How Holy Week Is Celebrated in Some Quarters


Some have taken your humble correspondent to task for predicting a bleak future for Christians in America. Others choose instead to look at the growing Christianization of Russia and worry about the Tsar being restored to his throne. You know, the Patriarch wears a nice Rolex and all that. I just tend to look at things as they are and try to see trends.

It’s funny though –has anybody found this story in any organ of the American mainstream media? Even an “Orthodox” website has been curiously silent about this blasphemy. I guess because it takes place in America’s Flyover Country, you know, “Jesus Land” and it’s not about “real” Orthodox things like pierogi, baklava, and ethnic nostalgia. And anyway, the guy who protested is a Mormon so he doesn’t count. Can we at least see the irony here? The Pussy Riot story was wall-to-wall front page news for several months for Heaven’s sakes!

Just sayin’.

Source: PJ Tatler

Just in time for Holy Week are many reports about this controversial incident involving a local college professor at Florida Atlantic University in Davie, Florida making his students literally stomp on paper after they were instructed to write the name Jesus on it.

However national media, while reporting on this incident, neglected to include the fact that the professor is also vice-chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party as reported today by a popular and influential local business/political web site called Biz Pac Review.

Stomp Jesus FAU Professor is Dem Party Official

A South Florida college professor’s bizarre classroom antics have made waves for their shocking display of religious intolerance. But they were even more instructive in educating the rest of us on the alarming thought process of yet another Palm Beach County Democratic leader.

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) professor Deandre Poole instructed his intercultural communications class earlier this month to write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, then drop it on the floor and stomp on it.

One student, a devout Mormon, was so disturbed by the exercise that he complained to school officials, saying Poole had offended his religious convictions. The school responded by suspending the student from the class.

While the incident has made the news, the media has failed to report a key component of Poole’s resume: He is vice-chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party. His recent actions add fire to an already-disturbing pattern of hate coming out of the local party.

The story has been widely reported in the last few days including today on the Drudge Report.

However, today Biz Pac Review was first to reveal that the professor holds a leadership position in the Palm Beach Country Democratic Party and that revelation is shaking the palm trees in Palm Beach just in time for Palm Sunday.

Now just imagine if this professor instructed his students to stomp on the name Mohammad. Then let’s say a Muslim student was offended and then got suspended for going against his professor’s instructions. Then it was revealed that the professor was vice-chairman of the Palm Beach Republican Party. Would there be riots in the streets? Would FAU be set aflame? Would this professor lose his job? You betcha is the correct answer to all of the above.

But according to WPEC ( a local television station) here’s how the school responded to an inquiry about the situation:

“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.”

Like I said, just in time for Holy Week this incident will spark some outrage and then go away quietly as the professor continues teaching his Intercultural Communications class while holding the title of vice- chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.

What are the odds that during election time Professor Poole instructs his students to work for the Democrat party and earn class credit as part of their “intercultural communications” experience?  Odds as high as the royal palms is my guess.


  1. Sean Richardson says

    While I see this as typical far left idiocy, I also think that this would be an excellent opportunity for those students willing to make a statement for Jesus. I’m not sure what happens in Florida, but many, if not most, public institutions in the west have a clear academic policy that forbids a professor from punishing a student because of their race, creed, nation of origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs. I’d like to hear what happened, or would have happened, if even one student took a stand and said “No”. Perhaps what is saddest in this story is not that the idiot professor did this, but that in a classroom of students, there wasn’t one who was willing to take a stand for what they believed.

    • Michael Bauman says

      One student, a Morman, and he was suspended.

    • nit picker says

      Sean Richardson,

      you write:

      While I see this as typical far left idiocy

      I disagree with your assessment. Just because someone calls themselves a democrat, doesn’t mean that they are left leaning. The fact that the instructor did not allow the student not to step on the piece of paper as the exercise dictated but insisted and demanded that he must step on the paper indicates that if anything that he demands conformity from everyone to his world view. Anyone that doesn’t fit his paradigm must be punished or destroyed. So maybe it would be better to write “While I see this as typical extremist idiocy”

  2. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    Sean believes, “in a classroom of students, there wasn’t one who was willing to take a stand for what they believed.”

