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A Florida college professor causing national outrage for requiring students to write “Jesus” on a piece of paper, then put it on the floor and stomp on it, turns out also to be a top official in the local Democratic Party – the latest in a string of acute leadership embarrassments.

Although one student who refused to participate claims he was punished by being suspended from the class, Florida Atlantic University is defending the controversial assignment.

The dissenting student, Ryan Rotela, told the local CBS TV affiliate WPEC that his instructor, associate professor Deandre Poole, told everyone in the class to write the word “Jesus” on a piece of paper in bold letters, then put it on the floor and stomp on it.

Rotela, a junior from Coral Springs, said some of his classmates complied, but he refused.

“Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value. So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value,” he told WPEC.

A religious Mormon who attends church every Sunday, Rotela complained to school officials but said they responded by suspending him from the class.

According to Florida Atlantic University, Poole was conducting an exercise from the textbook “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.”

A synopsis of the lesson plan in question, obtained by Fox News, goes like this:

“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper 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.”

Grove City College professor Paul Kengor, author of “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor,” told Fox he wasn’t surprised by the “lesson.”

“These are the new secular disciples of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ – empty buzzwords that make liberals and progressives feel good while they often refuse to tolerate and sometimes even assault traditional Christian and conservative beliefs,” Kengor told Fox, saying classes like the one at FAU reflect “the rising confidence and aggression of the new secularists and atheists, especially at our sick and surreal modern universities.”

Kengor added: “Gee, I wonder if the instructor would dare do this with the name of Muhammed.”

It turns out, the “stomp-on-Jesus” professor, Poole, also has a prominent position in local politics. As Bizpacreview reports, Poole is vice-chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.

Moreover, this isn’t the local party’s first brush with negative publicity.

The former chairman of the county Democratic Party was forced to resign in September after comments he made at the Democratic National Convention last year in Charlotte, N.C.

As WND reported, Mark Siegel reportedly told an interviewer Christians who support Israel want to see Jews “slaughtered.”

Siegel was quoted as saying, “Oh no, the Christians just want us to be there so we can all be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ.”

And two months earlier, a Democratic Executive Committee member from Palm Beach County also slammed Israel. Evelyn Garcia sent an email accusing the Jewish state of atrocities, writing, “By supporting Israeli occupation with U.S. foreign aid, we are all complicit and guilty of their crimes against humanity.”

“And, I deeply resent U.S. taxpayer funds being used to continue Israeli aggression (yes, confiscating other peoples’ land and building illegal settlements is aggression), not to mention ‘incursions’ that kill PEOPLE, destroy civilian homes and infrastructure all over, mass concentration prison camps, etc,etc,etc,” she added.

Garcia quit her post after a public outcry.

In the meantime, still no word from Florida Atlantic University on whether it will discipline the professor who urged students to stomp on “Jesus” and whether Ryan will have his suspension from class lifted.

FAU did, however, email this press statement: “Faculty and students at academic institutions pursue knowledge and engage in open discourse. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate.”

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Object lessons are quite effective in teaching a principle; however, using such a powerful religious symbol for this lesson does seem to go out of its way to offend. I do agree with the statement from one of the individuals quoted above, “the rising confidence and aggression of the new secularists and atheists, especially at our sick and surreal modern universities.” Having attended the graduations of several students at private US universities I have noticed a strange, over-whelming left wing agenda that is pounded into the heads of their students. In my opinion, it does make it incumbent on parents to carefully choose universities their children attend. Of course, this does not affect to BYU; however, I would also say that BYU has it's own set of problems and is for another thread.

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I don't really see much wrong with the lesson, unless a student was forced or disciplined for not stomping on the paper. Just being asked to do it so the students could become aware of how the request made them feel, and why, doesn't seem horrible to me.

It actually does seem like a good way to help students understand how symbolism affects their own lives.

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I would ask the professor if instead of stomping on the name of Jesus I could stomp on a photo of Obama! Wonder what sort of "tolerance" and object lesson could be gained from that? ;)

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I don't really see much wrong with the lesson, unless a student was forced or disciplined for not stomping on the paper. Just being asked to do it so the students could become aware of how the request made them feel, and why, doesn't seem horrible to me.

