Stomping on Jesus
A Florida Atlantic University (FAU) student, Ryan Rotela, was recently suspended for refusing to follow his professor’s instructions to stomp on a piece of paper with the name of Jesus written on it. After the exercise, the student confronted his professor calling the exercise offensive and warning he would complain to the professor’s superiors. By protesting about the exercise, Mr. Rotela was told that he had violated the student code of conduct. In a “Notice of Charges” sent to him by Associate Dean Rozalia Williams, he was informed that his disagreement with Professor Poole might result in additional charges of intimidation and harassment being filed against him. After being suspended from the class, Mr. Rotela was told he could face further punishment, including expulsion.
It was only when this incident received public attention in a story on Fox News that the school officials realized this professor, Dr. Deandre Poole, had gone too far and school officials reversed course. By attempting to teach a lesson that was part of a classroom exercise from a textbook: “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition,” the professor had crossed the line of common decency and respect with regard to his student’s religious beliefs. Mr. Rotela is a devout Mormon. With most surveys showing that 80% of college professors self identify as liberal, it came as no surprise that it was later learned that Dr. Poole was also the vice-chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.
If this were an isolated incident, it would still be abhorrent and completely unacceptable. However, this is not an isolated incident at all. This anti-Christian bias has already become deeply entrenched in academia. It reflects the secular atheistic worldview that dominates our colleges, universities, national television networks and every cable news organization with the possible exception of Fox News.
In a world where a modicum of decency should exist, you would think that giving our academic institutions the privilege of teaching our children would cause them to be respectful of the beliefs and traditions of the families that bore those children. Sadly, this is not the case. Apparently, where progressive professors are concerned, their usual all-inclusive, everything is acceptable attitude towards others does not apply where Christianity is concerned. Imagine the outcry that would have followed, if a conservative professor told his or her students to stomp on a picture of the prophet Mohammed. Some of these educators take pride in the fact that they are going to challenge their students to jettison the beliefs and values with which they were raised. These so-called educators present evolutionary materialism and Marxist propaganda disguised as definitive truth. They allow no alternative explanations or critical analysis the subject matter being taught. This indoctrination passes for education at most of our institutions of higher learning.
Richard Wurmbrand, a pastor of the underground church during the Iron Curtain years of the 1950’s and 1960’s, related a story of how Marxist propagandists used tricks to ridicule faith in God. They would gather all the children into the school auditorium and tell them to pray to God and ask Him to give them candy from heaven. After a suitable time of unanswered prayer, they would tell these same children to pray to comrade Stalin for candy. As they prayed, communist stooges threw candy down from the rafters to the waiting children. The lesson learned was obvious. God was not real, but the communist party and its leader, Joseph Stalin, were not only real, but also far more powerful and attentive to the prayers of these children than the God of the Bible.
If anyone doubts that most of our institutions of higher learning have become fertile ground for radical Marxists revolutionaries-turned-college professors, we need to look no further than Columbia University. In 2008, the unrepentant convicted cop killer and former Weather Underground radical, Kathy Boudin, was rewarded for her teaching abilities. They gave her a prestigious adjunct professorship at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. In addition to this, Boudin won another academic laurel when she was named the Sheinberg Scholar-in-Residence at NYU Law School.
The sad truth is that many murderers from the 1960’s are now considered the darlings of academia. Bill Ayers and Angela Davis have become the sweethearts of the liberal educational establishment. Now these unrepentant terrorists are teaching our youth that bullying is bad, but murdering others for your political reasons is perfectly acceptable. Factor in self-loathing Hollywood cheerleader types such as Kevin Costner, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Naomi Watts just to name a few, and we might forget that brutal communist dictators and their enforcers, past and present, are in many cases mass murderers. When Hollyweird (sic) promotes movies that glorify the actions of these unapologetic radicals (Angela Davis purchased the firearms used in the murders of Judge Harold Haley, a prosecutor and a juror), one cannot help but wonder where this misguided hero worship will end.
