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March 27, 2013

Governor Rick Scott Demands FAU Explain the Jesus Stomping Incident

Yes, please.

How the media and liberals/leftists (but I repeat myself) think of this: A goonish, benighted conservative politician once again pushes censorship and quashes the free exchange of ideas.

What they never consider: Pracitcally everything.

[T]he double standard is glaring. I have zero doubt that a professor would have immediately understood the problem with the assignment if the name to be written on the paper had been “Mohammed” or “Martin Luther King” instead of Jesus. I also hope that a professor would understand he had crossed a line if he asked an atheist, like me, to bow down to a shrine. The fact is that universities these days rely on double standards to function, as the overwhelming majority of colleges, like FAU, maintain unconstitutional speech codes that typically ban inappropriate, offensive, or hurtful speech. If the plain language of these codes were followed, they would not last a day, since every professor and student would be found guilty of violating them. In order to exist, these kinds of codes must be selectively applied.

But it's even more retarded in thought than that. Consider, there might be some kind of a bracing Kill Your Assumptions/Smash Your Symbols experience were a Christian to stomp on the name of Jesus. (Just roll with the hypothetical for a moment.) In that particular case, the Christian would, arguably at least, be learning (or at least being subject to) some kind of lesson that The Word is Not The Thing and The Symbol Is Not the Signified and also various Question Your Beliefs type kindergarten horsehshit.

But does a Muslim learn that lesson from stomping on the name Jesus? No. How about an atheist? Again, no. How about a gay guy who hates "Bible Thumpers"? No. How about a feminist who hates the Patriarch and considers patriarchal religion to be the most important perpetuator of Male Privilege? Again, obviously not.

These folks don't learn any of these Very Important Lessons from these actions. In fact, they learn the opposite lesson, don't they? While the Christian is arguably learning to "not be so tribal in outlook," or something, the other groups are learning the power of tribalism.

After all, their symbols aren't being smashed. The symbols of their Destested Enemy are being smashed. Their Symbols are being elevated by contrast to the treatment of the Symbol of the Enemy.

This isn't just about double-standards. It is about that, of course, but it isn't just about that. It's also about the bizarre assumptions encoded into the Non-Thinking among our supposed Cognitive Elite.

Because, obviously, if you wanted to teach all students something along these lines, you'd ask each to smash the symbols of something personally/psychologically important to himself or herself. How on earth is a committed Patriarchy-hating church-hating feminist learning about smashing her own symbols by trodding on the symbols of the Other? In that case, she learns no lesson at all, except "You're awesome and people who disagree with you suck."

What lesson is that? We do not need to teach people to have an overinflated opinion of themselves and to denigrate the beliefs of people not like them. People are already kind of pretty good at that already.

Now, if the professor asked the Christian to stomp on Jesus, the Muslim to stomp on Allah or Mohammad, the feminist to stomp on a Giant Vagina costume, and the atheist to stomp on a sheet of paper reading "Trivial acts of intellectual rebellion will make Daddy notice and love me," then I concede the lesson would have had some actual purpose to it. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the lesson -- it's still too much to have a state-funded school demanding public renunciations of faith from its students -- but I would concede there was some sort of lesson lurking around there. Or, if not a lesson, at least an experience. (And experience is the raw stuff of "lessons.")

But of course they did not do that, because they wouldn't do that. They wouldn't even think of doing that. Because they do not want to ask any part of the Leftist/Diversity coalition to give up, or even question, any of their bugaboos and shibboleths. In fact, the entire exercise, as constructed, is simply a coalition-unification exercise which increases In-Group Solidarity by identifying an Out-Group Other and inviting the In-Group to further debase the Out-Group, and moreover takes it one further step by demanding the identified and marginalized member of the Out-Group himself participate in and thus condone his own debasement.

The bizarre assumption at work here seems to be that Only Christians are capable of tribal and/or irrational thought, and thus that only Christians need to be "educated" out of such thinking.

Not only is this ridiculous and bigoted on the face of it, but if only Christians need to be educated -- if everyone else arrives at University without needing any further moral or intellectual instruction in How to Think -- why are anyone except Christians permitted in these courses?

Remember the starting assumption: Only Christians need these sorts of lessons. That being the case then, no other students should gain credits from taking the course.

Of course the professor would object to such a rule because that would mean virtually no one would take his course and he'd be fired. So instead he teaches a course, supposedly offering "lessons," but largely to people he's already decided have no need of his "lessons."

Absurd and vile. It's so goddamned stupid and evil in that lazy, casual, thoughtlessly dumb way in which most evil is committed. No one bothers to think; no one troubles himself with questions; no one ever applies the Shoe on the Other Foot test to make sure he's not just cocooning himself in a world that flatters himself and reassures him that anyone who Looks Different from him is just bad and wrong.

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posted by Ace at 11:36 AM

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