Prof tells student that scripture’s inappropriate in academic papers

Prof tells student that scripture’s inappropriate in academic papers January 6, 2020

A CHRISTIAN student supportive of LGBT rights was told by a professor at New Jersey’s Rutgers University-New Brunswick that he should avoid quoting Bible verses in academic papers because of church/state and their potential to offend non-Christians.

Image via Facebook

In a Facebook post dated January 3, Peter Cordi, above, wrote:

Hey guys long story short I had to write an autobiographical essay about oppression for my Gender Race and Sexuality class. I wrote about a Christian mother who would disown her son if she found out he was gay because she hates homosexuals.

I said that as a Christian she should love homosexuals because JESUS loves homosexuals – Jesus loves everybody.

I quoted John 3:16, For God so loved the WORLD that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This did not go over well with my professor at ALL.

He then exhorted friends and followers to read a lengthy report about the  incident in Campus Reform, which exists to expose “the liberal bias and abuse against conservatives on America’s colleges and universities.”

In his paper, Cordi referenced a personal friend of his who “struggles” with his  homosexual identity, especially given the views of the individual’s mother.

Cordi wrote about how his friend’s mother cites her Christain [sic] religion and beliefs to justify her opinion of people who identify as gay.

The report said that Cordi is:

A Christain [sic] who disagrees with his friends’ mother’s views toward members of the LGBT community.

In grading Cordi’s paper, Professor Kathe Sandler told the student that his use of a quote from the Bible was inappropriate. She wrote on the paper:

Avoid quoting scripture in academic papers unless you are commenting on scripture.

Cordi told Campus Reform that he was taken by surprise at receiving a B+ grade on the assignment since the criticism regarding the Bible quote was one of only two critical comments left on his paper.

He then decided to challenge Sandler via email about the matter, and she responded by saying she’d be happy to discuss it with him in further detail in person.

In an exclusive recording of this conversation, Sandler can be heard elaborating on her written remarks by reminding Cordi of “separation of church and state” and that the Bible “may not be for everyone.” When Cordi asked if the professor found the use of scripture offensive she replied by saying:

I think for instance this wouldn’t work for a Muslim or Jewish person.

Cordi  said:

My right to free speech and religion have certainly been violated. Separation of church and state is supposed to protect the church from the state, and if I want to quote the Bible and say that Jesus loves everybody, then it is my right to do so whether you’re a Christian or not.

The publication quoted student David Abayev as saying:

Students at any institution should be encouraged to research and utilize any sources that they deem relevant to the topic at hand. Many universities within the United States have accepted a dangerous and narrow-minded rhetoric, such as prohibiting Bible scripture, which often leads to a biased and one-sided culture.

He position was supported by atheist student Lawrence Chiang, who said:

A person should be able to quote whatever he pleases, either for or against his argument. [The] Bible would be an excellent source of quotes as many people are well versed with the scripture, and feel deeply connected to the words of the Bible.

It is common for religious people to quote religious literature. As an atheist, I believe that religious views can be scrutinized, but never be silenced.

Abayev shared a similar sentiment to Chiang’s on not being offended by the use of Bible scripture:

As a non-Christian, I am in no way offended by Cordi’s reference of the Bible. It is important to understand and be accepting of different cultures and beliefs, even if they don’t align with your own. Instead of criticizing their students, professors should embrace the use of historical and religious text, as it embodies a large part of our world’s history.

Chiang also believes it is within anyone’s right to freedom of expression when referencing the Bible.

The Bible is an important piece of literature for Christians. For non-Christian writers, they can use the Bible as a means to present their ideas, and effectively deliver their messages to Christians. Even using the Bible as a source to back up derogatory remarks such as homophobia should be allowed. The professors can comment on the homophobic remarks, but the remarks should not be silenced.

In his conversation with his professor, Cordi explained why he believed that his use of the Bible was entirely appropriate and necessary since he would not expect his readers to simply take his word on how Jesus would not be supportive of the hateful mother in his story. He believed that using a direct line from the Bible would make an objective point about the tenets of Christianity.

However, Sandler insisted it was not necessary, asking:

Do you need the scriptures? Do you really need the scripture? I think you could work without the scripture, but that’s my personal opinion.

Cordi, who is a correspondent for Campus Reform, believes that some good has come out of the situation.

I’m just glad that despite living in a secular bubble, some people will perhaps hear the gospel for the first time as a result of this. Nobody should be afraid to voice their religious or political beliefs in America – if you’re afraid to offend people then you’re afraid of individual thought.

