Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Stomp on Jesus!" UPDATE

Following a week of widely-publicized outrage, the solons at Florida Atlantic University, horrified by the negative attention they were getting and with a close eye on the financial prospects for their school, have publicly apologized for instructor Deandre Poole's in-class exercise in blasphemy earlier this month. Fearing that their fifth-rate school would fail in its aspirations to become a third-rate school, the powers that be have finally acted.

Instructor (not Professor) Poole

As reported in the South Florida SunSentinel:
"FAU had initially defended the assignment, with communications department director Noemi Marin saying on Wednesday, 'while at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate.'"

As noted in our previous post, it is practically inconceivable that this standard (or lack of standards) would have applied to the name of Muhammad, nor is it likely that Poole would have wanted to so apply it.  But then, we're not dealing with the Titans of Academe here:
"Poole, a non-tenured instructor who has worked at FAU since 2010, couldn't be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts."

I'll bet.

"Instructor Deandre Poole's March 4 exercise in the Intercultural Communications class on the FAU Davie campus created a nationwide stir, with blogs and social media sites abuzz with complaints from critics who called it an affront to Christianity."

"Calling it" an affront?  What else would one call a teacher's demand that students physically insult Christianity, or any other religion? 

"'This exercise will not be used again,' an FAU statement said. '…We sincerely apologize for any offense this caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs.'"

If that statement is true, then Dr. Poole should be fired, because he clearly doesn't t subscribe to his employer's standards.  It is worth noting, however, that Poole's "employers" are not the trustees of FAU; his employers are his students, or their parents, without whom he would not have a job.

"Academic freedom generally allows instructors to conduct controversial lessons as long as the material is relevant to the lesson, and the instructor is competent, said Jenn Nichols, of the Washington D.C.-based American Association of University Professors.

"But this exercise was out of line, says Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, a legal group focusing on religious liberty issues.

"'Teachers obviously have a broad spectrum of ways they can instruct, but some things just defy common sense,' he said. 'I can't imagine any educational or pedagogical reasons to take the name of Jesus and stomp it on the floor.'"

Why, of course there are reasons: to desensitize one's students to the Judeo-Christian heritage that was once reverenced, if not always followed, by most citizens of this country; and to specifically display contempt for Jesus Christ, Who is no less hated today than He was at the time of His crucifixion.  Anyone who's attended a public university in the last 60 years understands this.  I am a proud graduate of a third-rate state university myself, and have seen it with my own eyes.  Academic freedom is an important concept, but it shouldn't cover psychological and spiritual abuse of one's students.

"Poole, who is also the vice chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, and FAU became the subject of numerous national stories in recent days."

I daresay.  He's had his fifteen minutes of fame now; judging from his educational accomplishments and classroom  abilities, we are unlikely to hear from him again.  He is less than a mediocrity.
"So far, 2013 has been a controversial year for the university. In January, associate professor James Tracy questioned on his personal blog whether the Sandy Hook massacre happened. Then in February, FAU became the subject of protests when it named its stadium after the GEO Group, a prison company that donated $6 million to the university."

Associate Professor Tracy sounds like another of the hatemongers and sociopaths who populate today's university faculties.  The student body at FAI, which is undoubtedly composed of decent kids trying to get an education, deserve better. 

Finally, from FoxNews.com, we hear from Ryan Rotella, the student who dared to stand against the jackanapes Poole:

“'It was good that they apologized and realized what they did was wrong,' he said.

"He was also thankful for the outpouring of support from the nations’ Christian community.

“'I have two words – thank you,' he said. 'If it wasn’t for all the Christians and the open-minded people who decided to call the university – I would be sitting in a room getting punished, getting sanctioned from the school and getting expelled from the university.'"

As noted before, this blog does not share or endorse Ryan's Mormon beliefs.  But, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "a ministering angel shall he be, when Poole lies howling." 


  1. That's the real reason for the official apology: the school can't afford any more controvery!

  2. Too much light was shining on their deeds, and they had to act accordingly...