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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Jesus Stomp

             This is Easter week. But let’s not get too carried away with this most important of Christian days of celebration. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart of the Christian faith.

There are those who disagree with the premise of the Christian faith, arguing for instance, that it cannot be proved that Jesus ever existed; or that Jesus claimed to be God; or that Jesus even died on a Roman cross; or that He actually rose from the dead.

Recently, attacks on the Christian faith have produced absurd, even disgusting efforts to demean and denigrate a faith that was the basis for the formation of the United States, the greatest nation this world has ever known. Yet there is an increasing effort to remove all vestiges of the Christian faith from an increasingly secular society.

Allow me to cite a couple of recent examples. First, there is the utterly asinine decision made by a good number of schools across our land to stop using the name Easter. No more Easter Egg Hunt. No more Easter parade. No more Easter candy. No more Easter bunny. Of course the traditional Easter Break from school disappeared years ago. The operative word today is Spring. Easter is bad – Spring is good. “Hey, boys and girls, let’s have a Spring Egg Hunt! And there’s the Spring bunny!” Or if you prefer, you can call it the Community Egg Hunt. Has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?

Added to this silliness is the fear that Easter is a religious expression, so we must protect our little darlings from the dangers of Christian teaching. My goodness, we wouldn’t want them to learn about a God who loves them so much that he sent his one and only Son, Jesus, to die for them on a rugged Roman cross! Learning that they are sinners by nature in need of a Savior might damage their self-esteem and image. Ow! Wait! I need to remove my tongue from my cheek.

Conservative columnist and commentator, Kyle Olson, agrees that the ban on the use of Easter is a shot at Christian Tradition. "Like Christmas, Easter has become increasingly commercialized. But by continuing to embrace the Christian rooting, we're remembering the real reason for the holidays," he noted. "As secular progressives remove the meaning, they're becoming nothing more than Hallmark holidays and we're becoming an increasingly ungrounded society."

Second, Ryan Rotela, a student at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida, claims he was unfairly treated during a questionable class exercise in his Intercultural Communications class. The professor, Dr. Deandre Poole, told the students to take a sheet of paper, then write the name JESUS on it, fold it up, tape it to the floor, and then stomp on it. Rotela refused, citing that to do so is to show disrespect to whatever you’re stomping on. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, known commonly as Mormons).

At first, Rotela took the matter to his professor. “I said to the professor, ‘With all due respect to your authority as a professor, I just 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.’…. If you were to stomp on the word ‘Jesus,’ it says that the word has no value.”

Rotela then took the matter to the professor’s supervisor, Noemi Marin. After he explained his concerns, he discovered that the school decided to suspend him from class! Now there’s higher education for you!

There is an update on this pathetic story. FOX News received an apology from the University. It reads, “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….” How comforting!

At this point you may be thinking, “Okay Roots. These are isolated instances of out-of-control teachers and administrators. They are merely straw dogs for you to beat up on to support your argument that secularized America is attacking Christianity.” Ah! If that were only the case! Unfortunately, I have written about such excesses before, and every day there are new stories of some such overreach within our schools and government. And this class exercise of stomping on the name of Jesus was taken right from the teachers handbook provided by the publisher!

Let me ask you – Do you know what’s being taught in your local schools? What will America look like in ten-to-twenty years if we continue to disrespect God and Jesus? What legacy of faith will our grandchildren receive?

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