The publication insists:

College campuses are no longer bastions of higher learning. Leftist professors indoctrinate students with their agendas. They even silence conservative students with their attempts to suppress free speech.

Campus Reform depends on the financial support of concerned Americans like you to report on leftist indoctrination on college campuses and uncover the blatant misconduct of university administrators, faculty, and students.

One commenter on the piece wrote:

Rutgers is a communist school and has been for longer then most of us have been alive. The professor’s attitude probably comes from her belief that religion is the opiate of the people. I think communism is the opiate of the people.

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  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I’m just glad that despite living in a secular bubble, some people will perhaps hear the gospel for the first time as a result of this.

    Yep, sounds like the prof had the kid pegged. His goal was not to provide a persuasive paper, it was to proselytize.

  • RainbowPhoenix

    I’m inclined to side with the student on this one. He was quoting the bible specifically to repudiate someone else’s bible-based excuses for their bigotry. That sounds like a perfectly in-context use. Even more-so since the essay was autobiographical; a person’s religion does inform their experiences.

  • Well, the prof is right. He needs to keep his religion out of his work, unless said work is specifically on his religion.

  • Jim Jones

    He reached to religion when he didn’t need to.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Given the student’s side of the story, it sounds defensible. However, FERPA laws will prevent us from hearing the professor’s side of the story. I suspect there is more to this than what the student is saying. Given the comment I quoted below about spreading the gospel to the secularists, I wonder if it was more in the way he said it, too, which was ineffective.

  • enlyghten

    “My right to free speech and religion have certainly been violated. Separation of church and state is supposed to protect the church from the state, and if I want to quote the Bible and say that Jesus loves everybody, then it is my right to do so whether you’re a Christian or not.”

    First of all, his right to free speech hasn’t been violated. Nobody has forbidden him from speaking. He wasn’t even failed. B+ isn’t exactly a poor grade. Part of the college experience is to learn more subtle social mores, like maybe you don’t need to broadcast your religion or politics to everyone with ears. Maybe stay on topic, which seems to be what the professor was saying.

    Second, separation of church and state is for the protection of the church, the state, and the non-religious, but of course, christian persecution and all that means the church is the only important piece of this particular puzzle.. /s/

    As I’m sure has been said a quintillion times by now, you can proselytize all you want, but don’t whinge if people don’t care to listen quietly. Clearly the professor didn’t think it was necessary. You rarely see schools err on the side of non-religion. If anything, they tend to err on the side of religion. There isn’t enough information to form a steel clad opinion, but I’m not all that sympathetic in this case.

    *edited for spelling

  • digital bookworm

    Yeah, something tells me that every paper this guy writes contains Buybull passages.

  • Amused To Death

    It always sounds defensible when they tell it. That’s how we always get suckered by it.

  • anxionnat

    Hearing the gospel for the first time??? As if we don’t all live in a society permeated with this particular religion…all the bleeping time.

  • (((J_Enigma32)))

    That’s not why you avoid quoting scripture in Academic papers. You avoid quoting it because it generally doesn’t support the tone of the paper, but it really, really depends on the nature of the assignment. Like, if you’re writing a paper on the influence of the Bible in the Western Canon, I would expect a bunch of quotes. A paper on Climate Change? Only one, maybe, and that would be stylistic and not count towards any number of citations that are required in a particular paper.

    Honestly, it sounds to me like the Bible quote was a poor fit for the assignment, but without actually seeing the assignment, I can’t say. What I can say is that the prof is wrong – a shocker, I know – and quoting the Bible doesn’t somehow violate “church and state”, which is about the stupidest excuse I can think of. It might violate the conditions of the assignment, but without seeing the assignment, I can’t know for sure.

    Frankly, there just isn’t enough information to come down one way or another here, but I’ll grant the kid sounds . . . naive, yes, we’ll go with naive . . . when he says ” some people will perhaps hear the gospel for the first time as a result of this.” I guarantee you that just about everyone has heard the gospel.

    They even silence conservative students with their attempts to suppress free speech.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah; one overzealous professor does not a campus make. Besides, I dare you to go to a Trump rally and announce you support Sanders or call Trump out on his lies. I friggin’ dare you. We’ll see who suppresses speech then.

  • Michael Neville

    Rutgers is a communist school

    Communist and Communism have very specific meanings. Those meanings do not include, “I disagree with a faculty member.”