    But there was, Sean. I have been following this story closely. The single professing Christian in the class responded to the Democratic activist by simply placing the paper on his desk; he would not obey the teacher’s directive.

    The protesting student was a Mormon.

    Perhaps you will recall, from some months ago, a few correspondents on this site insisting that Orthodox Christians could not, with a safe conscience, vote for a Mormon. Remember?

    • George Michalopulos says

      I remember it well, Fr.

    • Michael Bauman says

      I can’t vote for any federal politician with a clear conscience.

    • Pere LaChaise says

      Mormons are not Christians. We don’t know if the teacher is a leftist; the American Democratic Party certainly leans far to the right on most issues of substance – economics and geopolitics being chief among them.

    • Jane Rachel says

      Sigh. And you complain about biased, lying media trickery.

      What really happened? Were you there? Someone once said, “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true.” Does this concocted scenario make sense? Not really. Your trains of thought… honestly.

      “Obey” implies “Do it.” You seem to believe the teacher compelled the students. No, I’ll bet you anything that is not what happened. It wasn’t “Do it or be punished.” The exercise had been used at that college for ten years. No one had any problem with it in the past. The paper with the word “Jesus” written on it was to be placed on the floor and the suggestion made that the students step on it. From the teacher’s guide:

      This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings. 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.

      It’s not sensible to assume that the teacher wanted them to step on it, as if the teacher wants them to defame Jesus or go against their convictions. We all know this from reading the original exercise instructions, and from knowing that he had been doing that exercise in his classroom in the past. It’s not like every single student until the Mormon stomped on Jesus.

      It’s a cool idea. Just put the paper on the floor and see how it feels personally, inside, to think about stepping on it. Would you? Wouldn’t you? No one is coerced. No one is expected to step on it. (“Step,” by the way, not “Stomp.”) Then, after you have either chosen to step on it or not, understand from this exercise how powerful symbols are. How powerful the idea of stepping on something is.

      The teacher did not suspend the student. That is more false reporting, intended to stir up the political crowd. Who cares what his politics are??

      The school issued a statement:

      “We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs… Contrary to some media reports, no students were forced to take part in the exercise; the instructor told all of the students in the class that they could choose whether or not to participate… While we do not comment on personnel matters, and while student privacy laws prevent us from commenting on any specific student at the University, we can confirm that no student has been expelled, suspended or disciplined by the University as a result of any activity that took place during this class… This exercise will not be used again…”

      And to top it off, from what I’ve read, the Mormon student was offended by the idea of the exercise. He was offended by the idea. The teacher did not try to make him do it. If I was in the classroom, I would not have stepped on the paper. I would have picked it up and put it on the desk, and thought about it, discussed it. I would not have protested the exercise itself, protested to the teacher, and then protested to the administrator. He had a right to do that, but who knows what he said or did to get himself suspended? Clearly somebody is not telling the whole story.

      Spin, spin, spin.

      • nit picker says

        Jane Rachel,

        You write:

        The school issued a statement:

        “We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused….we can confirm that no student has been expelled, suspended or disciplined by the University as a result of any activity that took place during this class (my emphasis)… This exercise will not be used again…”

        ….. but who knows what he said or did to get himself suspended? Clearly somebody is not telling the whole story.

        Spin, spin, spin.

        So was he suspended or weren’t he? Because initially he was, and then he was reinstated. Spin, spin, spin indeed. Where you there either?

        • nit picker says


          Doing a google search on this story, you can find updates that the student in question, while not suspended from the university, was told by the instructor not to return to the class. The instructor of the class has been put on paid administrative leave because the university fears for his safety.

          A thought exercise: Does anyone remember a certain political cartoon that made waves across the world a few years back, but especially within Muslim communities for it’s depiction of Muslims and reference to a certain prophet? Does anybody care to remember the public outcry? The protests? The shouting, the screaming, the threats, the violence, the threats over some ink on paper? How different is that than this situation? Why should we make the student the heavy? Why are we so sheepish to defend Christ?

          Isn’t anyone just slightly disconcerted about that? Where is the public outcry? I really am interested in people’s reflections on the matter. How are these two situations similar or different and why.

          • Dear Nit,

            You mention, ” The instructor of the class has been put on paid administrative leave because the university fears for his safety.”

