Public school flaunts private beliefs

I was waiting in Sunshine Manor the other day when a sweet young lady asked me out of the clear blue sky: “Do you believe in God?” If she had asked me a less personal question, like do I spit or swallow, I’d have been less offended. To add to that, the front desk secretary who escorted me up the stairs explained that my faith is in jeopardy because the devil has a hold on me.Hey lady – it’s Dr. Proctor whom I’d sell my soul to for a passing grade. I bypassed Xavier University to attend FAMU. Briefly, my folks would’ve preferred me to attend the small, Catholic college, far closer to home. They needn’t have worried Someone needs to rename this university Florida A&M Baptist Episcopalian College on the Rock of Jericho’s Mountain of Zion. I’m beginning to get the sick impression that I stumbled upon a private college masquerading itself as a public university. Now, this may shock and anger some Rattlers, but it should be noted that not all students share the same faith. Not everyone here gets misty-eyed hearing the 823rd rendition of “Total Praise.” Some don’t even believe in God. And since when did that become a crime? One of America’s basic freedoms is the freedom of religion. I was taught in high school that the Constitution protects the minority from the majority. Yet, during my brief stay in Diamond Hall , I was asked to remove my “Sex – I’m Just Two People Short of a Threesome!” poster from my door because it may offend some poor freshmen religious beliefs. So the hell what? I can rattle off a million things at FAMU that offend my religious beliefs, the main one being public prayer. A person’s religion is a private matter, one that shouldn’t be flaunted for the sake of praise. I don’t claim to be a model Catholic, but that’s between me and God. I don’t need anyone here trying to save my soul. FAMU is not – nor has it ever been – a beacon for Christianity. A long, drawn-out public prayer before the band plays “Shake Ya Ass” isn’t going to get any of us into heaven. We’re not a private school – why we’re run like one is beyond me.

J. Danielle Daniels, 19, is a sophomore political science student from Dallas. She can be reached at