CMU to Force Christian Bibles on RN/BSN Grads; Nursing Students Fight it

A box of Bibles from Gideons International

A box of Bibles from Gideons International

Students about to graduate from Colorado Mesa University’s RN/BSN nursing program are fighting a school-sponsored plan to hand out Gideon Bibles to nursing graduates after they step down from the dais at their pinning ceremony. The December 11 pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming of newly-graduated nurses into the nursing profession, and is the nursing students’ official, school-sponsored graduation ceremony.

Students Given No Choice

RN/BSN Nursing program administrators let students vote on many details of their own graduation ceremony, like the location and photographer, but made it clear to students that the Bible give-away was a non-negotiable part of the ceremony.

The Bibles are to be distributed by a local volunteer for Gideons International, a Christian evangelical organization that works to convert people to Christianity. According to their website, Gideons International is “dedicated to telling people about Jesus through sharing personally and by providing Bibles and New Testaments.” The Gideons are primarily known for putting Bibles in hotel and motel night stands, but they also distribute Bibles to elementary schools starting in the 5th grade, and to colleges, prisons, jails, hospitals and medical offices.

CMU nursing students who aren’t Christian and some who aren’t religious were appalled that they would be forced to either accept or reject a Christian Bible in front of the entire audience at their graduation ceremony. The students protested the Bible give-away to CMU president Tim Foster, but nursing program faculty attempted to ridicule the complaint and told students it is simply “what we do,” and they should just accept the Bible as a gift.

christianNurseThe disaffected students then contacted Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), a group that advocates for the separation of church and state. WCAF wrote a letter (pdf) to CMU President Foster and Diana Bailey, the head of CMU’s RN/BSN program, on the students’ behalf explaining that many students in CMU’s 2015 nursing class who aren’t Christians find the Bible give-away offensive and improper.  Under the law, WCAF said, the Gideons can give away Bibles, but only if they stand on city-owned sidewalk, well off school property, while they do it.

CMU Focuses Exclusively on Christianity

“It’s a blatant disregard of other peoples’ religion,” said one student, who wished to remain anonymous, to WCAF members. Another student wondered why just one religion would be represented at the ceremony. To be fair, the students said, CMU needs to distribute texts from other religions as well, like Books of Mormon, Korans and Talmuds.

The students have a point.

Public schools can’t do anything that gives the appearance of endorsing a single religion.

The Supreme Court, ruling (pdf) in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Jane Doe (June 19, 2000), explained that,

“[S]chool sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents ‘that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community and accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.’”

Publicly-funded institutions like CMU have to stay neutral in matters of religion, and cannot do anything a reasonable person might construe as an endorsement of a particular religion.

And that’s exactly how the nursing students see the Bible give-away: as an improper endorsement of one and only one religion: Christianity.

The nursing students have three main goals:

  1. They want to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution and the potential for compromising their future careers locally,
  2. They want their entire class to be able to vote on the Bible give-away, and if a majority of the class approves of it, the students want other religious texts, as well as information on atheism, to be included in the give-away.
  3. The want CMU to acknowledge that the Bible give-away violates the law, and they want to keep future nursing classes from having to grapple with this same issue over again in future years.
CMU President Tim Foster

CMU President Tim Foster

One thing that’s working in the nurses’ favor is Gideons’ own internal policy governing the distribution of Bibles in schools. Gideon International’s Form 115 policy on school scripture distribution (in Section 4-1, under “Reaching the Hearts of our Young People”) says,

“If any method of distribution [at a school] has the potential to create media publicity, the distribution must be cancelled or postponed.”

If CMU refuses to work with the nursing students to change or eliminate the Bible give-away, WCAF has vowed to contact the local media, protest at the pinning ceremony and, if necessary, contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) for legal help fighting it.

25 comments for “CMU to Force Christian Bibles on RN/BSN Grads; Nursing Students Fight it

  1. Benita Phillips
    November 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    To the students who have been indoctrinated with the idea that there is a “chain of command” in Nursing, I have one thing to say…Grow up! Your first and ONLY duty is to the health and safety of your patient. Nothing more. No one in the “chain of command” will ever cover your professional actions if you go to the chain first. You WILL become the scapegoat and be blamed. I taught Nursing for years, and I instilled this in my students. A close relative, though not one of my students, was instructed by me on this issue and she chose to ignore it, to her detriment. If the school has indoctrinated you with the idea that there is a “chain of command” and that chain includes the “private” physicians, then you have already been relegated to the waste bin and you will have to fight your way out. You are a Professional Nurse! Well educated and equipped to care for your patients with integrity and thoughtfulness. Your curiosity and the actions and DEMANDS you make for your patient(s) are valid and sometimes you must step on toes. If you are not capable of this level of courage for the sake of your patient, then please, find another profession.
    No public medical school and my own public Nursing program foisted religious shenanigans on professionals stepping out to take their place in the care of their community. If you were a graduating Engineering, would you expect a Bible?