It actually does seem like a good way to help students understand how symbolism affects their own lives.

I think it is interesting how many students didn't hesitate.
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I would have told him, "Look, Doc. Let's split the difference here, shall we? I'll gladly write the name of . . .

SATAN!*

on a piece of paper and stomp all over THAT!"

;):D

*Or "Stan," if you prefer (see the link in my signature line . . . :D)

P.S.: Of course, if you're Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, you think President Obama and Satan are the same person . . . :rofl:

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I think it is interesting how many students didn't hesitate.

It might not be too good to read to much into the actions of those students.

Afterall, it was just a piece of paper with a word written on it. While i would not stomp on a piece of paper with the word Jesus on it, i could understand how another student, who also had a belief in Jesus, might not find anything offensive about it.

Some people are extremely practical in the way they approach spiritual things and these types could have been able to see the paper for what it literally was-a piece of notebook paper which held no spiritual significance and was not in any way sacred.

But for other people, symbols mean a great deal. For them, something becomes holy if it has any connection at all to something else that they already find holy (Muslims seem to especially relate to religious things this way). For them, a piece of paper with a holy word on it literally becomes holy as well.

The experiment, in the way it was described, is intriguing in that it could really help a student to understand their own beliefs, and the beliefs and actions of others.

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During the isolation of Japan (1600-1868) the local authorities would place a effigy of Mary or Jesus on the floor and have the subject step on it to show they were not Christian (fumi-e). Those who refused were crucified. I guess things haven't changed that much.

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During the isolation of Japan (1600-1868) the local authorities would place a effigy of Mary or Jesus on the floor and have the subject step on it to show they were not Christian (fumi-e). Those who refused were crucified. I guess things haven't changed that much.

I can't see where it says that he was disciplined for not doing it.

The article seems to say that it was his complaint to the college itself about the experiment that got him kicked out of the class. It would be interesting to know what his complaint entailed and why the school did what it did.

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I don't really see much wrong with the lesson, unless a student was forced or disciplined for not stomping on the paper. Just being asked to do it so the students could become aware of how the request made them feel, and why, doesn't seem horrible to me.

It actually does seem like a good way to help students understand how symbolism affects their own lives.

Should we then use all symbols that we hold dear in the effort to teach a lesson. How about if we put up a picture of one's parents and asked them to shoot at it? Or maybe if we put up a picture of one's new child and ask them to stomp on it? The list goes on for those things we hold most dear; you seem to propose that it matters not about the degree of value we hold for a given topic or individual, but the only value is that a lesson is being taught. When the same lesson could be taught in countless alternative ways, I think it is a big problem. There is something much different from being asked to "think" about doing something and then actually doing it. I see no benefit to requesting that someone actually "do" it when thinking about it achieves the same end.

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It might not be too good to read to much into the actions of those students.

Afterall, it was just a piece of paper with a word written on it. While i would not stomp on a piece of paper with the word Jesus on it, i could understand how another student, who also had a belief in Jesus, might not find anything offensive about it.

Some people are extremely practical in the way they approach spiritual things and these types could have been able to see the paper for what it literally was-a piece of notebook paper which held no spiritual significance and was not in any way sacred.

But for other people, symbols mean a great deal. For them, something becomes holy if it has any connection at all to something else that they already find holy (Muslims seem to especially relate to religious things this way). For them, a piece of paper with a holy word on it literally becomes holy as well.

The experiment, in the way it was described, is intriguing in that it could really help a student to understand their own beliefs, and the beliefs and actions of others.

I wasn't suggesting that those who choose to stomp on the paper were atheist or whatever. It would be equally interesting to know if any of them were christian, and still choose to stomp on the paper, whatever their reason.
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I wasn't suggesting that those who choose to stomp on the paper were atheist or whatever. It would be equally interesting to know if any of them were christian, and still choose to stomp on the paper, whatever their reason.

I agree that would be really interesting to know.

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According to Florida Atlantic University, Poole was conducting an exercise from the textbook “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.”

A synopsis of the lesson plan in question, obtained by Fox News, goes like this:

“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper 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.”

