This week, Fox's ever-horrified culture warrior Todd Starnes is taking up the cause of a student in an Intercultural Communications class at Florida Atlantic University, whose teacher told the class to write the name “Jesus” on a sheet of paper, put the paper on the floor, then stomp on it. According to Starnes’ article, student Ryan Rotela, a “devout Mormon” picked the paper up, put it back on the table, and told instructor Deandre Poole that the assignment was insulting and offensive. He then went to Poole’s supervisor to complain, and was suspended from the class.
The university defended the exercise, saying it was intended to encourage students to view issues from many perspectives. According to the course description, students are expected to hesitate to stomp on the paper and this is to lead to a discussion of the “importance of symbols in culture.”
But I guess to Starnes’ fellow evangelicals, Jesus is more than a "symbol in culture". For comment Starnes sought out Paul Kengor, the executive director of something called the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College (its mission is to "educate and empower people to strengthen the faith and freedom foundation of the United States of America and advance liberty around the world") who obliged with, “These are the new secular disciples of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ – empty buzzwords that make liberals and progressives feel good… and demonstrate their the contempt many public institutions hold for people of faith…Gee, I wonder if the instructor would dare do this with the name of Mohammed.”
(Gee, I wonder why Mr. Rotela was taking Intercultural Communications if he wasn’t prepared to have his beliefs challenged a bit.)
At least one poster on the Fox Nation pointed out that the exercise was meant to be potentially offensive. Which led to exchanges like this:
UPDATE: Fox Nation has just added a post saying the university has apologized, and promises not to use the lesson again.
If they had written “American Flag” on a piece of paper and then burned it would he have had the same reaction as if he was told to burn an ACTUAL flag?
Until then, they can do me a big favour with where to stick their religious freedom.