Excerpt from article
A Florida Atlantic University student said he was punished after he refused a professor’s directive to stomp on a piece of paper with the word “Jesus” written on it. The university, meanwhile, is defending the assignment as a lesson in debate.
Rotela, who is a devout Mormon, said the instructor in his Intercultural Communications class told the students to write the name “Jesus” on a sheet of paper. Then, they were told to put the paper on the floor.
“He had us all stand up and he said ‘Stomp on it,’” Rotela said. “I picked up the paper from the floor and put it right back on the table.
“I said to the professor, ‘With all due respect to your authority as a professor, I do not believe what you told us to do was appropriate,’” Rotela said. ‘I believe it was unprofessional and I was deeply offended by what you told me to do.’”
Rotela took his concerns to Poole’s supervisor – where he was promptly suspended from the class.
Fox News obtained a synopsis of the lesson that got Rotela in trouble.
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,” the lesson reads. “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.”
BUT the implementation is wrong. The goal is not to make people STOMP on God but to make them realize that when you ponder something it tends to give it meaning. I don't know that a Muslim would have stomped on Jesus either as he is also a part of their religion.
I found it interesting reading the comments ... so many people saying what they would have done. I find it easy to say "I would have done the same" but in a crowd situation sometimes people forget their convictions (much to their shame) but they do, they will often blindly follow the crowd. When people are faced with an authority figure telling them to do something, most people, particularly youth, will do as they are told without thinking about it.
I credit this young man for not following the crowd and sticking to his convictions. He listened and chose to follow what he knew to be the better path.
I would use this story (and hope to sometime) to teach young people what it means to stick to their convictions even if it means you will be punished unfairly (as this young man was).