I don't get it. The lesson Florida Atlantic university is defending in using clearly *expects* "most students" not to stomp on Jesus and encourages discussion as to why not. So why would Ryan get suspended for not stomping on the name Jesus?

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I would have told him, "Look, Doc. Let's split the difference here, shall we? I'll gladly write the name of . . .

SATAN!*

on a piece of paper and stomp all over THAT!"

;):D

*Or "Stan," if you prefer (see the link in my signature line . . . :D)

P.S.: Of course, if you're Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, you think President Obama and Satan are the same person . . . :rofl:

The other day, during my weekly shift at the temple, a female worker told me (with obvious glee) that she has been watching a series on the Bible on the History channel, and that Satan in that drama looks just like Obama. I haven't seen the series, so can't confirm that, and she seemed to be saying that this was part of a reenactment of the book of Job.

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I don't get it. The lesson Florida Atlantic university is defending in using clearly *expects* "most students" not to stomp on Jesus and encourages discussion as to why not. So why would Ryan get suspended for not stomping on the name Jesus?

According to the article, that's not the reason he got suspended from the class. It didn't really say why he did though, other than that it happened after he complained to the college. It would be interesting to know why exactly, if we as the readers are supposed to feel something specific about the school's actions.

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Should we then use all symbols that we hold dear in the effort to teach a lesson. How about if we put up a picture of one's parents and asked them to shoot at it? Or maybe if we put up a picture of one's new child and ask them to stomp on it? The list goes on for those things we hold most dear; you seem to propose that it matters not about the degree of value we hold for a given topic or individual, but the only value is that a lesson is being taught. When the same lesson could be taught in countless alternative ways, I think it is a big problem. There is something much different from being asked to "think" about doing something and then actually doing it. I see no benefit to requesting that someone actually "do" it when thinking about it achieves the same end.

The teacher (Poole) may have decided to use that textbook procedure as part of a desensitization program to break down Christian believers in his class. Why? Who knows? He may be an aggressive atheist, or he may be a Muslim trolling for converts. Whatever the case, his use of the procedure, and the concomitant acts by the university show just how phony and corrupt both are.

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The teacher (Poole) may have decided to use that textbook procedure as part of a desensitization program to break down Christian believers in his class. Why? Who knows? He may be an aggressive atheist, or he may be a Muslim trolling for converts. Whatever the case, his use of the procedure, and the concomitant acts by the university show just how phony and corrupt both are.

PI agree with your point, but just to clear up a one thing, a Muslim would never ask you to stomp on the name of Jesus Christ. They view Jesus as a holy prophet who will return again one day.

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According to the article, that's not the reason he got suspended from the class. It didn't really say why he did though, other than that it happened after he complained to the college. It would be interesting to know why exactly, if we as the readers are supposed to feel something specific about the school's actions.

World Net Daily in my estimation is renowned to sensationalize stories, especially to create the perception of persecution against conservatives and / or Christians.

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Rotela, a junior from Coral Springs, said some of his classmates complied, but he refused.
If only "some" of his classmate complied, that mean some did not....and it would appear they were not suspended.

Though it seems very strange that it would be his complaint that got him suspended. Seems like that would decrease the likelihood of reporting abuse and such.

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I am guessing this is sensationalized beyond recognition to the original participants.

If I had to guess the teacher did it as an object lesson. Some stepped on it. Many did not. One class clown started stomping on his to try to elicit laughs. The professor started asking why it was hard for some to do it to show that symbols have meaning. One student, offended by the clown, reports this and raises a stink about it possibly exaggerating the fault due the professor. To avoid further problems the student is suspended from that class (not the university).

Conservative take: Those evil godless heathens are teaching our children to defile Christ. When one brave soul fought back he was disciplined. BRAINWASHING!!!!!

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When my husband received a teacher assistant position at a University many eons ago they had a reception for the professors and assistants and their families. The professor my husband was under said his goal was to tear down the religious beliefs of young people and fill them with his philosophy of secularism. It appears that has been the goal of many professors.

I can understand the object test but I would like to see how it was actually applied in that classroom and the reason the student was suspended. It reminds me of this experiment:

milgram experiment.

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