Posted on Sat, March 23, 2013 at  04:18 p.m. (EST) and 01:48 a.m. (IST), MARCH 2013 Edition

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“Student Suspended Suppressing Professor's Project!”

Ramesh C. Reddy

What shocking event happened at a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) classroom between a professor and one of his students?

When the professor asked students to trample on a piece of paper as part of a project assignment in intercultural communication, one of the students refused to do it and got suspended by the university.

Was the student wrong not to obey the professor’s instructions?

It depends on what the student was asked to do!

Just because the professor is in authority does not mean a student leaves his free will and conscience behind but that is exactly what the university wanted him to do!

The students were asked to write the name of JESUS on a piece of paper, put it on the ground of the classroom, and trample it with their feet.

Ryan Rotela, a Mormon refused to do the assignment because he loved the Name of Jesus and it was against his religious beliefs to show irreverence to the name of Jesus.  

'With all due respect to your authority as a professor, I do not believe what you told us to do was appropriate,'". 'I believe it was unprofessional and I was deeply offended by what you told me to do.'", said Rotella.¹

For that FAU suspended him from the University for disobeying Professor Deandra Poole’s command and assignment. What is more shocking is that Poole or FAU approved the textbook for the class, called "Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition," which actually has a lesson asking students to write the name of JESUS on a piece of paper and then trample on it.

Rotela was not wrong in disobeying Poole’s instructions because he was showing his allegiance to Jesus than to Poole’s demand of trampling on the name of Jesus.

What Rotela did is similar to what the Apostles Peter and John did when they were asked to go against what they believed.

“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  (Acts 4:18-20, NIV)

Probably Rotela could have also recalled one of the Ten Commandments that says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7, NIV)

By asking to trample on the name of Jesus, Poole was asking Rotela and the entire class to do that. It is a shame that only Rotela stood firm in class against the professor’s commands while the rest of the students obeyed.

Does that mean that Rotela was the only student that loved the name of Jesus?

Or could it be that there were other students too who would consider themselves a follower of Christ but they were afraid to stand up to the professor for their beliefs?

Where do you fall in this category, in your own classes, if a professor asks you to do something that goes against the name of Jesus?

If you believe in Jesus Christ, would you remain silent or speak out as Rotela did.

What the university did was very wrong when it punished Rotela for standing up to his beliefs. By suspending Rotela, they violated his 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion.

Even if the university does not believe or reverence the name of Jesus, they should not have done what they did to the student.

Poole and the university should be relieved that they endorsed this type of assignment against the religious beliefs of Christians because there will be no violence against the university or professor.

Now if the university or professor had asked to write the name of Muhammad on a piece of paper and trample it on the ground or asked to lay the Quran on the ground and trample it with their feet, things could have gotten really ugly if radical Muslims got hold of the news.

In 2005, allegations of deliberate desecration of the Quran in front of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo were blamed for deadly Muslim riots.

In 2007, Nigerian Christian teacher Christianah Oluwatoyin Oluwasesin was stabbed to death after allegations that she had desecrated a Quran.

In 2011 at Florida, Christian pastor Terry Jones oversaw the burning of a Quran to which Muslims in Afghanistan rioted killing 12 people.

In 2012 at Afghanistan, protestors shouted ‘Death to America’ and at least 30 people were killed including hundreds of people being wounded because of the improper disposal of Qurans at the US military Bagram Air Base.

In 2012 at Bangladesh, an estimated 25,000 Islamist mobs vandalized and torched Buddhist temples, shrines, and houses along with Hindu temples due to the posting of an image depicting the desecration of a Quran on a Facebook profile supposedly by a Buddhist.²

All this happened because of the desecration of the Muslim’s book that they consider holy. In all these news reports, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists were harmed by Muslim radicals.

What the radical Muslims did is wrong but the point being made is that they were not silent to this desecration but took action even though the action itself was despicable. Rotela’s actions are way better because he did not retaliate with violence but responded with vigilance to remain firm to his beliefs even amidst the danger of suspension using only the media for help.

That said, these instances by radical Muslims should not be generalized to all Muslims because there are very friendly and loving Muslims who are for peace than war.

For the most part Christians are very passive so many don’t mind using the name of Jesus in vain whether it is in movies, tv shows, stand-up comedy, classrooms, etc.  Not only that but Christians implicitly support this type of actions when they give their money to see movies, etc that desecrate the Name of Jesus.

Christians should be applauded for not retaliating with violence when things like this happen but they should also be exhorted to stand up for Jesus Christ without being afraid of ridicule or persecution. It is still hard to imagine that there was only one student who objected in the whole class.

To reiterate, more than anything, no follower of Christ should retaliate with violence against Poole or FAU. On the contrary, they should pray for Poole and FAU as they continue to stand up for their faith.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21, NIV)

¹Read more at 

²

Ramesh C. Reddy believes voting obeying God is better than obeying man!

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Reddy's Right Rhetoric:

"Commandments Controversy is so commie and  not constitutional!" By Ramesh C. Reddy (Sept 09, 12, 1:23 p.m.)

“Always Appreciating And Positively Promoting ChickFil-A Company's Christ Centered Message Makes Followers Failures??? By Ramesh C. Reddy (August 06, 12, 11:32 a.m.)

“Bible Believing Christians Cannot Support Same-Sex Marriage Message Expressing Equality!  By Ramesh C. Reddy (August 02, 12, 10:59 p.m.)

"Mayor Menino's Menacing Comments Claim Chick-Fil-A's Cathy Corrupted! By Ramesh C. Reddy (July 27, 12, 3:17 p.m.)

"Chick fil-A's Christian Roots Render People's Persecutions!" (March 05, 11, 8:23 p.m.) By Ramesh C. Reddy

Rebuttal to Sandeep Thomas' Letter to the Editor:
“Obama Overtly Utilizing U.S. Constitution Crumbles Comparatively Concerning Christ's Commands
! By Ramesh C. Reddy (July 19, 2012, 12:43 p.m.)

Obama Offered Evangelical Entitlement Wrongly With Birdsall’s Blessing! By Ramesh C. Reddy (June 25, 12, 10:02 a.m.)

"Rainbow's Registered Trademark Trampled Promoting PrideFest’s Parade Promiscuously! By Ramesh C. Reddy (June 14, 12, 11:51 a.m.)

“Purge PPACA's Baby Body Deaths Outlawing Obama's Order!” By Ramesh C. Reddy (May 29, 12, 7:19 p.m.)

“Bible Believing Organizations Opposing Obama, Ok!" By Ramesh C. Reddy (May 23, 12, 11:45 a.m.)

“Obama's Opinion Of Marriage Menaces Candidly Character!  (May 14, 12, 3:54 p.m.) By Ramesh C. Reddy




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