are pretty much in agreement that Hitler was a horrible person and earned our disrespect.  If the paper had the word "doormat" written on it, nobody would hesitate to step on it.  The lesson involves understanding what makes symbols important to our behavior, and names are a type of symbol.
 
2013-03-24 11:34:49 AM  
Clicked on TFA fully expecting it to be about Evolution vs. "Intelligent Design"
 
2013-03-24 11:48:10 AM  
one of the things that struck me about Limbaugh's ranting on this story was how desperate he seemed to make it into a big deal.  Its like he NEEDED this to be a massive conspiracy and/or assault on the whole of Christianity.  to me it sounded like an attempt by a professor to get students out of their comfort zones and looking at the world from a different perspective.  that is difficult to do, and some delicate snowflakes aren't going to like it very much.  my read on this college course was that the professor could have done a better job explaining his motives after the fact...but also that the student who complained is/was a delicate flower looking to be offended in the first place.
 
2013-03-24 11:48:54 AM  

St_Francis_P: "Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper," 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."

Ryan Rotela, a devout Mormon, was in the classroom and refused to participate - telling television station WPEC that the assignment was insulting and offensive.
"He had us all stand up and he said 'Stomp on it,'" Rotela said. "I picked up the paper from the floor and put it right back on the table. I'm not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated."

Which illustrates the professor's point nicely, I'd say.


It's a good lesson for the objective..... it nicely shows to students that symbols have power to influence human behavior. Of course, I don't understand why a student was punished for refusing to step on the paper, which seems to be the point of the exercise. If everyone had gladly jumped on it than it would have shown that symbols, or at least that symbol, have no power.
 
2013-03-24 11:53:09 AM  

Arthur Jumbles: Of course, I don't understand why a student was punished for refusing to step on the paper, which seems to be the point of the exercise. If everyone had gladly jumped on it than it would have shown that symbols, or at least that symbol, have no power.


Be wary of believing Fark headlines:

Rotela took his concerns to Poole's supervisor - where he was promptly suspended from the class.

The university denied that anyone was forced to participate. "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," the university stated.


Now, we don't know the whole story, but I have my suspicions.
 
2013-03-24 11:53:47 AM  
Arthur Jumbles:
 Of course, I don't understand why a student was punished for refusing to step on the paper, which seems to be the point of the exercise.

I have not seen any evidence that the student was "punished" for refusing to step on the paper.  In fact, according to the description, that is the expected response, and I suspect that most of the class also refused.  I haven't seen any indication that the student was "punished" at all, TBH.  Just that he didn't understand the lesson and threw a tantrum about what he mistakenly imagined was happening.
 
2013-03-24 11:56:54 AM  

FloydA: Arthur Jumbles:
 Of course, I don't understand why a student was punished for refusing to step on the paper, which seems to be the point of the exercise.

I have not seen any evidence that the student was "punished" for refusing to step on the paper.  In fact, according to the description, that is the expected response, and I suspect that most of the class also refused.  I haven't seen any indication that the student was "punished" at all, TBH.  Just that he didn't understand the lesson and threw a tantrum about what he mistakenly imagined was happening.


yup - that's my understanding as well.
 
2013-03-24 12:11:24 PM  
The real outrage is that someone is paying per credit hour for the bullshiat.
 
2013-03-24 12:13:17 PM  

vpb: Happy Hours: Then don't read Townhall. Other news outlets are carrying this story too.

"Other" news outlets?  You think world nut daily is a news outlet?


I read an article from CBS and the Palm Beach Post. Those aren't exactly Al Jazeera, the BBC or even the PBS News Hour, but I do consider them to be news outlets more respectable than Townhall or WND.

Three Crooked Squirrels: Happy Hours: Then don't read Townhall. Other news outlets are carrying this story too.

Well, it was the source Fark linked to.  They didn't link to a different source.  As far as going to a different news outlet to read this story, no thanks.  It's an unimportant story.


Maybe it's an unimportant story, but I will not hesitate to look for other sources of news if I don't like the linked source on Fark. I do the same when local TV stations try to tease me to stay tuned for their news. For example I might be watching the Simpsons on a Sunday night and the local Fox station will do a promo telling me "How the grass on your front lawn may be killing your children! Tune in to the news to find out!". And so I'll do a quick search and find out that a local university found bacteria in dog shiat or something. Is that really news? Of course not, but how your front lawn may be killing your children is a compelling and scary promo, isn't it? And before you go all anti-Fox because that's what channel the Simpson's are on, the local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliate pull the same shiat.
 
2013-03-24 12:13:32 PM  
Did the principal catch sayof--complained the college?
 
2013-03-24 12:14:57 PM  

TheDumbBlonde: The real outrage is that someone is paying per credit hour for the bullshiat.


could you define the bullshiat in question?
 
2013-03-24 12:25:01 PM  

Happy Hours: "This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings," says the manual, which predicts most students will hesitate to step on the paper. The manual says the instructor should ask students why they can't step on the paper and "discuss the importance of symbols in culture."
Rotela said Poole brushed him off when he tried to object to doing the exercise.
After the class, Rotela said, he expressed his concerns to Poole and said he would tell Poole's supervisor and the media about the incident. He said Poole told him to leave the classroom.