    • Courtney Kasun
      November 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Benita, if you had been elected sheriff, would you encourage all of your deputies to ignore the chain of command? Would you discourage them from trying to problem solve with their immediate supervisors?

      I’m not saying nurses should settle. If they approach someone with a concern, and its not adequately addressed, of course they should escalate. But this idea that no immediate manager or supervisor anywhere will ever support you is a cynical world view. That’s a terrible thing to pass on to students.

      We need to prepare students who can watch out for themselves, and their patients, but who can also become members of high functioning teams. If you trust no one with your concern but who can also become members of high functioning teams. If you trust no one with your concerns teamwork will be very difficult.

      • Benita Phillips
        November 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm

        If I had won the position of Sheriff, I would have supervised the way I always have, with respect for fellow professionals. Nursing, as in law enforcement, is a team effort. I never encouraged the Nurses I supervised to run to me before trying to solve patient care issue by themselves or with their team. I instead, encouraged independent problem solving using the Nursing Process. They never failed as we always learned.
        This lead to the establishment of the first Alzheimer’s unit in Denver in 1987; certified ACLS classes in Saudi Arabia; nationally recognized patient care in ICU/Med/Surg areas at the VA. In all cases, I had to keep Nursing Administration at bay as they are addicted to the status quo and want nothing to upset their power base. It seems that the CMU Nursing Administration has the same problem. It is easier to dictate and never change anything, then to encourage and support innovation and transformation. There are several people associated, with your Nursing program, on this string that are AFRAID to interact openly. Does that not say ANYTHING to you, Courtney?
        You never answered my other question either…Do the Mechanical Engineering program give out Gideon Bibles? I might invest in 31 copies of Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” for a pinning gift to Nurse-Scientists.

        • Anonymous
          November 15, 2015 at 11:15 pm

          Thank you, Ms. Phillips.
          It’s nice to hear a rational answer, versus a one-sided comment.

        • Courtney Kasun
          November 16, 2015 at 9:07 am

          And yet, I never had the opportunity to help in this situation. I would have loved the chance to help these students, to hear their frustrations, and to work towards a solution. Certainly, there were easy solutions. But when this became a public spectacle, everything became much more difficult. Now, for an entire class to move forward there doesn’t need to just be resolution of action, but of emotion.

          My point was to call out your chain of command thoughts. I love your description above of how you would manage, which is exactly what I would hope for, and what didn’t happen here.

          I’m not addicted to the status quo, by any means. The many things I’ve done in my career as a nurse and an educator speak that I am pro change. I was the lead nursing faculty who began a novel interprofessional clinical rotation. At the time fewer than 10 sites in the US had health professionals in clinical training together. I won the Daisy Award, nominated by a patient, for advocating for them ceasely to an unresponsive care team. I too, have a long resume that supports change creativity.

          I’m an agnostic and a nurse scientist. I have no problem with you handing out the theory of evolution. The fear to come and talk to myself or the other pinning advisor is perplexing. Conversations where I get to understand and advocate for students are what I live for as an educator. But again, now it’s bigger than students. It has become about my colleagues, my job, and my profession with all of this.

