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Long time no Update! School has eaten my soul!

Here’s an e-mail I just had to send to my professor informing him I have requested a transfer out of his classroom (Because he’s stone freaking crazy!!!!)

COPY & PASTE -------------------->

I am sorry, but I must respectfully and categorically disagree with your responses to certain discussions this week, specifically, two statements that you made both to me and (NAME REMOVED) in discussion two. Now first, let me quantify my credentials for objection. I spent many years in Religious studies and hold certifications in both Business and Situational Ethics. I also spent many years teaching Ethics in a corporate environment. You have made statements to both me and (NAME REMOVED) that I absolutely object to. Please, let me point out clearly my disagreements with commentary to specific points in your responses:

It may be a profitable exrecise [sic] for students to compare the Code of Hammurabi with the Biblical code or the Laws of Moses as found in the Books of Leviticus chapters 18 through 20, Exodus chapters 21 and 22, and Deuteronomy chapter 19.

Now this statement is good, it is made as a historical reference. Pointing out framework that appears in both texts has historical context. Using both Hammurabi’s code and biblical examples of Hammurabi’s code being repeated thousands of years later in the Torah (Old Testament) and should have ended here as a sidebar. However you continued:

This exercise may help to enlighten someone to the idea that the the [sic] Hapiru People (Hebrews) were Semitic people who arose in the Mesopotamian River Valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Southern Iraq.  Thus, in the place where Abraham was born and lived, and where Hammurabi ruled with his Code of Laws, the God who appeared to Abraham long before he got to Palestine or Canaan, may have been the same God of Eternity who was teaching not only Abraham or Moses but also Hammurabi.

In any case, even if you do not imbibe this knowledge, you will not be able to deny the fact that Scripture in Genesis 2: 8-14 names the Euphrates River of Iraq as one of the boundaries of the Garden of Eden ( Gen. 2: 14).  Thus, Iraq was a part of the Garden of Eden

This ethically crossed the line from Historical to personal theological ideology and was presented as fact and not opinion. Where is your citation of historical corroboration that Yahweh (The Christian-Judeo God) spoke to Hammurabi? There is none, therefore, this is a personal belief and belongs in a theological class discussion and not a historical one. The same applies to the assertion that Genesis (or any Old or New Testament claims) can be historically proven true from other historical texts, which it cannot, such as your belief of the supposed location of the Garden of Eden. However much we believe or do not believe in the validity of the Bible as the Word it cannot be presented as supportive historical evidence. The Bible is a religious text, but even Christian apologists readily confirm and concede that no contemporary historians such as Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100) ever made mention of the events chronicled in the Bible. The one point that was purported to be in Josephus’ texts (“Testimonium Flavium”, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities) was confirmed to be an interpolation of the historian Eusebius, who used Josephus' works extensively as a source for his own "Historia Ecclesiastica." In layman's terms he added supportive evidence into the Antiquities documents for the Catholic Church who routinely edited and forged documents and the interpolation in the Antiquities was admitted to be a forgery in the Twentieth Century by numerous religious scholars such as Louis Feldman and Zvi Baras.

This argument of my disagreement with your statement is simply a matter of belief without evidence, because there is no historical evidence. Faith is, by definition, belief without evidence.

Now onto your statement to me:

“You made an excellent list of comparative scriptures, which demonstrates a connection between Hammurabi's Code and the Laws of God that were also being articulated to other people in other places like Kung-Ftz-zu (Confucius).”

Again, instead of being presented as your opinion, you have presented this as fact by use of the words “…Laws of God that were also being articulated…” Not, “may have” or “in my opinion also”, but “WERE also”. You are a figure of authority in a classroom and you are making statements without citation and therefore are not generally challenged to provide historical corroboration that God did indeed speak to or influenced Confucius. You state personal belief as fact with impunity and I find that ethically irresponsible. I respect your beliefs, I share many. Nevertheless, I cannot condone statements like this outside a theological arena. Because you are a respected authority figure in this classroom and people will take your statements as fact because you have authority and are the Instructor and therefore, will not be asked to source your claims for historical corroboration.

This is a HISTORY class and all statements made must be cited and evidenced with historical support and accuracy. I would not make this disagreement if this were a theological class. I do have to make them ethically because this is a history class.

Now, I have said my piece and I should also inform you respectfully that I have requested my Academic Advisor for a transfer from this class to the same class with a new instructor. I cannot in good conscience continue when I fear you and I will fundamentally disagree on what is and is not ethical when it comes to personal ideology presented as historical evidence. I have a 4.0 GPA and I will not risk my grades when I feel there will be more severe conflict of opinion as this course progresses. I cannot be sure that my dissenting opinion will not reflect in my grades if your beliefs are “fact” to you and not so, necessarily, to me. I apologize if this offends you, but it is a genuine fear I have and cannot academically risk. I also chose to respond to you privately as to not affect your position of authority in the classroom.

Thank you for your time and understanding in this matter and I wish you please consider my words in the vein intended, an academic logical argument of opposition, and I hope you have a successful class.


Dana Armstrong

<——————— End Paste
Can you believe that boat load of crazy? I also filed a formal complaint with the school which may lead to disciplinary action on that professor. That is ridiculous. He has no business being a history teacher. I start the class all over again tomorrow with a new instructor. Thank goodness. Please keep fingers crossed that this one isn't looney tunes!