            Has he received any threats?

            • nit picker says


              I saw an article earlier which I can’t seem to find right now that reports that the instructor has received threats which range from demanding that he be removed from his teaching position permanently, to threats of a racial nature implying that he would be found hanging from a tree courtesy of some “good ol’ boys”. All in all, very frightening indeed.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Nothing wrong with a good tarring and feathering. Or, ask the comsymp/pinko professor to substitute the name “Mohammed” for “Jesus.” How long do you think that would fly?

                • Jane Rachel says

                  George, I didn’t know the professor was a comsymp/pinko. I didn’t know he was an atheist disguising himself as a Christian. I did know that people who call themselves Christians can be child molesters. I didn’t know that all atheists are evil. I didn’t know the Mormon was the single professing Christian in the room. I didn’t know he was the only one in the room who stood up for his faith. I didn’t know that the entire exercise was meant to offend and destroy. I didn’t know the professor was a wimp. I didn’t know that “those blankety-blank people” don’t know what a symbol is.

                  I do know that the entire, stupid, broken world we live in is secular and that there are many, many, everywhere, who want nothing to do with anything having to do with Jesus, and that many, many of them profess His name and do the opposite. I know many on the other side, who don’t profess His Name but do what He does.

                  Sad, indeed. In the context of an impossible world where nothing is right and everything is wrong and offensive, the exercise was imposed on the students, as secular things are in secular schools. If I had been a student there, I’d have learned from the exercise, not stepped on Jesus’ name, and told everybody why. I’ll bet you anything there have been plenty of students who found they couldn’t step on His name when given the chance. I’ll bet there aren’t many teachers who would actually want them to step on it (gleefully wringing their commie/pinko/atheistic hands). I’ll bet students have protested the exercise, too, only for some odd reason, they didn’t get into the papers.

                • nit picker says

                  George Michalopulos,

                  You wrote:

                  Or, ask the comsymp/pinko professor to substitute the name “Mohammed” for “Jesus.” How long do you think that would fly?

                  The ad hominem attack aside, I’ll ask you to recall that I made reference to how people actually did react to such a substitution in my comment above (link).

                  I doubt that tarring and feathering, in the name of the King of Glory, the Prince of Peace, the Son of Righteousness, the Word Incarnate, does much to testify of the Kingdom of Heaven. No wonder so many people think that Christians are full of it. Who would want to stand up for a Savior whose followers break their own redeemer’s legs while He is crucified on the cross with a statement like that?

                  You need to put a choke chain on your evil twin Skippy and remember to yank once in a while. 😉

      • ok. He’s tried the name of Jesus, now try Mohammad.

  3. Francis Frost says

    Dear Mr. Michalopulos:

    You like reporting on trends. Well here is a total and literal ‘revolution’. After 20 years of financing ,supporting and administrating the schismatic “Abkhaz Orthodox Eparchy” the Moscow Patriarchate has performed a 180 degree about face.

    Glory to God who has answered the prayers of faithful Orthodox Christians through the intercessions of the Most Holy Theotokos, heiress of the the Georgian lands, the Holy Martyrs Andrea and Giorgi of Comana and our righteous Father Gabriel of Mtskheta !

    News items posted this afternoon report that the Moscow Patriarchate has done an about face. Instead of continuing support for the the schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy” Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk has informed Abkhaz leader Alexander Ankvab that the Abkhazians must work out their relationship to the Orthodox Church through the canonical Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate. Metropolitan Hilarion also clearly stated to Ankvab that Abkhazia is the universally recognized territory of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate, and thus of the Georgian nation.

    Russian church addresses Abkhaz side
    29.03.13 11:14

    Russian Orthodox Church has called on the breakaway Abkhazian government to follow the laws and regulations of the Georgian Orthodox Church – representative of the Moscow Patriarchate administration announced at the meeting with the current leader of the puppet regime Aleksandr Ankvab and the representatives of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Aleksandr Ankvab announced at the meeting with Georgian clergymen that religious ties between Georgian and Abkhazian Orthodox Churches were cut long ago and it can`t be restored any longer.
 One of the leading figures of the Russian Church Metropolitan Ilarion responded to him and said that the solution of the problem was possible only by following the rules of Church laws.
 All three participant sides of the meeting agreed about the need to continue consultations for restoring friendly relations between the Georgian and Abkhaz peoples.

