College Is Pitting Me Against The Church-PART 2

Hello All!

 I should change my handle to "disgruntled college student". As you may or may not know I am having some serious issues concerning things I am experiencing as a college student in regards to my faith and Christianity in general. It's now coming to a head and I'm seriously considering just giving up on getting my AA degree. I was reading some of the other threads concerning other faiths and how much we should tolerate whatever those beliefs entail. I agree with what posters have said about charity etc. but now I'm hitting a wall as it were in regards to what my soul can tolerate. I am a very sensitive person when it comes to matters of my faith. I am tough as nails otherwise but if someone messes with my belief in God and the church it feels like they are literally bludgeoning me and the Lord for no good reason but just for the satisfaction of utter hatred. Here's my latest scenario:

 I finally got accepted into an Honors English course after 2 yeas of waiting. It's a lovely course full of good literature and open discussions however, I am starting to get the same feeling I had in my history course-that is that God is under attack and that I should just leave. 

There is this young man who sits right next to me. (I can’t change seats because I am in a wheelchair) and at every opportunity makes it known that he is a proud Atheist who is not going to tolerate any mention of spirituality or anything that even “hints” at having a relation to religion even if it is relevant to the text we are reading or to the discussion that is being led.

 Even when the word "faith" was used as an alternative to "trust" for another human being, he went into a tirade and would not let up until the teacher apologized for the usage of the term in the reading we were doing! This person who wants their beliefs to be respected has absolutely no tolerance for anyone Else's beliefs because Atheism has taught him that he is "enlightened" to the folly of believing in "fairy tales" and "lies" and that those of us who do believe are intellectually stunted. I am starting to become enraged by this person and their attitude. I think people should be free to have whatever opinion they want but should exercise restraint when in a room with others who may not share their opinions.

 I do try to understand that bad experiences with religion in general sometimes leads people to choose to believe in nothing. I can definitely sympathize with just giving up when all you have seen and experienced is so negative and stereotypical. I have been to some churches where what they were preaching would scare you into a stupor-so I can understand when someone who is feeling manipulated by certain christian practitioners would choose to reject God altogether however, I don't understand the seething hatred that Atheist some times exude. I wish I knew what to think about all this. I feel like the enemy is just dogging me no matter what I do in regards to school and at the same time I wonder if God just wants me to leave and devote my energies to something else. I wonder if it is even right for Catholics to attend college at all (except for catholic run universities) I would love to go to a Catholic college but can't consider it until I have my AA because I didn't do well enough in H.S. to get accepted. 

 What would you do? I did write to the professor ,as has now sadly, become my custom, I don't know what if anything she will do to rectify the situation. Other than that I'm stuck. I want a higher education so badly. It is a dream that I have had all my life but I wonder if its just not a dream meant for me. 

Take Care Mary M.

Hi Mary - How sad but true! I had a similar horrific situation at a major university. I won’t go into details, but it involved at least two courses and I felt sick every time I was in those classes!
I did graduate though, but still remember every detail of it all 22 years later!
I would not let the devil keep you from an education. If you need the class,maybe you can hang in there by praying before, during, and after class.

It is a battle for sure, but I sure as heck wouldn’t let the evil one think he could hold me back.

Personally, I’d stay in the class and find a way to mention God at least five times per class period. And, I’d let the teacher know in no uncertain terms that she had better not let this loud mouth bully the class or take over the discussions.

But that’s me. :smiley:

Hello 1Ke

  What's sad is that HE would probably have me thrown out for mentioning God in the class but man that would be nice to just be able to let loose a faith filled discourse on the beauty of God and how limiting life is when there is nothing to believe in but yourself. Sigh! <slap!> What was I thinking! No seriously, it is not acceptable to be a Christian or a believer in God anymore. If I tried to start a college club for Catholics I'd be bounced out of the Student Union so fast I wouldn't know what hit me. I was skimming some of what Atheist have to say about Christian and God based societies and they have essentially waged a "war of truth" against all of us believers and vow to be relentless until everyone comes to the dark side. I try my hardest to keep my eyes on the prize but is it even right to strive for a degree from a place that would allow such warfare to occur? I am in cahoots with this institution by giving them my money and accepting their course credits? Am I getting exactly what I paid for, an education at the expense of my identity as a Christian woman and as a Catholic?

Take Care Mary

Hi Mary - I’m not in college yet, but I feel I should comment. I think you should, first of all, try talking to others and seeing if there are any Christians who you can be friends with. Next, you should keep in mind that the hatred atheists show is nothing more than a cover up for the stupidity, impossibility, and unsoundness of their position. There are some good ones out there, but a lot like to be jerks. Finally, I think you should try reading up on the faith for your own personnal sanity. I can give resources if you like.

BTW, what collage are you going to?