I think that lesson could have been taught without the actual exercise of stepping on a piece of paper. I'm not even religious and I would have had a problem with it because I respect other people's faith. Not everyone in the class was a devout Christian (I'm just guessing, but I think that's a safe bet). They could have used an American flag as well.


I don't see anything that said they had to step on the paper.  Regardless of whether they stepped on the paper, the same discussion could be had.  "Hey, whiny media whore, you couldn't bring yourself to step on the paper. Why is that?"  And "hey, you, why did you step on it without hesitation?" What is the difference here, regarding understanding and meanings of symbols?  And then all of you who hesitated, but did it anyway? What changed your minds?

It could have been an interesting conversation, but the religious nutter decided to make a big case out of it because it made him uncomfortable. Though it seems that the entire point was discussing and dissecting said discomfort. Maybe he should go to a seminary (or whatever Mormons do) rather than a building of education.
 
2013-03-24 12:27:38 PM  
So Townhall blows, but it was a stupid assignment. I wouldn't stomp on a piece of paper with my child's name on it either. Too bad the derpers will use this as an example of Christian oppression.
 
2013-03-24 12:38:07 PM  
The exercise is pointless for those students who have no reverence for Jesus.  Those students should be forced to say a prayer to Jesus instead.  Then they could benefit from the exercise too.
 
2013-03-24 12:53:28 PM  

Happy Hours: Maybe it's an unimportant story, but I will not hesitate to look for other sources of news if I don't like the linked source on Fark. I do the same when local TV stations try to tease me to stay tuned for their news. For example I might be watching the Simpsons on a Sunday night and the local Fox station will do a promo telling me "How the grass on your front lawn may be killing your children! Tune in to the news to find out!". And so I'll do a quick search and find out that a local university found bacteria in dog shiat or something. Is that really news? Of course not, but how your front lawn may be killing your children is a compelling and scary promo, isn't it? And before you go all anti-Fox because that's what channel the Simpson's are on, the local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliate pull the same shiat.


 Well bully for you!
 
2013-03-24 01:07:40 PM  
[help-i'm-oppressed.jpg]
 
2013-03-24 01:09:32 PM  

SkinnyHead: The exercise is pointless for those students who have no reverence for Jesus.  Those students should be forced to say a prayer to Jesus instead.  Then they could benefit from the exercise too.


oddly enough, I'm ok with that.  it would be in line with the lesson the professor was trying to teach.
 
2013-03-24 01:11:14 PM  
You know its going to be quality when the first thing the site does is throw up an ad for "Obama's four horsemen" at you.
 
2013-03-24 01:12:10 PM  
It's a mormon?  who cares?

They're nothing more than scientologists that say Jesus than Xenu.   Their a cult and not deserving of respect.
 
2013-03-24 01:12:37 PM  

eraser8: Is there a reason our society treats religious ideas so much more gingerly than other kinds of ideas?

This isn't a troll. I'm seriously asking.



Votes.
 
2013-03-24 01:12:46 PM  
*They're
 
2013-03-24 01:13:36 PM  
Religious fool doesn't understand his own religion. Video at 11.
 
2013-03-24 01:14:16 PM  

Weaver95: SkinnyHead: The exercise is pointless for those students who have no reverence for Jesus.  Those students should be forced to say a prayer to Jesus instead.  Then they could benefit from the exercise too.

oddly enough, I'm ok with that.  it would be in line with the lesson the professor was trying to teach.


and Id be one of those students.  Its not difficult to recite a prayer.  I still remember The 'Our Father'.
 
2013-03-24 01:15:31 PM  
Trolltastic non-story is trolltastic.
 
2013-03-24 01:16:13 PM  

SkinnyHead: The exercise is pointless for those students who have no reverence for Jesus.  Those students should be forced to say a prayer to Jesus instead.  Then they could benefit from the exercise too.


Laying it on thick today.
 
2013-03-24 01:17:20 PM  
So any student that doesn't want to stomp on the paper is asked to think about why - an exercise that leads to more introspection and a collegiate level of discussion of important symbols in a culture. Hell, push the envelope if that's the case. Put a cross, a star of david, an crescent moon, a yinyang, a swastika (the peace kind AND the Nazi kind), and an American flag on different pieces of paper and ask the students to stomp on and rip up whichever ones they think are appropriate.

Nowhere in the derpfest article is there any mention of tying one's grade to stomping on the paper (ie "If you don't do this, you will fail the class"), which WOULD be a violation of religious expression.

But what do I know, I'm a liberal and enjoy context.
 
2013-03-24 01:17:31 PM  

Weaver95: SkinnyHead: The exercise is pointless for those students who have no reverence for Jesus.  Those students should be forced to say a prayer to Jesus instead.  Then they could benefit from the exercise too.

oddly enough, I'm ok with that.  it would be in line with the lesson the professor was trying to teach.


Except that's not going to happen, because atheists would sue the professor's ass off and win.
 
Displayed 50 of 477 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report