  • Theory_of_I

    No harm, no foul, if the author had simply cited the quoted scripture as “opinion, excerpted from a work of fiction”.

  • Yes. It is like quoting Hamlet.

  • barriejohn

    But people haven’t heard “The True Gospel”™! All Christian fundamentalists are convinced that if only the REAL gospel were presented to people, the scales would fall from their eyes and they would immediately “accept Jesus”. Nothing shakes their faith in this belief.

  • barriejohn

    I’m suspicious, too, even though his argument seems quite plausible. As an ex-evangelical, I know that they believe that the actual words of scripture have some sort of innate “power” to convict people of sin and bring about their conversion, and that they should use these words wherever possible. It’s almost like a belief in some sort of magic ritual, and quite primitive. Which translation of the Bible you use seems immaterial, except to diehard KJV supporters!

    Favourite verse: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12 KJV)

  • Theory_of_I

    Careful — The sound you hear is from an angrily shaken spear

  • LeekSoup

    He could have made a reference to how “there are Bible verses that support the position that Jesus approves of all people regardless of their sexuality” with a footnote to the Bible verses in question, in the approved annotation format. That would be how to build a case on a paper. The need for a direct quote is very rare in anew academic paper where arguments are supposed to be summarised.

    The church/state thing and the causing offence thing are red herrings. I’m not even sure why the professor brought them up. Without seeing the full transcript of the conversation it’s hard to know why the professor mentioned them. It’s an odd justification because there are plenty of reasons to quote or reference the Bible if discussing the impact of religion on an individual or society in an essay.

  • barriejohn

    Ps And another thing, also alluded to by another commenter: What does John 3:16 have to do with LGBT rights? Isn’t it rather strange that the verse he chose to illustrate his point just happened to be evangelical Christians’ favourite Bible verse – The Gospel in a Nutshell? I bet he quotes this verse at every available opportunity – though he doesn’t seem to have it painted on his face yet!

    You MUST watch the following from 4:30 if you haven’t seen it before (why didn’t it come at 3:16?):

  • Anri

    Being critical of citing the bible in an academic paper is reasonable as an example of not wanting to presume the same holy book is automatically considered a source of morality by everyone.
    Being critical of using it as a source because it might offend people isn’t.

    Attempting to counter a religious argument for oppression by quoting that religious source is entirely reasonable.
    Claiming your rights to free speech have been violated because a professor critiques your academic work is not.

    I have trouble imagining a situation in which US college students and faculty have been unexposed to biblical scripture.

    I have much less trouble imagining a situation in which a relatively young Christian has been unexposed to people not automatically accepting the bible as an authoritative moral source.

  • Raging Bee

    Avoid quoting scripture in academic papers unless you are commenting on scripture.

    Well, yeah, he WAS commenting on what scripture said, and how it was misunderstood and misused by bigots. And the teacher, I suspect, was one such bigot, trying to punish a student for offending her own delicate sensibilities, while pretending to care about those of others.

    Oh well, at least the kid got a B+, which isn’t much of a punishment.

  • Raging Bee

    The assignment was to write an “autobiographical essay,” so the rigor you suggest wasn’t really necessary.

  • Broga

    He writes as if his biblical quotes were facts. “Jesus loves everybody.” Whom does he mean by Jesus? How does he know Jesus loves everybody?

    I heard Thought for the Day this morning for the first time for months. A woman bishop was doing the same thing and talking about the Magi arriving at the Jesus crib and what a great example that was of something or other. Why should this statement of “fact” as she sees it be accepted without challenge? This is the programme that bans any secularist opinion regardless of the status and intellectual and academic achievements of the secular speaker. And yet this claptrap is parroted and given airtime as if the audience were Christians and representative of a Christian country.

  • A fundilooniKKKal would look at your comment and say

    “But, but…(looks like he’s thinking critically for a moment and says),

    “You’re making it sound like he litterly meant that. Everbuddy knowz that Wholly Babble is the inerrant, eternal and immutable Word-O-GOD* except for them inconvenient parts****”.”.

    * That’s the one and ONLY True GOD**!!

    ** HE’S actually at least the third or fourth (out of the numerous thousands) version.

    **** I had a thought about something but forgot what it was after I started. I left that space intentionally blank to honor that thought that died abornin’.

    Oh, yeah, I nearly forgot! The inconvenient parts are those bits that ARE the important parts but it’s also important we only think them and don’t say them out loud–for now.

