Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are You Surprised This Was Jesus And Not Muhammed?

A professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Davie campus named Deandre Poole teaches an “Intercultural Communication” class from a textbook by the same name.  The textbook calls for an exercise where students write the name of Jesus in large letters on a piece of paper and then stomp on it.

Enter Ryan Rotela, a student in the class who happens to be a devout Mormon. Rotela refused to stomp and complained to Professor Poole, telling him, “Never do the assignment again because it’s offensive.”  Rotela also told the professor that he was going to complain to the university.  Then, according to Rotela, FAU responded by suspending him from Poole’s class.
It's not politically correct to say, but I'll say it: the reason they stomped on Jesus' name and not Muhammed's name is because no one is worried that the Christians will riot, cut throats, and post the video on the internet.

Only cowards attack Christians.


maxutils said...

I'm trying to think of a context where either one of those would be an even halfway reasonable academic exercise; I'm also straining to figure out why anyone would be offended (it's a piece of paper with a name YOU wrote on it - one that is possibly Jesus 'Christ', who possibly could be the son of God, or not; or it could be the name of any other of the millions of Jesi); I'm also trying to figure out why anyone who was offended wouldn't just quietly not participate, and file a complaint later. But, I guess you don't get on Fox news that way. The amusing thing is that in the news clip that aired, he was shot doing a reenactment of the exact same exercise he found so offensive.

maxutils said...

That being said, you're right ... the Muslim response would probably be considerably stronger and less rational.

PeggyU said...

Have you read about the teacher in Concrete, WA? Concrete is a tiny out-of-the-way town, but it hasn't managed to escape political correctness.

Steve USMA '85 said...

maxutils, I'm surprised you can't figure out why anyone would be offended by this exercise. Grinding one's foot upon something is a time-honored way of showing contempt in many cultures including Muslim, Christian, & European. I would have a problem doing this exercise because in my eyes, I would be showing contempt to the name of Jesus and thus also for that which He stands.

I am surprised that an act of contempt is considered a teaching point for a class on interculture communication. Offended Christians in the room doesn't seem a good way to get them communicating.

Darren said...

Peggy, I had not heard of this, but it doesn't surprise me. CAIR is a vile organization.

maxutils said...

Steve USMA . . . obviously, I didn't phrase my response correctly. I am not religious, at all, myself, so I find the whole thing silly. I try to put myself in the student's position, as a devout Christian, and I'm trying to think what I would do. so here it goes: teacher says, write the name jesus in bold print. (okay, no problem so far) now, throw it on the ground and stomp on it (um, no ... first of all, that's ridiculous, and second, that would be against my faith). So, I would just quietly not do it. and, there wouldn't have been a story. If I really felt offended by the exercise in which other people did a thing I wouldn't participate in, or if it was a small enough class that I felt my non-participation might affect my grade? I would go to my professor's office and point out why it was offensive to me, and that he should not be basing grades on religion. If I was unsatisfied with his response, I would take it to his department chair, and if needed the university administration. I would not whore myself out to fox news, And I'm curious ... no one has asked the professor to justify the exercise. I doubt it's meaningful, but I would be interested to see how it 'fits' in to the curriculum.

so I guess I can understand why someone would be offended ... but I'm not sure why we should worry this much about things that offend some people. I don't want the offended person to suffer for his beliefs, but I also don't want to protect everyone from anything that might be offensive to someone.