I may be naive but, make your grievance to the presidents office… This person is disruptive to your class and an obstacle to the learning process. He has no right to impose his tirades on this class. His right to disbelive dosen’t give him privelige to his hateful rants. If he feels put upon then he can take his complaint to the same authorities. See if there have been any other complaints against him. This kind of person usually has other situations where this kind of behavior was demonstrated. Stand up for your rights.:thumbsup:

I wish I could recall the location, but scripture says to pray for those who persecute you. My friend and I used to have a joke together about people who would get on our nerves. We would say, “I’ll show him, I am going to start praying for him!”

“There is this young man who sits right next to me. (I can’t change seats because I am in a wheelchair) and at every opportunity makes it known that he is a proud Atheist who is not going to tolerate any mention of spirituality or anything that even “hints” at having a relation to religion even if it is relevant to the text we are reading or to the discussion that is being led.”

Tell him to f - off.

P.S. Nobody throws a person in a wheelchair out of class. That’s simply bad etiquette and politically incorrect.

Don’t give up. :highprayer:

“If I tried to start a college club for Catholics I’d be bounced out of the Student Union so fast I wouldn’t know what hit me.”

That is unconstitutional.

If your college did that, contact the Catholic League and explain the situation to Bill Donahue.

Are you certain that your college doesn’t have a Newman Center:

its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/OtherNC.html

I would have such a fantastic time with him!

What campus are you on?

Stay! Enjoy! Point out his hate every chance you get!

Remind him that Hitler and Stalin would be proud of him!

Mention how much everything reminds you of God and faith!

Remind him how all the intellectuals in the world couldn’t change anything worthwhile.

Oh his pride and arrogance remind me so much of myself in my atheism when I was an intelligent fool…

Do what I did when got my undergrad, master’s, and hopefully soon doctorate: keep your mouth shut, your eyes and ears open, help a few folks along the way, get the degree(s), and get out of there. I look at the indoctrination in college as kind of an insider blueprint for the evil that exists in our society.

As they try to brainwash you, you can critically figure out their views and see just how twisted they are. When you get out of that controlled environment, you might be able to use some of that knowledge to help a few lost souls. Just keep the discipline and remember that the degrees are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. God is the end, and the so called “learned” will have a lot to answer for when they die.

Right on . . .Amen!!!

[quote=Barbkw]Are you certain that your college doesn’t have a Newman Center:
[/quote]

Hello Barb and Pie

 Unfortunately I got to a community college, hence the need for an AA before I can transfer to a University. Believe me if I had the grades from high school to get into a university I would be there with bells on. As it is I'm 41 years old so I waited long enough to try to start earning my first degree as it is. 

 I got to American River College in Sacramento (ah the irony) California! They are a very liberal college but there is only one cc system here so it's all liberal. I'm chomping at the bit to finish and move on to Sacramento State which has a Newman Center. I go there a lot for mass and it makes my heart ache, all these bright talented boys and girls able to share their faith openly sigh! As for me I won't be out of ARC until next year at the soonest. I'm getting my degree in psychology so that takes some time. 

 Thanks for your support and encouragement. It seems the deeper I delve into my passion for my faith the more the devil tries to terrorize me. It's hard to keep my head up sometimes. 

Take Care Mary M.

Been there, got the t-shirts.
First, English includes some of the most liberal people you’ll ever come across. I love English and even some Literature. But not all Literature are created equal (bad English pun).

“Your ‘friend’”, is in not position to refuse to hear anything spiritual if he is to claim being educated. Most of literature is rooted in spirituality and God. Just tell him, “I’m certain you evolved from apes, I can tell”. Laugh and learn to trip people up in a fun or foolish way. It’s the best way to fight off idiots like this. If they get angry they look rediculous. If they smile or laugh they see the humor. At some point just proclaim that you believe in God and dare anyone to challenge you on it - just to get to say God’s name over and over again. Charity begins with truth.

Don’t put up with socially unacceptable behavior, especially in a course you’re paying to attend and have earned the right to be present. Academic departments are, whether they like it or not, libel for students behavior with students (sexual harassment does apply) if they allow it to continue without correction. In my graduate school of education, any student that treats another student with disrespect to a point can and will be “asked” to leave and never come back. I’m 49, in case you want to know.

Use your disability to persuade this guy it’s in his best interest to shut up for this particular class AND move away from you because you can’t move. Let him know that you are bringing this up with the instructor and if the instructor does not comply, take it to the chair and then the dean and then the student affairs office. From there let them know that if you are not treated with proper respect you’ll take it to the most powerful judicial branch of government - the MEDIA. Trust me, no college wants this kind of negative treatment. Just the fact that you’re in a wheelchair will scare them to death.

Do NOT be afraid to tell him to move or at least tell the instructor to make him move or you’ll file a formal complaint with the dean, just to begin. Then take it to the media. Trust me, public opinion on this would provide a hay day for the school and the student offending you on a regular basis. You’re there to learn, not to be attacked by an ape. Students have a right to be treated with respect. So, go to the instructor and let her/him know exactly your intended course-of-action. And if he/she does not take the appropriate actions, since you are limited to your disability in moving to a different spot, make it clear you will not shut up about it until the a civilized action taken by them. And if nothing else is done, learn to stand up for your rights. If you don’t no one else will. it took me nearly 20 years to get my wife to stand up for her rights. You can do this.