  • Tommy Kneebow is still on the roster of the Syracuse AAA baseball team. I don’t know that he’s done a “Thank you JEEZUZ, genuflection” in that sport’s palace.

  • Raging Bee

    Another possibility to consider: this teacher dinged a liberal Christian student on “church-state-separation” grounds for the purpose of manipulating liberals into opposing church-state separation. I know that sounds paranoid, but right-wing Christians — and their allies, libertarians — are well-known for being manipulative.

  • I took the opposite view. Breitbart is on this, now.

  • I wanna see the “XXXmas Story”–and, yes, there HAS to be one in someone’s pornoarchive.

  • WrathPanda

    >_> <_< *Coughs* Give me a couple of hours and I'll get back to you…

  • Tawreos

    I’m just glad that despite living in a secular bubble, some people will perhaps hear the gospel for the first time as a result of this.

    .And this is the point of the whole mess. All they wanted was to get people talking so they could get the word of god out to people in a christian nation that hadn’t heard the word of god even though they insist on forcing it everywhere they can.

  • ThatGuy

    For real.
    It is nearly impossible for anyone to live in the USA without being exposed to scripture and religion on a near-daily basis. By the time most of us are college-age we’ve likely been to at least one church, heard a dozen or so bible stories, and are familiar with the basic plot points of both Jesus birth and his death.

  • ThatGuy

    Yeah, I feel like the instructor went a bit too far.
    It seems the quote helps to define/illustrate the student’s viewpoint. It’s not necessary, but it’s also not offensive or problematic (in my opinion). It sounds an awful lot like this wasn’t a clinical research paper, but the kind where a student merely has to support their ideas. If this is about a Christian family addressing homosexuality, well then I’d expect a bible verse or two to be in there somewhere.

  • piyaren

    I am in basically complete agreement, except possibly for:

    Attempting to counter a religious argument for oppression by quoting that religious source is entirely reasonable.

    Clearly this depends on multiple factors, including whether the point of the academic paper is the religious argument (which it may or may not be), as well as the extent to which the “author” of the original argument, the author of the academic paper, and the intended readership of the current academic paper can be assumed to share both the assumption of authority of the scripture and the degrees of importance of the “conflicting” scriptural points. I am sure I failed to word that clearly enough, but, for example, a religious argument for either tolerance or intolerance is not going to be convincing to such as me based on scripture. You (generic “you”) are more than welcome to form opinions based on scripture, but citing that scripture in an academic paper is not going to have any evidentiary value to me (or to Anri). It won’t necessarily offend me, but it certainly won’t move the needle toward convincing me.
    Furthermore, as I hope we all know, something like John 3:16 is certainly not going to be a “clobber verse” even in an argument between a “liberal” xtian and a fundagelical. They may both grant authority to scripture, but are almost certain to assign different interpretations and values to different citations. In such an argument, no single verse is likely to be remotely convincing. I suspect that even a well-documented and logically impeccable (if such is possible) argument is unlikely to have any significant effect on someone from a different religious (xtian) tradition, but at least it would be somewhat more appropriate in an academic paper (assuming that it is compatible with the assignment).
    Anyway that is my attempted explanation for my possible reservation in considering the quotation to be “entirely reasonable.”

  • I hope that you cleared any, “reindeer games” with PETA. I’ve heard that some of the does like to go out while Santa and the guys are doin’ the toy thing. They usually hit a couple of bars and blow a few bucks.

  • Jim Ruwaldt

    I think the main problem with that quote is it’s a pretty weak defense of gay rights. Pretty much every gay-bashing church says words to that effect, claiming to love and respect gays. Then their real beliefs come out, basically “hate the sin, love the sinner”.

  • Chad Boswell

    What is it that right-wingers love to say? Oh yeah, “Don’t like it, leave it.”

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Prof tells student that scripture’s inappropriate in academic papers”

    It is inappropriate unless the paper is on ancient literature or on comparative religious studies.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Oh come all ye faithful….

  • Judy Thompson

    The idea is to write a particular paper on a particular subject. Not drag your belief system into it and then turn on the professor for pointing that out. This is not a holy roller college, and no matter how he ‘defended’ the homosexuality of that person in the paper, he did it in such a way as to make religion the issue, not the person.

    It is also one thing to state, as part of an illustrative sentence, that, i.e., “In the Bible, it says…” which is totally different than the phrasing he used, which is pure proselytizing.

    And his response was pure Christian-as-offended-bunny.

