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When (((Not))) to Stand on the Name of Jesus

Updated on January 17, 2019
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Missionary work is the bedrock of Rodric's Faith. Read about these stories of faith and hope while in the service of God.

Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value. So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value.

— Ryan Rotella

Ryan Rotella, The Man Refusing to Stomp On Jesus's Name

A major tenet of most if not all sects of Christianity is to stand on a firm foundation in Jesus Christ. Ryan Rotella, a Latter-day Saint, of all the Christians in his class at Florida Atlantic University--the one who is not accepted as Christian by many sects of Christianity--alone refused to stomp on the name of his Savior Jesus Christ!

Rotella recalled during a televised interview responding to Deandre Poole's request, "Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value. So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value."

To him, the name of Jesus, even written on a piece of paper has value, saying a lot about the character of Ryan Rotella and the type of faith he has in Jesus Christ.

Deandre Poole, The man Requesting to Stomp on Jesus's Name!

Deandre Poole Credit: Florida Atlantic University
Deandre Poole Credit: Florida Atlantic University | Source

What was the point of stumping on the name of Jesus?

Poole apparently instructed the students in the class to take a blank paper, write the name of Jesus on it, place it on the floor and stomp on the name as part of a cultural exercise.

Because Ryan refused to stomp on the name, expressed to his professor, Deandre Poole, his offense and reported the incident to Poole's supervisor, Noemi Marin, he was suspended from the class.

Later he was advised he will be given the opportunity to take the class with a different instructor.

Mr. Poole was attempting to teach a lesson that would not have meant something to the students any other way. In a television show called Alien Nation, one of the partners in a detective companionship used this tactic to express privilege that each person gives to his or her religious beliefs. This privilege is above race unless race is the object of religious belief. It is a more sacred connection that wars continue to fuel over.

The human detective made derisive remarks about the alien partner's beliefs. When the alien tried to help the human understand how insulting it was by questioning the virginity of Mary, this Catholic human quickly caught the point. This is the lesson Mr. Poole was trying to teach in a vivid way to his class. Poole's intentions were honorable, in retrospect.

The Interrogative

Looking past all of the political hype, what is to be said about those who would claim members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not believe in Christ? Of all the Christians in that class, only one stood above the rest and would not dishonor the name that was sacred to him. Is it an indictment against all those in the class for not standing on their faith? Should other Christians feel ashamed because none of their members refused as did Ryan Rotella?

Only one out of all the people in the class thought the name was sacred enough to refrain from doing the assignment. What does that say about society? It is likely there were other believers of Rotella's faith in the class who took no thought to the assignment but to participate. Is nothing sacred anymore?

What if the name that the instructor ordered the students to stomp on had been Muhammad's name? How would the outcome have been different? Would there be violent protests in the street? Not that such a route of behavior should occur, but when did Christianity lose its sense of sacred? Should all Christendom be outraged and redoubled in an effort to live for Christ in all areas of existence. Cannot Ryan Rotella's stance quicken a movement to inspire sanctity to a dwindling reverence towards Jesus? At least it brought awareness

See the news cast here.

A Message from Dr. Charles Brown, FAU's Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Out of respect to Rotella, this article does not focus on the institution in a negative regard since the assignment was, and I stress the word (((( WAS)))), part of the curriculum for the class.

Rotella has posted a message on his social media site to desist asking him to continue this matter. He wants to put it behind him and not hurt the name of his institution or its faculty.

This was not intended to offend Christians but to teach a point, which I think was demonstrated by the uproar this situation incited at the time.

The point is that symbols can be sacred to some and unimportant to others.

It may feel strange to go against a culturally established tradition, such as Jesus being sacred and stomping on the symbols or letters that represent His name.

It would have been the same if the flag were placed on the floor. (Maybe not the word flag, though!!!?) I am sure that many Americans would not stomp on the flag.