    Abkhaz Leader Meets Georgian, Russian Top Orthodox Clerics
    Civil Georgia/Tbilisi / 29 March’13 / 14:55

    Senior clerics from the Georgian and Russian Orthodox Churches met Abkhaz leader Alexander Ankvab in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, close to breakaway Abkhazia, on March 28.

    News about the meeting was first reported by the Moscow Patriarchate’s foreign relations department in its press release on March 28. Georgian Patriarchate has not yet made any statement about the meeting and its representatives were not available for the comment.

    Head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s foreign relations department, the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, Hilarion, and Metropolitan of Borjomi and Bakuriani of the Georgian Patriarchate, Seraphim, participated in the meeting with the Abkhaz leader.

    “Participants of the meeting exchanged views about existing situation and prospects of development of Orthodoxy in Abkhazia. Each participant of the meeting expressed their views about existing problems and about ways of resolving these problems,” the Moscow Patriarchate’s foreign relations department said in its press release.

    “During the conversation, President of Abkhazia A.Z. Ankvab stressed that spiritual ties between the Abkhaz clergy, Abkhaz Orthodox Christians and Georgian Orthodox Church have long been lost and cannot be restored,” it said.

    “The Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, Hilarion, [of the Russian Orthodox Church] expressed the belief that solution to the problem can only be found through strictly following canonical laws of the church.”

    “Metropolitan Seraphim [of the Georgian Orthodox Church] has noted importance of church’s peacemaking service, directed towards strengthening of friendship between the peoples,” the Moscow Patriarchate’s foreign relations department said in its press release.

    It said that the participants noted need to further continue “consultations and meetings on this issue in various formats.”

    Formally the Russian Orthodox Church recognizes canonical borders of the Georgian Orthodox Church, which also includes Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    Although formally the Russian Orthodox Church does not claim its clerical authority over Abkhazia, in practice Abkhaz Orthodox priests, who refuse to recognize Georgian Church’s authority, are authorized to perform clerical services in Abkhazia by senior Russian clerics – mainly by those serving in Russia’s regions neighboring with Abkhazia.

    Few years ago one group of Abkhaz clergy launched a campaign to address the local Church’s status limbo by calling for establishment of an independent Abkhaz Church; for that purpose the group, established on May 15, 2011 the Holy Metropolis of Abkhazia. The move was strongly opposed not only by another group of Abkhaz clergy, which dominated the region’s church life for many years, but also by the Russian Orthodox Church.

    During his recent visit to Moscow, Abkhaz leader met the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, on March 12.

    Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, visited Moscow in January and met President Vladimir Putin.

    • ProPravoslavie says

      This isn’t news at all, Mr. Frost. The Moscow Patriarchate has always maintained that Abkhazia is Georgian canonical territory.

      • to Pro

        The Russian Orthodox Church has also encouraged the use of Adyghe language and the understanding that the Abhaz are a separate people frtom Georgians, as is their majority wish.

        It seems good that there are reconciliation talks over thge past few years as there seems to be a political component, and not just Abhazia but also Osetia and etx.

        I got no dog in this fight, as they say, but a people’s language in their church and what they wish to call themselves would seem to be one of those decisions that gos to the side of the pepople praising their faith in their own language.

  4. nit picker says

    I remember seeing this story on yahoo news. The even stranger part of the story is that the assignment in the text book read that the instructor should expect that the students would react negatively and not want to step on the name. So to suspend the student because he did not step on the name for whatever the reason demonstrates that the instructor is either a bully, an idiot, or both.

    The supposed purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate that even though “symbols” are arbitrary that they hold deep meaning to certain individuals. The word “Jesus” on a piece of paper isn’t just a word but connotes a much deeper connection with everything that name represents (salvation, deification, hope, resurrection, the Kingdom of Heaven, God…). The student did what the exercise was expecting him to do – passive resistance. The instructor botched it when he punished the student for exercising his Constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion.

  5. I wonder how all involved will explain this to Jesus at the Judgment. At least the Mormon kid will be able to say “I didn’t trample on your Name.”