What I would do is immediately eliminate the possibility of dropping out of school entirely. There’s still the possibility of transferring if you have intractable issues with the entire school. It’s kind of an awkward time to do that right at the beginning of a semester, but something to keep in mind. Or if it’s just the one course, maybe drop it or move to a different…what’s the word when it’s the same course but at a different time and with a different group of people and/or prof? Whatever you call it, if possible, do that. But I assume that’s not possible; otherwise, you would have done it by now.

Those are the “run and hide” options that I would be reasonably accepting of if it was me. But if I was going to stick it out, I’d find help. Preferably in the form of legal help, just not formal and expensive legal help. I’d ask around with people in various leadership positions within Christian organizations that operate within secular and especially public school kinds of environments. I know who I’d go to, but none of them are Catholic. You probably have your own kinds of people in mind. I’d find out what I can from them, and between the talks that I have with at least a half-dozen different people, I think I’d be able to get reasonably good coaching on how to handle myself and a few leads on where else I can go.

More specifically, the “where else” that I’d ask about would be local attorneys that are also Christians (in your case, preferably Catholic) and willing to put some pro bono time and effort into your cause as long as the right person is bringing it to their attention. If you ask around with the right people, you should be able to track down at least a couple of possible leads that are within two degrees of separation from you. Then you can talk to them about general free speech issues in class, the steps you’d have to take to guarantee success in starting a college club for Catholics (which you can guarantee, btw, even in the most hostile environment), the things you can/should do in response to how a professor handles the things you bring up…and anything else you can think of, really. If you get the chance to do this, make sure you really get something out of it.

You won’t have to go as far as actually suing anyone or paying legal fees. Just about anywhere you go in America, you’ll be able to find a Christian attorney or two that strongly sympathizes with what you’re going through and is genuinely willing to help if you can track them down. That can help you with the day-to-day challenges of working within the legal limits while making sure no one oversteps their own bounds. At some point, maybe you can find a reason to carry around an obviously legal-looking manila folder with letterhead that says things like “attorney at law” somewhere on it- pairing that with a Bible tends to be quite effective as well. And as far as your professors go, the only thing they have to know is that you’ve spoken with an attorney and that said attorney cares about these issues about as much as you do. That’s all you have to do; you should be able to avoid paying legal fees to anyone. Once the word gets around to all the profs, they won’t necessarily love you, but they will fear you a little. And not in a completely bad way, either.

If you want to, you can create some opportunities to sit down and hash things out. But before you do that, it really helps to figure out exactly what you are entitled to do and how you should go about doing it. Being able to show that you know what you’re doing is important. But in reality, more than half the battle is won if the opposing side knows that you’ve spoken with an attorney, this is going to happen because you’ve already made sure you’re within your rights, fighting you means losing, and you know all that very well. Without that, you need to be rather forceful and there’s very little room for error. With it, however, things get quite a bit easier for you.

Don’t assume everyone in higher Ed is anti-faith or anti-Catholic. I work in a community college and I’d say 90% of the faculty and staff are people of faith.

Don’t go straight to legal. Look first at the campus code of student conduct and the procedures for filing a grievance. This can be against the other student and/or the instructor if they refuse to support students’ rights to an education free of harassment and intimidation.

Bring a recording device of some type–tape, digital, or on your phone. Record the harassing tirade so you have proof and it’s not your word against his.

Fair warning: there are a lot of nonbelievers in the field of psychology, so steel your nerves. :thumbsup:

This would be grounds for a discrimination lawsuit.

Many college campuses have student clubs for various religions denominations. I’m not sure why yours would be any different.

Exactly.

When that guy starts one’s of his tirades… just say that you feel he is being intolerant and discriminating against you and other people of other world-views.
Just use the terminology of the post-modern *new ethics * which he is probably already using, to show that he is undemocratic to the core.

And forgive me if I am being in any way inappropriate: but you being a Christian and a disabled woman in a wheel chair is probably a provocation in the face of his thought-system…
You are a Testimony. With the Holy Spirit in you, you are the winner before the battle has begun. The other guy… have pity on him… answer him with calm. His stance is one of desperation.
Don’t ever be afraid to speak up, and do so clearly and loudly and dont loose your peace.

I went to a very good university to get a degree in one of the - statistically - most atheistic disciplines in the world of academia. I have heard each and every attack on Christianity, not from co-students but from academic texts and from professors who, while ridiculing religion, were standing there in all their authority…
Thank God He had given me the gift of faith a short time before I started at the University, otherwise I would have been lost.

Don’t ever be afraid of people or their very small oppinions.
Don’t let the devil get you to give up your education.

Exactly!

A campus would not prevent you from starting an club or organization. This is in your fear caused by creative thinking. Look up cognitive therapy. It’s a good way to retrain your mind not to read into things and to avoid faulty thinking. You have rights as a student, thanks to our generation of free thinking non-traditional students tacked onto civil rights laws.

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