The assignment was flawed and removed from the university. As an educator of adults, I find that the authors of the assignment committed a cultural flaw that was repaired by the action of one man who would not stomp on sacred symbols. Action teaching is a good way to help people learn, but I remember a saying about not toying with the sacred.

© 2013 Rodric Anthony Johnson


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    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      8 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Gaeparks, thanks for reading and commenting on the article. I must confess though sibling, your are incorrect about Mormons Christianity. We all take a covenant at baptism to follow Christ. We must stand for truth and righteousness at all times as his representatives--I assume all Christians have a similar responsibility.

      I know that if we live by Christ's teachings we will find satisfaction and joy in this life amid our struggles and hardships. No, we are not Protestant Christians like yourself, or Catholic Christians like most everyone else, but we are Latter-day Saint Christians. Our doctrines differ, but our reverence for Christ is sure and true.

      Also, I am an elder. I served a mission for Christ from December 12, 1998 to December 23, 2000. I learn so much about love and compassion while so doing that I could not imagine my life without that experience--to actually represent the Savior and be reverence for His name and cursed for it also.

      I have my priesthood line of authority all the way back to Christ and the power to baptism and blessing in the name of Jesus and it be approve of god according to His will and pleasure. I have been an elder for more than 12 years now. I am thankful that God trusts me to use His authority to bless the lives of others as I struggle with my walk with Christ to endure to the end.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      8 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      The Frog Prince, you are really extreme, but I get you drift--pun intended! It was an academic error on the instructors part. I think the university handled the situation admirably after the media involved itself

    • gaeparks profile image


      8 years ago from North Las Vegas, Nevada


      Mormons are not really Christians...and again you and I both know that. You probably really be allowed to find out until you are an elder...oops you won't ever be an elder so lets really talk my brother...ok. Whenever you are ready to do so for real.

    • gaeparks profile image


      8 years ago from North Las Vegas, Nevada

      The Frog Prince

      So your solution is to kill the professor? Oh yeah that would be so much better. The solution is to find out the exact details, then judge. No I do not agree with the stupid stunt either...and no the young man should not have been removed from the class... But full information is required don't you think? Just saying...

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      8 years ago from Arlington, TX

      This is a prime example of what is wrong with academia dominated by liberal egg heads. It's my understandings now that the University wants to punish this young man rather than fire the Professor. the man has no business attempting to teach anyone anything except underwater basket weaving. In that case, we need to make sure he doesn't have an air supply available.

      The Frog

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      8 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      gaeparks, I am happy you would not participate in that sacralige if you were a student in that college class and thanks for commenting. To correct you, he did not withdraw, he was suspended. Your entire response was based on faulty information. Mormons are Christians. I know, I happen to be one. Ryan is just a regular citizen who loves Christ.

      I don't believe in all those creeds, but I know Christ lives and is the Savior of all men. That is all it takes to be Christian.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      8 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      I know others say Mormons aren't Christian. They are simply wrong. All of my family are Christians and happen to also call themselves Mormons. God knows if men are to blind to see Christ standing right before them. I show my faith by my works and live my faith saved in the Grace of Christ because I am. Because of His Grace I do His Works.

    • gaeparks profile image


      8 years ago from North Las Vegas, Nevada

      For the record...I myself personally would NOT have followed those instructions. secondly, i would not have withdrawn from the class. Now about the alleged incident:

      First of all are we getting the entire story or an adaptation or opinion of what happened?

      Secondly defending the faith but then running from the challenge to further show his alleged strength and delief does a significant disservice to Jesus Chirst.

      Thirdly Mormons are not really Christians...but then you already know that right.

      Apologetics if the one's faith requires that one stand in defense of...not resist and run. But then I guess he can only do what he has been taught right.

    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      The Savior loves everyone. People only have to ask and he will be right there helping them along the way. I am saddened that there were not more believers who stood up against this circumstance including fellow Christians. Thanks for the information!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I wish the answer to the question was yes, but most likely not. It doesn't matter as long as the savior accepts you.


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