I can remember a values clarification class I took in college. This popular 1970’s teaching tool was called the Lifeboat exercise. It was intended to teach us that morality is relative and that there is really no such thing as absolute right or wrong. Those who participated were expected to make life and death decisions based upon the descriptions assigned to individuals in a group of potential survivors. The problem presented to the players was fairly simple. There were too many people and insufficient room in the lifeboat for all of them. Depending on the identity assigned, you could plead your case to the rest of the group for a seat in the lifeboat. After some discussion, the group would vote. Obviously, it was better for you to be assigned the identity of a hooker of childbearing age than a Catholic nun or some other allegedly “less useful” member of this hypothetical lifeboat crew.
Fast forward to our present time, when our society offers politically correct protection to every group imaginable, except professing Christians, and the Lifeboat exercise becomes a “Stomp on Jesus” fest. Lest we forget, this was an exercise in a college textbook! How engrained has this radical anti-God and anti-Judeo-Christian worldview become when such blatantly offensive lessons continue to be part of our school curriculum.
Some of these 1960’s radicals from the Weather Underground blew themselves to smithereens in 1970 in a Greenwich Village townhouse explosion. Unfortunately, Cathy Wilkerson and Kathy Boudin escaped unharmed. Cathy Wilkerson ended up teaching high school mathematics, but Kathy Boudin, along with Bill Ayers and Angela Davis were embraced by some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning including Columbia University, the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota at Moorhead. What did these Greenwich village bombers intend to do with their explosives? Wilkerson and Boudin planned to place their bomb at a dance for non-commissioned officers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I guess that qualifies them to teach our youth about social issues.
Personally, I am sick and tired of hearing modern-day apologists tell me that those who were convicted and spent time in prison have paid their debt to society. They remind everyone that Angela Davis was acquitted of taking part in the kidnapping and murder that was committed with guns that she purchased. I also understand that a not guilty verdict does not mean you did not do the crime. It may mean you got away with it. It may be true that some of these terrorists have paid their debts to society, but that does not mean that they should be exalted to positions of academic leadership. We reserve that type respect for those who are truly repentant, not only paying their debt to society, but also showing sincere remorse for their past misdeeds by working hard to make restitution for the damage they have done. That is not the case with these shameless purveyors of a romanticized revisionist past, those who continue to use their legacy of domestic terrorism to benefit themselves and further their political ends.
Today, radicals who have blood on their hands are teaching the next generation of Americans. We have already seen the false teaching of evolution infiltrate what used to be Bible honoring Christian Colleges. Now, the social sciences are being dominated by avowed communists, who, like their counterparts in the chemical, physical and biological sciences, are very vocal concerning their godless agenda. We are looking at an unprecedented level of indoctrination that could possibly signal the permanent decline of western civilization. Radicals have long understood, if you gain control of the schools, you can brainwash the next generation to believe your view of reality is correct. As we have seen, any disagreement with these fascist professors and their school administrators is met with a response intended to crush all opposition. Make no mistake about this, the heavy-handed response to this student’s complaint was intended to strike fear into the hearts of students everywhere, thereby stifling any protest or criticism that might arise in the future.
The only comfort I have comes from my knowledge of God’s Word. The Creator of the heavens and the earth is a righteous Judge and nothing, and no one, will escape His justice. What we can do is offer these radical retreads the message of the gospel. We should share the Good News that God is willing to forgive their sins, should they repent of their self-righteous delusional thinking, and place their faith in the risen Savior.
As of now, all of these radicals appear to be unrepentant. After all, they are adored by the Hollywood elite with the likes of Robert Redford, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sean Penn singing their praises. It should not have surprised anyone that the faculty at FAU would immediately punish a young man of faith who refused to disrespect his Lord and Savior. After all, it took the story being brought to the attention of the public, and the outcry that followed, for them to stop punishing Ryan Rotela. If this were not publicized, I am certain that Mr. Rotela would still be on suspension or expelled from FAU. As for Dr. Deandre Poole, rather than facing suspension, he would still be indoctrinating the next generation to endorse his own atheistic worldview. This belief system, according to this latest example of elitist progressive bullying, can accurately be described as truly anti-Christian. The warning of the Apostle Paul is almost two thousand years old, but it is as true today as when it was first written.
But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of danger. Men will become utterly self-centered, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, purity and normal human affections. They will be men of unscrupulous speech and have no control of themselves. They will be passionate and unprincipled, treacherous, self-willed and conceited, loving all the time what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of “religion”, but their conduct will deny its validity. You must keep clear of people like this, II Tim. 3:1-5 (J. B. Philips Trans.).
By Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.