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