    I’m curious to know whether any Orthodox Christian students were in there, and what they did.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Remember those who burned rather than toss a mere piece of incense on the flame before an idol of the Emperor.

      It reminds me of the great novel Silence, by Shisaku Endo. The Hidden Christians in Japan were rooted out by placing a crude icon before them on the ground to trample, like this piece of paper. If they did not step on it, they were roasted over fire.

      Here, if you don’t trample, you get a bad grade, or even a suspension from class!

  6. Jim of Olym says

    Since I live on the opposite diagonal of the nation from Florida I hesitate to answer, but I think this so-called ‘professor’ should be canned by his college. Intercultrual stuff should be aimed at respecting others’ cultures rather than stomping on any cultuire as practiced in our country, in my view. As an Orthodox Christian, I may well deny the validity of Pentecostal, Muslim, Jewish and other cultural people, but I won’t stomp on them even figuratively, or somehow deny them the right to practice their faiths.
    Disclaimer: My best friend Kenny in grade school was Jewish!

    Rdr. James Morgan

    • Moderate Muslim says

      “Intercultrual stuff should be aimed at respecting others’ cultures rather than stomping on any cultuire as practiced in our country, in my view. As an Orthodox Christian, I may well deny the validity of Pentecostal, Muslim, Jewish and other cultural people, but I won’t stomp on them even figuratively, or somehow deny them the right to practice their faiths.”

      Wonderful. What’s your address so I can collect your wife and any daughters to add towards my Islamic quota of four wives + sex slaves? Don’t worry that some of your daughters may be very young, after the example of Mohammad, Quran 65:4 includes rules for divorcing wives who have not reached puberty, so you’ll be happy to know that the Iddah (waiting period before remarriage to another man if the pervious marriage was consumated) is only 3 months should I tire of any of them. And, (assuming your wife or any of your daughters please me enough to be an actual wife rather than sex slave), Islam instructs us in the honoring of our wives during the mandatory beatings, “Don’t beat her in the face, and do not make her ugly”:

      You are a good little Dwimmi James, like Pope Francis, I am pleased to think of you as only half a pig, but I will be even more pleased if you should help us bring justice to this man:

  7. Jim of Olym says

    Most of you know I’m a Democrat as well, and I think this so-called prof is wacko!

  8. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    So—a Mormon protested, but no Christians did? When I was a Lutheran, over 70 years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was categorized as one of several “Miscellaneous Anti-Christian Cults.” I believe that the Orthodox Church is slightly more careful than the Lutherans in referring to the limits of the Church, and I’ve learned nothing which would make me categorize Mormons more liberally than the Lutherans; however, I see that many here DO have a more liberal, broader definition of what a Christian is than I do.
    You’d think there’d be a conservative in that classroom, too..I mean it’s Florida! And are there no conservative, Republican atheists? Who’s keeping score outside political groups and media?
    Is there an Orthodox congregation near that school? What are they doing about this? Are they going to the board of education and protesting? Protesting here is like preaching to the choir.

  9. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    Soooo, this disgusting event did NOT happen during Holy Week as the headline here hints?