  • Sharon Dee

    Never mind what all the “I know’d it, the libruls are agin us!” nutjobs are saying.

    This conservative Christian student is in the right and his professor is in the wrong.

    And just think, the guy’s paper would likely never have been written had these same nutjobs been more tolerant of LGBTQs.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    The prof was a little blind here.

    If one is trying to convince fundagelicals, using the fundagelicals own ‘sacred’ texts is a good way to fish-slap them into not reflexively rejecting what they don’t want to listen to.

    That said, the ‘bible’ is neither an authoritative NOR a reliable source.

  • Shaun G. Lynch

    So many problems to unpack…

    Let’s start with the most basic: we professors HATE IT when entitled, precocious little geniuses show up to complain about their grades, clutching at every straw they can find to make the case that they should have received an A-level mark. The fact that the student in this article is quoted as complaining that he ONLY got a B+ in spite of the professor having made only a couple of negative notations strongly suggests to me that he belongs in this category. Hey kid, your professor has graded HUNDREDS if not thousands of papers like this one. She KNOWS what a given paper is worth, and if she gave you a B+ it means that she judged it to be average or maybe a little above average… but not worthy of the A-range. Be an adult, accept your B+, and get over it.

    The professor may have muddied the waters, however, by making a blanket statement to the effect that it’s inappropriate to cite the Bible in academic papers. In fact, it’s entirely appropriate to do so if the context demands it. In this case, I don’t think it was contextually inappropriate; the student was commenting on a religious response to LGBTQ+ diversity, and the Bible is certainly a source that Christians would identify both in favour of and in opposition to a spirit of openness towards LGBTQ+ people. If this kid was a truly deserving of an A-level grade, he might even have pointed out that the Bible can be used to support a multiplicity of contradictory viewpoints, bringing into question the book’s validity and reliability as a source of moral guidance.

    Instead, he tosses out John 3:16, a catch-all verse that born-again evangelicals regularly recite like a mantra. It contributes absolutely nothing to the student’s argument that Jesus called for wide-ranging tolerance, not narrow-minded condemnation. There are literally dozens of better biblical examples he could have cited that would have made his specific case about what Christians claim to believe.

    … which brings me to my final point in support of the professor in this case. While a statement about what Christians could or should believe on the basis of messages to be found in the New Testament would be both relevant and appropriate to the student’s argument, that doesn’t appear to be the point he was making. It appears from the story as reported that he was making a definitive statement about what Jesus actually believes (present tense), rather than making a commentary on what Christians claim Jesus believed. The distinction here is critically important, especially given the academic context.

    Bottom line, from what I can discern, the professor was likely being generous in giving this kid’s work a B+. The problem with his biblical reference is not that quoting the Bible is inappropriate, but that he was displaying lazy and undisciplined scholarship in doing so. Instead of citing biblical content that might have contributed to his case, he fell back on an overused and contextually meaningless verse.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Yes and no. Persuading fundies, it helps to be able to bop them with the bible.

  • Carl Wiggins

    Christians feel if they aren’t being persecuted they aren’t doing it right.

  • Connie Beane

    Maybe he means “hearing the gospel from me for the first time”? Like, none of the other inoculations took, but mine will finally be the effective one.

    Some sects actually preach this approach, justifying preaching to random strangers based on the water-dropping-on-stone theory. They consider many people “unsaved,” and tell their people that even if it appears that your particular “drop” doesn’t appear to have been effective, over time the Message is guaranteed to bear fruit, you just have to believe and stay faithful. In other words, it’s a ploy to keep them out there pitching even when it’s obvious that it’s not really working.

  • Anri

    I meant reasonable from the point of view that one is as valid as the other. Considering one valid would tend to give weight to the other.

    It also doses not mandate that the argument from a religious authority is a good one, even from a religious standpoint. One can make a bad argument from a religious text both parties accept.

  • Connie Beane

    I think you’re basically correct. The paper was billed as an autobiographical essay, so inserting his personal religious viewpoint appears to be within the parameters of the assignment. But the prof had a point, too, because–looking at the illustration from the Campus Reform article–the student presented his own opinion, “…let me tell you this, Jesus loves gays….,” as settled fact rather than commenting that the scriptures assert that Jesus loves everybody (presumably including gays). Unfortunately, she failed to articulate this and essentially displayed “lazy and undisciplined scholarship” by falling back on a irrelevancy involving the separation of church and state.