See? This is where all my fun time goes, SCHOOL and writing god damn letters like this one! O_o


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 29th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
...wow! I present to you a) my icon and b) Bruce Banner's commentary on Loki's brain: "bag full of cats" (not, mind you, that I would approve of such, or want to be the sucker in a suit of chain mail attempting such!) I'm glad you're hiking out of that person's class, and have high hopes that the school managed not to hire TWO such...interesting and opinionated (CRAZEH!!!) people! *squish* Happy learning!
Nov. 2nd, 2012 06:52 am (UTC)
Re: o.O
Oh Lord... The Religious NUT CASE replied!!!!


Thank you, and no offense taken.

I agree that the evidence is as you say within the Biblical context. But perhaps you can enlighten me from your understanding, how Yeshua of Nazareth could make a statement very similar in word and content to one taught by Confucius 500 years before He was born. Perhaps he learned it in the school he never attended? But surely you know from your scholarship that to deny a problem because of a lack of evidence is not scholarship at all in the true sense. And if you are as you say, then are you saying that Revelation is now today non-existent?

For you to withdraw from the class for these reasons seems symptomatic of something else.

Nevertheless, Blessings and good luck!


Now I am NOT replying to him, but I am forwarding his e-mail to the review council I reported him to earlier today and this is what I had to say to them:


(END PART ONE - Since when are there character limits on LJ? this is NEW...)
Nov. 2nd, 2012 06:53 am (UTC)
Re: o.O
Part 2 (Do not like the new Character limits on responses on my own freaking journal!)

To Whom it May Concern:

I have not and will not respond to this absolute gibberish (NAME REMOVED) sent me in response to my notice I e-mailed him and forwarded to you earlier today. I don't know where this man earned his degrees but the sheer lack of anything resembling reasonable deduction and basic critical thinking skills in favor of supernatural causes to answer for any social construct similarity is not in anyway scholarly outside of a theological discussion/classroom. He has missed and misunderstood my points entirely and has devolved this discussion to a matter of faith over scientific method. For instance How could Confucius understand human nature pre-Jesus without divine intervention? (Paraphrased):

(NAME REMOVED)'s answer/reason: Supernatural methods are the only way for information to be known or rather "God Did it". End of discussion and rational critical thinking skills are atrophied with religious rhetoric, personal ideology and indoctrination.

My response(s) (That I will not send to him in reply.):

1.) Common Sense

2.) Social Construct Tradition

3.) Migratory Bands of People who brought their religion, tenants, and social values with them

4.) Ability for Empathy

5.) Ability to Reason

6.) Coincidence

And I could go on. Very real world answers to common human dilemmas that do not require a belief in any supernatural divine influence to deduce reasons why someone could make up a law that tells others to not kill each other pre-Bible. And since the Bible is heavily plagiarized from Hammurabi's Code of Laws, it seems more that common rules established in early civilization would be repeated in future ones. But in (NAME REMOVED)'s mind, apparently God has to whisper in random men's ears for them to form a common law of decency as society evolves. I'm flabbergasted with his response frankly and that a man with letters has such severe basic deductive reasoning, logic and critical thinking blinders on his eyes. This is a very dramatic representation of a failure to understand the principle's of Occam's Razor in a theological context. Never use a supernatural explanation when a natural one will suffice. Because Occam's Razor is very simple to understand and states that in a hypothesis/hypothetical situation, "How Confucius knew things without the Christian God?" The answer will most likely be the one that makes the fewest assumptions (i.e.: supernatural intercedence) should be selected.

(Good lord apparently we need a part 3!)
Nov. 2nd, 2012 06:54 am (UTC)
Re: o.O
Part 3

I really question this instructor's motivation. Is he here to teach History or proselytize? As I come from a family of Christian's too, My Great-Grandfather was an Old Regular Baptist preacher, I find the classroom is not the place to stand in the pulpit. Neither did My Great-Grandfather. He taught us all to think first and learn when to preach, when to teach and when to listen and learn. All I see in (NAME REMOVED)'s class is a man in need of a pulpit and not a teacher's online podium.

If that is the case and (NAME REMOVED) is here to spread "his brand" of gospel, then he needs to be contained within a theological or philosophical classroom and not one that deals in hard evidence and facts that can and need to have sources cited and statements (supernatural and natural) corroborated with supporting documentation.

Just because the Bible is old, and it has a history of its own, does not make it a referable historical document. Age does not always equate fact. Or else, by this logic, the older it is the more truthful/factual it is? If that is the case then The Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumeria (2150-2000 BCE), the Rigveda of Hinduism (1700-1100 BCE), and the Pentateuch/Torah (Old Testament, Hebrew) (450 BCE) just for a few examples should all negate the Bible since they all predate the modern Bible that was derived from numerous Christian sects at the council of Nicea in 325 AD. It was the "Great Bible editing session" of its time. Several lost sects of Christianity never made the final edit and ended up on the cutting room floor at that council (such as the book of Enoch). I could go on in this matter but I think I made myself clear. He can't separate his personal ideology from the classroom and that to me is unethical and diminishes the potential for an unbiased educational environment to the detriment of the students. Whatever brand of religion they subscribe to. Christians, Baptists, Mormons, Unitarian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, Wiccan, Pagan, etc... He is insensitive to the diversity of his students who may or may not believe the same things he does and he states his personal beliefs as historical facts.

Thank you for you time and consideration in this matter.

Dana Armstrong


Let's freaking hope this bag full of cats is removed from a classroom. He has no business teaching.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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