A student at Northern Arizona University was reportedly told that he could not continue to read the Bible before class.
Conservative commentator Todd Starnes reports on the conflict which took place back in February.
Twenty-two-year-old Mark Holden likes to read his Bible while sitting at his desk before the start of his history class. Holden’s professor, Heather Martel, took issue with this, however.
Holden maintains that Professor Martel ordered him to put the Bible away, even though it was not yet time for class to start.
Professor Martel then reported Holden to the Department Chair, Derek Heng. Holden recorded the conversation he had with Heng.
“So Professor Martel says that she doesn’t want you sitting in front of her because you put, you know, a Bible out, right?” Heng questioned.
“So she doesn’t want me in the front because I have my Bible out,” Holden attempted to clarify.
Heng hesitated to confirm this accusation, but went on to ask, “So, will you, will you, will you, put your Bible away?”
This is apparently not the first time Professor Martel, who also teaches classes on queer theory and feminism, has taken an issue with Holden.
After he disagreed with her and the rest of the class during a class discussion on assimilation, she sent an email to him stating, “For the remainder of the class, I will ask you to move to one of the desks along the wall by the door. The roll sheet will be passed to you. You will make sure that students who come in late sign in. I will also require that you respect me and the other students in the class by acting in a civil manner.”
She also referred to Holden’s dissenting comments as “hate speech,” and told the class, “Welcome to Trump’s new America – where straight white males can say prejudicial things without being reprimanded for it.”
Conservative candidate for Congress Kevin Cavanaugh commented on Holden’s case: “If free speech is not permitted on a public university campus, federal funding should be refused,” he told Starnes. “If you want to limit free speech, don’t take federal money. We have seen on this campus and across the nation that people are being punished for their Christian views,” he continued.