  10. cyntha curran says

    So—a Mormon protested, but no Christians did? When I was a Lutheran, over 70 years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was categorized as one of several “Miscellaneous Anti-Christian Cults.” I believe that the Orthodox Church is slightly more careful than the Lutherans in referring to the limits of the Church, and I’ve learned nothing which would make me categorize Mormons more liberally than the Lutherans; however, I see that many here DO have a more liberal, broader definition of what a Christian is than I do George is talking about freedom of Religon suppose the student was a Moslem, and Bishop Tikon Florida does have a secular left just as California does have a religious right. Why the hostlity to Mormonism when you have voice support of Islam treating Oriential Orthodox better in the middle ages than the Byzantine Empire Christians. Islam isn’t christian either.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Cynthia, you wrote this: “Islam isn’t Christian either.” That’s right, and although they teach that Jesus was Holy and filled with Holiness by God Himself, they also believe He did NOT die on the Cross but was taken away to heaven. Many, especially Shi’a Muslims, expect that we will know when the Last Judgment (of which the Jews learned while in captivity) is here when we see not only the Muslim’s holy “mahdi” coming on the clouds, but Jesus (or “Messia” as they call him in Persian) along with him. But, UNLIKE Islam, the Mormons DO claim to be Christians, but they don’t believe he’s the One God any more than the Muslims do. WE do.
      And just so we’re clear, Islamic sovereigns, historically, have acted at least as kindly and in accordance with Christian virtues toward their captive peoples as have very, very, very many Christian sovereigns.
      Cynthia! Name one event in the history of islam than can hold a candle to the Thirty Years (Thirty YEARS!) War; to the Crusade against and massacre of the Albigensians. Christian sovereigns, like a Bulgarian Tsar, gave captive prisoners of war, the choice of baptism or beheading. Muslims displayed the bodies of already dead warriors on the walls of Jerusalem: the “Christian” answer: The Crusaders brought out their POWS and had them beheaded in front of the walls and then catapulted the heads into the city. When they captured Jerusalem, the made no distinction between Greek Orthodox, Muslims, and Jews, but massacred them in th e streets while the Jews who had fled to the synagogue where they worshipped under the Muslims, were burnt alive by the Christian Crusaders!
      Do you think it’s Christian to baptize the dead, perhaps against their will? Mormons do it. There are others here who can explain to you their opinion of the Holy Trinity and Christ’s unique Divinity!
      That there is a secular left in Florida and a religious right in California is no revelation, Cynthia, unless you just found it out? There are Catholics in Shanghai, too, not to mention Sikhs in New York, and “Southern” Baptists in Alaska.

  11. Michael Kinsey says

    You will be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake. It’s only going to get worse. I kindly suggest you prepare your children, as your understanding deems a time when they can be brought into Christian adulthood. Let them enjoy their innocent lives as long as they can.

  12. Ooooooh boy!

    A simple Google search will bring this up;

    It gives the complete story.

    Please, could people stop being so willing to believe everything “right-wing” media purports to be true?

    I notice that a right-wing story about Senator Menendez (?), regarding prostitutes has been shown to be false. Of course, no admission that it has, right?

    All this shows is that there’s really a great market for persecution stories.

    • Please forgive me if I have some credibility issues with your source when I pull up the link and see the teaser for the article:

      10 DIY Toking Options

      along with this story. There may be more to the story about the stomping of Jesus’ name, but the articles and classified section of this paper looks a lot like some alternative rag in the area that’s popular with the college set.

      My sorrow is that only one student objected.

    • Michael Bauman says

      anon: the very existence of the assignment is offensive. The name of Jesus is not just an empty symbol made up by the mind of man. It is the name of God Incarnate. A real person. Just as the name of Mohammed is the name of a real person or Buddha.

      I don’t particularly care what purported symbol is used, it is a stupid, meaningless, crass and offensive assignment, the basic premise of which is that nothing is sacred or real except the indvidual human mind thinks it so.

    • Michael Bauman says

      anon: the “Complete Story” seems to me that both the author of the text book and the party hack facilitating the lessons have no belief in anything except the content of their own brains and are supersititously afraid of anything they can’t see, touch, smell or taste.

      The name of Jesus is not just a symbol it is the name of a real person. Is it ever proper to write someone’s name on a piece of paper and step on it?

      They don’t even know what a symbol is. They think, at best, that its just a meaningless mental construct.

      There is no education involved in this exercies, it is intended to offend and to destroy. What good is that? I thought we were all supposed to sit around the fire and sing Kumbaya. Only Christians and others of faith need not attend I guess. Everybody should have walked out of the class.

      It is nilhistic nonesense. Anyone who paid for that class ought to demand their money back and get an A for whatever credit hours that stupidity was assigned by the educational elite. What are they charging for that bilge: $300-$500 per credit hour?

  13. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    Pere LaChaise declares, “Mormons are not Christians.”

    This is an opinion

    It was a Mormon who stood up to the attempt to insult Jesus in the Florida school.

    This is a fact.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Father Patrick,
      By any reasonable definition, Mormons are not Christian: they don’t believe anything we profess in the Creed. Their idea of Jesus is an evolved man.

