It’s been a popular dance for decades in America among militant unbelievers who get their exercise by trampling vigorously on Jesus Christ.  But some ingenious new moves surfaced recently with the story of the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) student who says he was suspended from his “intercultural communications” class when he refused to stomp on a piece of paper bearing the name “Jesus.” Junior Ryan Rotella, a devout Mormon, said the assignment made him feel “deeply offended” according to reports from dailycaller.com and mediaite.com.

Predictably, the choice of Jesus’s name was deliberate. The teacher’s manual that comes along with the course textbook actually suggests telling students to write JESUS on the paper. The manual notes, “This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings.”  

How is this a revelation? That symbols take on emotional meaning is so obvious as to probably not require college classroom time to demonstrate. But also the premise is glaringly disingenuous.  It’s ridiculous to say Jesus’s name is in any way “arbitrary:” after all, He is the source of and reason for the Christian religion, the faith of more people on the planet than any other. His name is sacred to the dominant culture in America and worldwide, so stomping on His name is far more likely to generate student refusals and thus suspensions than any other. Maybe Rotella should have written the name “Martin Luther King” on a piece of paper and asked his professor, who is black, to stomp on it. That would be a handy “intercultural” way of demonstrating to Prof. Poole the meaning of disrespect.  

It’s no mystery why Jesus was selected: textbook writers and liberal professors know that Christians don’t fight back. If the exercise had involved doing the tango all over a picture of Mohammed, there’s always the risk of beheading.

These Christian-stomping activities have been going on for so long that they’ve become simply asinine. Religion-hating atheists are forever suing to remove a Christmas crèche scene, to erase In God We Trust from our money, to stop a valedictorian from thanking Jesus in a speech, or a football team from praying before a game. Memo to anti-Christians: yawn.  You are incredibly boring and have been insufferably so for decades.       

Two thousand years ago Jesus warned us this would happen; after all it happened to Him: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. “ John 15: 18, 19   

Christ is saying the world despises us because we don’t buy the materialistic values that most everyone else live by. Instead, Christians try to live “out of the world” -- by God’s values as articulated in His Word -- which inevitably puts us in conflict with the I’ll-do-it-my-way culture of Christ’s day, and ours.  Christians mostly disapprove of adultery and sexual immorality while the world revels in it – every single hour on TV and on the big screen too.  Christians believe God created each human uniquely in His own image and so don’t favor abortion and suicide, also putting us at odds with much of the world.

Our moral beliefs somehow “offend” unbelievers. But anyone who reads the news online or in the paper or watches TV or films can see that Christianity’s moral influence on the culture is dwindling.  Everything is going the secularist’s way. Why then do atheists seem to be ramping up their stomping attacks on our faith?

I think they’re just jealous.  Jealous of our Jesus and the peace of mind He gives us with His perfect love.  We’ve got a champion who has promised never to leave us, but to guide us with His Spirit while we live and then take us to be with Him when we die. What do the atheists have but a cruel and random universe, a body and brain that are just a hash of cells, and when they die -- the cold, black nothingness of the grave. No wonder they are much more likely to commit suicide.

What are our lessons from the latest Jesus-stompers?  First, don’t send your college-age kids to FAU. In fact, chose their college very carefully since about 51% of college professors say they’re Democrats, who are much less likely to believe in God than are Republicans according to Pew Research Center surveys.  Only about 14% of college teachers are Republicans. As a result, for decades institutions of higher education have been liberal propaganda factories working tirelessly to turn our children away from traditional Christian values and into secular “progressives.” True to form, FAU’s Professor Poole is in fact the co-chair of his local Democrat Party.   

The other lesson is to turn even more jubilantly to God this Easter, rejoicing in His redemptive grace through His Son, who is also Him. We are very blessed to worship a God who loves us so much He sacrificed Himself so we could be with Him in eternity.  We have everything and the atheists have nothing.  Their silly little God-stomping dance will always be found out and exposed for the pathetic nihilistic exercise it is.

You can also read this piece at Breakpoint: http://www.breakpoint.org/features-columns/articles/entry/12/21841



03/27/2013 14:55

Joy - once again you've found a tender spot and begun to poke at it. : ) You have a way of exposing truth, even through the frustrations that society throws on us like a wet blanket. As we turn our hearts more fully over to the Jesus that spoke everything into existance - may we turn to look at our neighbor with the love that God has filled us with; may we genuinely lavish our care for the lost upon a society that hates us.
Thank you, Joy!

03/27/2013 20:55

You are so so right, Helen --Amen!
Thanks back!

03/27/2013 18:37

Joy, Ryan Rotela proved something I ltried to say to friends during the presidential election; namely, that Mormons believe in Jesus. Some of my evangelical friends did not believe that—even refused to vote for Romney because of that belief—and said they believe in a false Jesus. I hope they see your blog and reports of Ryan's defense of the Name of Jesus. Happy Easter!

03/27/2013 20:58

Caryn, thanks so much -- I was afraid of that when I saw that about 4 MILLION Republicans didn't vote last Nov. Terrible -- please do spread this around to those folks!

Linda H
03/27/2013 18:52

Well said, and this Easter will be unlike any before it for me. Every year, the power of Jesus' message and teaching grows stronger, and the divide between tthat and the way we are living - especially in this once great and reverent country that is now anything but - has never been more stark. Thanks for the great article and for your example of faith!

03/27/2013 21:00

I am so glad you like this Linda, I too am really worried for our great nation....

03/28/2013 10:49

Joy, "There are no coincidences with God"! What a great gift this morning, finding your posting on one of the comments on Michelle Morin's link. Your writing and thoughts are simply written and very touching.

Thank you!

03/30/2013 13:23

Hi Rebecca --
Thanks so much for your encouragement; pls FB friend me so we can keep in touch and forward this blog link to your friends you think would like it ! Happy Easter

04/25/2013 17:00


03/18/2015 04:47

Everyone wants freedom in their life. They want fewer restrictions which hinder them. To remove these obstacles in life, you should be educated because it allows you to access such luxuries.


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    Joy Overbeck says hi !

    I'm a Colorado-based journalist and author who writes commentary on controversial religious and political issues for The Washington Times, Townhall.com, The Daily Caller, American Thinker, Breakpoint.org, MyColoradoView.com and others. I've also been published in national magazines like Redbook, Reader's Digest, Parents, TV Guide, Cosmopolitan, Health and others, as well as local pubs like 5280 Magazine, Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine, LUXE, Vail Valley Magazine, and others. I've also authored three books, two of them humor books published by Pocket Books, Simon&Schuster. I have a couple of horses and ex-husbands, a subtly ironic Tigger cat, and a huge curiosity about God and politics and what the Creation is up to: all the stuff we're not supposed to talk about.

    I'm currently working on a lively book about much-misunderstood Christianity, the fat kid on the playground who's always getting beaten up by those cool atheists in their designer shades.

    You can read some of my award-winning magazine articles at:


    I also blog on politics and issues in the headlines at:



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