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Thu Mar 28, 2013, 04:36 PM

Point missed on Jesus-stomping lesson at FAU

Beth Kassab, Orlando Sentinel columnist, 3/28

If the Florida Atlantic University Jesus-"stomping" instructor was trying to make a point about religious tolerance, then point taken.

Too bad so many people, including our governor, are missing the point.

You and I may not like the classroom exercise that was intended to create discomfort asking students to write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then step on it. But you can't say it didn't make you think.

On any other day, the instructor, Deandre Poole, would probably chalk that up as a success. What college teacher doesn't want to push students to think about things in new ways?

Instead he is being vilified as insensitive and crass for, ironically, trying to teach a lesson about sensitivity and civilized behavior.

At least one student was so offended by the classroom exercise that he complained to Poole's supervisor and got a lawyer to represent him, prompting Boca Raton-based FAU to apologize. Gov. Rick Scott called the student personally to apologize and has demanded a report on what happened.

I won't argue that this lesson lacked elegance. And taste.

And I don't know why Poole, who is also vice chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, chose to follow the suggestion in the instructor's manual that Jesus be the focal point, when the same exercise could have been done with any number of other nonreligious symbols we hold dear, such as, say, the Declaration of Independence.

The incident has, naturally, generated an incalculable amount of misinformation and outright lies, like the student being suspended because he wouldn't step on the paper. Not true.

Here's what is true about what took place in Poole's Intercultural Communication class on March 4:

The instructor's manual for the textbook, "Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach," advises teachers to have students write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and think about it.

"After a brief period of silence, instruct them to step on the paper," the manual says. "Most will hesitate. Ask why they can't step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture."

full: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-beth-kassab-jesus-stomping-lesson-20130327,0,5900525.column

This column is a sane, thoughtful view of that stomping story if you saw it on facebook from your fundie Christian friends. Also see the News Hounds and Friendly Atheist blogs.

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Reply Point missed on Jesus-stomping lesson at FAU (Original post)
alp227 Mar 2013 OP
xtraxritical Mar 2013 #1

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Mar 28, 2013, 06:42 PM

1. Cheesus

 

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