      That does not really diminish what he did (there are Arians we honor as saints), but it no more means he is a Christian any more than my refusal and offense at being asked to step on the name of Mohamed would make me a Muslim.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Michael Bauman says, “Mormons are not Christian: they don’t believe anything we profess in the Creed.”

        This is immaterial to the point I made.

        The point raised is not whether or not Mormons are Christians. I expressed no view on the matter.

        The point raised was whether this question (“Are Mormons Christians?”) constitutes a matter of opinion.

        I did not even faintly hint that Mormons are Christians.

        I simply reminded everyone that this particular Mormon student was the only person in class who acted like one. That is a fact.

        • Chris Banescu says

          Fr. Patrick summarized the issue very nicely: “I simply reminded everyone that this particular Mormon student was the only person in class who acted like one. That is a fact.

          Lest we forget, we follow the Lord who cautioned us that: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

          All the right theology and perfect Creed in the world won’t do us any good if we fail to act to confirm that we are indeed true disciples of the risen Christ and believe in Him and His teachings.

        • Michael Bauman says

          I am attesting to the equally unequivacable fact that Mormanism is not even ‘merely’ Chrisitan. It is a syncretistic mystery cult with a patina of Christianity to make it more acceptable to the masses. In the old days they did not even claim to be Christians.

          I have had a great deal of unedited exposure to the Morman doctrine and beliefs over the years including what amounted to a basic catechesis class at the funeral of a friend that went on for over an hour.

          Of course, that does not stop individual Mormans from acting in ways that are congruent with Christianity.

          To say it is a matter of opinon whether or not Mormonism is Christian, however, is to abdicate an important act of discernment of right doctrine, right belief and right worship.

          One can only skate for awhile on the question: “Whom do you say I am”. The Morman doctrine may give the ‘correct’ answer in public but the real truth is that the Son and the Living God they may confess are not the Christian Son or the Christian God.

          That is not opinon. It is fact.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Michael Bauman affirms, “That is not opinon. It is fact.”

            Well, although it probably won’t help to invoke Leibniz on the point, let me just mention that both philosophy and semantics distinguish between a truth and a fact. The first is conceptual; the second is not.

            In every word I wrote with respect to that single Mormon student, that distinction stood at the very front of my mind. I don’t know how I could have expressed myself more carefully.

            Consequently, I have no idea how my comment got turned into a discussion about Mormonism, for I said absolutely nothing on the subject.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Because you said that whether or not Mormons were Christian was a matter of opinion as opposed to the ‘fact’ that the Mormon student objected to the blasphemy.

              Both are are facts on the same level.

              • Archpriest John Morris says

                The official regulations for the reception of converts in the Antiochian Archdiocese classifies Mormons as non Christians and requires Baptism of a Mormon converting to Orthodoxy. I believe that the other Orthodox jurisdiction in the US have taken the same position.

    • Rock Hudson says

      And a Muslim might have done the same, since they consider Jesus Christ to be a Holy Prophet, Patrick Henry Reardon. But there were no Muslims in the classroom that day. Mormons deny that Jesus Christ is Lord, let alone the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity (which Mormons deny). Why,they couldn’t even be admitted to the NCC or the WCC because of that. I think you are a Priest?
      But you wrote this:
      “I simply reminded everyone that this particular Mormon student was the only person in class who acted like one. That is a fact.”
      In what way did that Mormon student act like a Christian, as opposed to a devout Jew or Muslim?
      Know what? School children in the Soviet Union who were devout Christians sat through much worse than that without budging from their desks or making a peep! Some didn’t even wear their baptismal crosses, but kept them hanging from a large wall board with hooks on it for each member of the parish: they’d put it on when they entered the Church and hung it back up when they left.
      It’s ALWAYS easy to point, O Priest!

      • George Michalopulos says

        More’s the pity that a Muslim –who also doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity–wasn’t there. I wonder how many Orthodox (and orthodox) Christians were there. Maybe we need more Muslims and Mormons in our institutions of higher learning to make sure that blasphemy doesn’t break out.

        • Michael Bauman says

          We need to teach our children better and empower them to be able to give a reason for their faith and the strength to remain firm. But if they are brainwashed for 12 years before they get to college, there is peer animosity and apathy and we don’t live the faith either what are we to expect.