  • persephone

    The paper was about the way a Christian mother was behaving towards her son. I would expect that Bible verses would appear. That Cordi used one verse to support his belief system seems fine to me. I think the professor went overboard.

  • I think a lot of them are still waiting for the second coming.

  • Rennyrij

    Using illustrative words and tales from the Christian bible should not affect a term paper, to my thinking. If they are being used to illustrate a point, rather than to proselytize, they should not be deemed “offensive”. The KJV has been around since 1611, and the words and stories have become part of our speech patterns over the last 400 years, whether we like it or not. And I believe I’ve read that Atheists are commonly more familiar with the bible than are practicing Christians! Many of us were (or tried to be) Christians, before coming to terms with our non-belief. So it’s not like the terminology used by this student will be misunderstood.

    Separation of Church and State issues must be very confusing to those in a position like this professor. He’s running scared. He needs to take the time to step back and take in the bigger picture.

    As to Rutgers, I only know that Prof. Dan Ogilvie’s on-line course on “Soul Beliefs” was very thought-provoking. I really enjoyed it!

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Later in the article, the student *admits* to proselytizing…

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    And by ‘persecuted’, they mean ‘slapped down for being rude and violating boundaries’.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    At least, he admits that was his goal.

  • barriejohn

    There has to be a “sacrifice”. Another ancient and primitive idea. According to the Bible, God loves the smell of the smoke from the altars. (How can he smell it if he’s a “spiritual” being?)

    “Then the priest shall take from the grain offering a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar. It is an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.” (Lev. 2:9)

  • Sophotroph

    Wow. What a snowflake, to imagine his rights were violated because “Jesus” wasn’t the correct answer.

    He’s lucky he got a B+. He could have been in chemistry class. His religion isn’t relevant there, either.

  • Sophotroph

    If the kid’s analysis had been more complex than “This one bible quote can be vaguely waved at any Christian behavior I find negative”, you might have had a point.

    The professor could have explained the issues a bit better, certainly, but a bible quote is no way to support anything. Christians throw conflicting quotes at each other all day long. You can’t pick just one and say “This guy is Christianing wrong.”

    A B+ is pretty generous for that level of naivete.

  • David Cromie

    The so-called ‘bible’ is not an authority on anything in the real world (no matter that christers think otherwise). That is why metaphysics is a subject in its own right, and belongs in ‘schools’ of theology, divinity, etc..

  • David Cromie

    Since there is no evidence, whether written or archaeological, that any man-god named JC ever existed, he might as well have claimed that his pet unicorn loves everyone.

  • Pauli Staalesen d.y.

    I think the professor’s arguments were poor… or at least insufficient

    The student should NOT have as a premise that the bible is AN AUTHORITY in an academic setting!
    In other words: quoting it as a purveyor of truth for both the reader and the Christian mom he was describing… would be wrong!

    The student COULD have as a premise that if this mom holds the bible as an authority, then why not listen to something the bible say’s!

    The student didn’t seem to make that distinction clear and needed the professors help in clarifying that… (but seemed to get a “klutzy” response…

  • Pauli Staalesen d.y.

    The “kid” needed to be corrected, just not the way it was done…

  • Pauli Staalesen d.y.

    You are right that autobiographical essay’s follow somewhat different rules, but the student should be encouraged to have the intellectual honesty of distinguishing between VIEWS and FACTS …

    He could say: “as a believer I really appreciate the sentiment from Jesus in John 3:16 …
    He could NOT say: the bible say’s! then he would just be “preaching” and he needs to learn the difference if he is going to reach an academic standard of thought!

  • David Cromie

    “Hate the sin, love the sinner” is, of course, meaningless in the real world.

    In reality, christers do not show much love for anyone, other than their own clique of fellow believers. By their actions shall you know them.

  • Raging Bee

    Well, yeah, since this was an autobiographical essay, it would have been appropriate to include such a reference, if such a belief really did matter in his life and actions.

    Everyone else would have laughed his a$$ back home if he had done so, or course, but that’s another matter…


    If I tried to pull that kind of stunt in a math, engineering, science, or in a biology class, I would not only catch Hades from my teachers but also from my parents even though they were good Christians.

  • ralphmeyer

    The kid should have left out the Booble passage. That isn’t research, it’s just blathering religion. Not college level stuff at all.

  • 4OurMissBrooks

    Reading skills that ARE the problem here?

  • Phil Rimmer

    Avoid quoting scripture in academic papers unless you are commenting on scripture.