Getting an "F" for Using the "G" Word
During this past spring semester, Bethany Hauf, a student at Victor Valley Community College in Victorville, California, received an "F" for her English 101 term paper titled "In God We Trust." Was it because of bad grammar? Did she misspell practically every other word? Did she turn it in past the due date? No, it was none of the above. She earned an "F" because . . . she dared to use the word "God" 41 times in a 10-page report on the topic "Religion and Its Place Within the Government," a topic, by the way, that was preapproved by her instructor, Michael Shefchik. However, to be fair, Shefchik did tell Hauf up front that she could write this particular paper under one condition: She could not use the word "God." But trying to write a paper about religion without mentioning God would be like trying to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without using bread. You just can't do it.
An article that appeared in Tuesday's Daily Press in Victorville reported:
"[Shefchik] said it would offend others in class," Hauf, a 34-year-old mother of four, said. "I didn't realize God was taboo."
Hauf has received legal assistance from the American Center for Law and Justice. The ACLJ is a conservative Christian legal foundation founded by Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, who is also the founder, chairman and face of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
"I don't loose my First Amendment rights when I walk into that college," Hauf said. She is demanding an apology from the teacher and that the paper be re-graded.
. . . Hauf acknowledges she knew her teacher's condition for writing the paper, but argued it would be impossible to write about the affect of Christianity on the development of the United States without using the word God. "He told me you might as well write about the Easter Bunny," Hauf said. "He wanted to censor the word God."
What do you think? Was Hauf wrong to go against her instructor's wishes? Or was his demands of her in writing this paper ridiculous and out of line?
Hat tip to the Christianity Today Weblog.