          Relying on unbelievers , even facetiously, is illogical.

  14. In fact the professor in question (who is a Christian and a former Sunday school teacher at that!) has faced death threats and been advised to stay away from campus because his university feels it cannot guarantee his safety. The Mormon student in question was suspended not for refusing to step on the name of our Lord, but because he (allegedly) threatened the professor after class.

    The exercise was meant to be academic. Some students would step on the paper, and some would refuse. A discussion of the importance of symbols would ensue. This is what we in NYC public schools used to call a “motivation,” ie something that would make an abstract concept real and understandable to students, and could be used as a jumping-off point for a discussion about larger ideas that are otherwise distant from their daily lives.

    We can debate whether Christian teachers can and should separate their spiritual lives from their professional lives. But the idea that this is some sort of left-wing indoctrination exercise is bollocks.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Matt: It is an inane and stupid exercise that should never have been done. It comes from an egalitarian/materialist mindset that is profoundly destructive.

      It is the product of the secularization of our cuture which views anything to do with traditional faith as anathema and wishes to destroy it. Exactly what the whole professional/public education theroists have always wanted to do (read Horace Mann sometime or Thomas Dewey). That is exactly why the dedicated teachers in my parish have felt compelled for years to establish our own school in an effort to both elevate the teaching and protect our children from the indoctrination they face each and every day they go to school. After a decade of work, our school has just gotten off the ground. Good teaching never requires the denigration of anything human. Good teaching is about helping folks learn proper discernment, forming their minds and hearts as a unit to rejoice in God and love others not in the abstract or ideologically, but really.

      Just because someone calls themselves a Christian and teaches Sunday school does not mean that they are Christian — in fact it is quite likely they are functional atheists. What someone calls themselves is exactly no indication of who they are. Case in point: there is a man I know who appeared quite deouvt, attended Mass regularly, taught cathechesis class and covorted with demons while raping his own pre-adolescent daughters. He is a complete sociopath and lies as easily and as effectively as you and I blink our eyes. Quite a good act.

      No one who actually believed as a Christian would ever ask anyone to do what was asked of in this exercise. The incredibly stupid and non-existent dicotomy you raise between “spiritual” and “professional” lives is a further indication of the secularization of faith. Jesus Christ is God Incarnate: fully God and fully man without separation or confusion. The Holy Trinity is everywhere present and fillest all things. Where a person’s heart is will ALWAYS be in their teaching or they are not teachers.

      There is no room for secular dicotomies that attempt to bifurcate the soul and kill it in the process.

      Is it a “left wing conspiracy”? Not in the normal manner that is meant as there are many who think of themselves as “on the right” who would have no trouble with what happened. The secularist, utilitarian denial of the scared is all around us and cuts across all ideological boundaries. It permeates most of what passes for thought and public policy these days. It is the essence of the nilihist doctrine of the elite controlling the herd. Those who facilitate these types of exercies are part of the herd doing what their master wills.

      • Chris Banescu says

        Michael’s point is spot on! “Just because someone calls themselves a Christian and teaches Sunday school does not mean that they are Christian — in fact it is quite likely they are functional atheists.

        In some parts of the world there are so-called “Christians” that are no different than “functional atheists,” or worse; actual enemies of Christ who pretend to be Christians but actually lead others astray and spread lies and confusion among the flock.

        The Non-Christian Christians of the Netherlands

    • nit picker says

      After class, the student came up to him, and made that statement again, this time hitting his balled fist into his other hand and saying that “he wanted to hit me.” While the student did not do so, Poole said he was alarmed and notified campus security and filed a report on the student.

      In all fairness to the instructor, I know I wasn’t there, but I can’t help but feel like he over reacted. If he handled the situation differently he may have been able to diffuse the situation, show that the student was being unreasonable (if that was really the case) and avoid all this.

      • Granted I wasn’t there and I have not followed this story other than here, but seriously the instructor is surprised this would anger someone? Really? So what if a student came up to him angry and hit his own fist, he didn’t hit him . . . I don’t know I find this spineless and over reactionary as mentioned above. Maybe the Prof should have weighed the consequence before the lesson. . . .

      • Michael Bauman says

        I am still astounded that only one student objected.