You shall not invoke the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
Exodus, Ch. 2:7
Perhaps it was providential that the stomping on Jesus incident at Florida Atlantic University surfaced this week — the holiest week of the year for Christians and Jews.
It was a vivid reminder that Jesus’ passion, persecution and crucifixion 2000 years ago was not just a historical event that we commemorate this week. It continues today.
It is especially shameful, although not surprising, that it goes on in a Florida public university. We say not surprising, knowing, of course, how extraordinarily secular and disdainful our universities have become toward God, our nation’s Judeo-Christian traditions and religion.
Kudos to FAU student Ryan Rotela, who, like Sts. Paul, Timothy, the apostles and so many others before him, stood up to the attacks on Jesus and his faith. Gov. Rick Scott applauded the young man’s courage and called him. “I told him that it took great conviction and bravery to stand up and say what he was asked to do was wrong and went against what he believed in,” Scott said in a news release.
Later, in a letter to State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan, Scott wrote:
“As we enter the week memoralizing the events of Christ’s passion, this incident gave me great concern over the lessons we are teaching our students … The professor’s lesson was offensive, and even intolerant, to Christians and those of all faiths who deserve to be respected as Americans entitled to religious freedom.
“Our public higher educational institutions are designed to shape the minds of Florida’s future leaders. We should provide educational leadership that is respectful of religious freedom of all people. Florida’s parents and students deserve nothing less.”
This incident at FAU is evidence once again that public education — schools subsidized with tax dollars — is a failed system. Look what it fosters and protects.
Sure, even in private schools there are teachers who present bizarre ideas and brainwashing. There is at least one bad apple in most bags. But when consumers have control over how their money is spent to educate their children, and those decisions are not left to the state, the likelihood of “Jesus stompings” diminishes greatly. The marketplace filters out the likelihood that there will indeed be a bad apple in your school bag.
As you prepare to celebrate Christ’s resurrection this Easter Sunday — which is the opening to a new life after death in fulfillment of the Scriptures, or as you have completed your celebration of the Passover — the deliverance of the Israelites out of the Egyptian bonds of slavery and death to a life nurtured with God — let the “Jesus stomping” remind us to remember also Christ’s famous words at the last supper:
Said Thomas the apostle: “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father.”
+ Multiculturalism run amok
The “Jesus stomping” incident at Florida Atlantic University prompted us to explore. What else are they teaching in Intercultural Communications? Take a look (see box on left.)
+ Roundabout we go
It looks like a fait accompli. That Sarasota city commissioners and roundabout ringmaster Rod Warner are going to be living the dream — 10 roundabouts eventually on U.S. 41 from University Parkway through downtown.
We’ll all be dizzy with delight.
That is, if they’re designed better than the roundabouts on Ringling Boulevard.
We’ll admit it’s pleasant not having to stop for lights or stop signs at Ringling and Palm and Ringling and Coconut. But the designs are tight, seemingly best suited for a Smart car or tricycle. If you’re driving those roundabouts in a big, honkin’ pickup or service van, ugh.
One of the ideas of the roundabouts is to help slow traffic to make the streets more pedestrian friendly. And while that makes sense for lightly traveled Ringling Boulevard, it’s difficult to think North Tamiami Trail will ever be converted into a walkable, “intermodal” corridor with lots of foot traffic and bicyclists.
Be realistic. U.S. 41 once was a federal highway and is still a federal-state throughway; it’s not a Ringling Boulevard. Indeed, it’s the primary north-south route for motorists coming from densely populated west-of-the-Trail neighborhoods and businesses to get from Bradenton to Sarasota and vice versa. Converting North Trail into a necklace of oversized Lifesavers with cars and delivery trucks weaving through half circles easily can have some negative unintended consequences.
It’s fun to be dreamy, to think U.S. 41 might one day resemble the “Truman Show” and Seaside. But we all know most motorists get in their cars to reach a destination and reach it in the shortest time possible.
In the end, we hope the commissioners ask: Whose best interests are these roundabouts serving — the citizens or the idealists?
+ Patience is a virtue
Sarasotans should consider it great news that West Palm Beach-based Kolter Group is reviving its long-dormant plan to develop the northwest corner of Tamiami Trail and Gulfstream Avenue.
There will be those who lament that Kolter is focusing on the luxury market. But that’s OK. Its project will attract buyers who demand goods and services and who likely will contribute to Sarasota’s cultural and non-profit organizations. All of that will help stimulate more economic activity.
What’s more, when other investors and developers see success, success begets more success. Perhaps, we hope, that will lead to more moderately price housing for the young professionals. That’s what Sarasota really needs.
TO EARN A DEGREE
IN FAU’s INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS
From the Florida Atlantic University course book:
The IC Sequence helps students become competent, reflective communicators in personal, public and business settings. As the United States becomes increasingly diverse, organizations and companies nationwide are changing the way they operate and do business to address the needs of a multicultural society. Faculty and courses guide students in studying the implications of intercultural communication (communication between persons who have differing cultural, beliefs, values and ways of behaving) from domestic and international perspectives, and provide knowledge, motivation, and skills in preparation for advanced study, for becoming analytical, effective, and efficient communicators in a culturally diverse society …
12 Credits Disciplinary Core
• Intercultural Communication
• Communication, Gender and Language
• Minorities and the Media
• American Multicultural Discourse
• Ethnicity and Communication
6 Credits Critical/Analytical
• Organizational Communication
• Communication and U.S. Cult Studies
• Political Communication
• Nonverbal Comm. in a Diverse Society
• Peace, Conflict & Oral Communication
• Women and Film
• Media, Society, and Technology
• International Communication
• Gender and Television
• Small Group Processess
• Leadership and Communication
• Persuasion and Propaganda
• Rhetoric of Social Protest
3 Credits Performance
• Conflict and Communication
• Communication Internship
• Corporate Communication
• News and News Reporting
• Public and Community Relations
• Interpersonal Communication
• Public Speaking
• Argumentation and Debate
9 Credits Interdisciplinary
• Class, Gender, and Race in America
• Religion in America
• African Am Lit 1895 to Present
• U.S. Latino/a Literature
• American-Indian Literature
• Jewish-American Literature
• Asian-American Literature
• Gender and Culture
• Social Anthropology
• Comparative Gender Politics
• Comp Pol of Ethnic Conflict
• Jazz in American Society
• Race and Ethnic Relations
• Gender and Society
• Gender, Power, and Relationships
• Men, Women, and Work
• Class, Status, and Power
• Human Sexuality and Soc Change
• Sociology of Aging and Dying
• Sex, Myth, Power and Popular Culture
• Women, Violence, and Resistance
• Sex and Gender in American Culture