  2. Benita Phillips
    November 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    The whole “bible” issue is missing the point. “Religion” and ANY written “word” are MAN made and impose a belief system. Religion has always supported the “superior” status of male over female. The history of religion is divisive and disruptive.
    Nursing, by its nature, is and must be secular and color blind. Nursing is the holistic care of a human being and has, historically, been a predominantly female career as women were barred from medical schools entirely predicated on religious male “authority.”
    When Nursing schools and their leadership, public or private, impose and even force acceptance of a unilateral belief system on predominantly female students, using a graduation ceremony to do so, demonstrates unprofessional and unethical conduct and dishonors the science and premise of Nursing. Nursing is not just “book learning or learned from books.” To dehydrate the Science of Nursing and relegate it to that level, is to fall prey, once again, to the notion that Nursing is less than professional then is medicine. The Director needs to get out and wash a few butts to realign her emphasis on holistic Nursing Science.
    Under these circumstances, issuing any “religious” symbol is a statement that fosters thousands of years of separation between peoples. The slaughter in Paris and the physician’s statement on this string is an example of how powerful cultural mores are perpetrated through time and often women are the targets. So wake up CMU!
    Nursing is no longer only female, as being a physician is no longer only male. Nursing is a worldwide profession that encompasses all religious beliefs. A pinning ceremony is not an appropriate professional venue to support any cultural separation of these graduating students. I am especially ashamed of the Nursing Director on her decision to proceed with this charade.
    As a Registered Nurse of more than 35 years, I have practiced Nursing all over the world. I have done my share of privately asking from my soul, for help in caring for my patients. Never would I think it appropriate to impose my beliefs on my Muslim patients, my Hindi patients, my Jewish patients, nor would I want a Nurse to take care of me that did so. Shame on all “professionals” that are perpetrating this turpitude against a noble profession.

  3. Concerned citizen
    November 15, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I agree with many of the discussion responses to this article. I don’t believe the student leading this “fight” has handled this is a professional manner. I also don’t believe this goal, “to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution and the potential for compromising their future careers locally,” has anything to do with fighting distribution of the bibles. This student must know that no hospital or any organization, Catholic based or other would knowingly hire an employee that doesn’t understand the importance behind a chain of command. Who would hire an individual that jumps to lawsuits and other forms of protest before using the appropriate steps to resolving a problem? The selfish, immature approach this student has chosen to handle this issue makes me concerned for their ability to function as a member of a team and find effective means of conflict resolution in the future.

  4. want to remainStudent Nurse--"anonymous out of fear of retribution"
    November 13, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    As a nursing student and graduate with the CMU BSN Class of December 2015, I am absolutely appalled by the inaccuracy of the information in this blog post.

    Students (how many are actually fighting this? I am in this class and didn’t know it was an issue until the director spoke with our class and offered a vote) about to graduate from Colorado Mesa University’s RN/BSN nursing program are fighting a school-sponsored plan to hand out Gideon Bibles to nursing graduates after they step down from the dais at their pinning ceremony (We were informed they would be waiting outside to offer Bibles to students who wanted to take one, not handed out publicly to humiliate certain individuals.) The December 11 pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming of newly-graduated nurses into the nursing profession, and is the nursing students’ official, school-sponsored graduation ceremony.
    Students Given No Choice— (Not true)
    RN/BSN Nursing program administrators let students vote on many details of their own graduation ceremony, like the location and photographer, but made it clear to students that the Bible give-away was a non-negotiable part of the ceremony (Our class is voting on this).
    The Bibles are to be distributed by a local volunteer for Gideons International, a Christian evangelical organization that works to convert people to Christianity. According to their website, Gideons International is “dedicated to telling people about Jesus through sharing personally and by providing Bibles and New Testaments.” The Gideons are primarily known for putting Bibles in hotel and motel night stands, but they also distribute Bibles to elementary schools starting in the 5th grade, and to colleges, prisons, jails, hospitals and medical offices.
    CMU nursing students who aren’t Christian and some who aren’t religious were appalled that they would be forced to either accept or reject a Christian Bible in front of the entire audience at their graduation ceremony (100% inaccurate…as stated before they will not be forced, rather can pick one up if they choose) The students (Students, again, how many are actually fighting this? I am in this class and didn’t know it was an issue) protested the Bible give-away to CMU president Tim Foster, but nursing program faculty attempted to ridicule the complaint and told students it is simply “what we do,” and they should just accept the Bible as a gift. (This was never said by the nursing program faculty. Inaccurate information.)

    The disaffected students then contacted Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), a group that advocates for the separation of church and state. WCAF wrote a letter (pdf) to CMU President Foster and Diana Bailey, the head of CMU’s RN/BSN program, on the students’ behalf explaining that many students in CMU’s 2015 nursing class who aren’t Christians find the Bible give-away offensive and improper. Under the law, WCAF said, the Gideons can give away Bibles, but only if they stand on city-owned sidewalk, well off school property, while they do it.
    CMU Focuses Exclusively on Christianity
    “It’s a blatant disregard of other peoples’ religion,” said one student, who wished to remain anonymous, to WCAF members. Another student wondered why just one religion would be represented at the ceremony. To be fair, the students said, CMU needs to distribute texts from other religions as well, like Books of Mormon, Korans and Talmuds.
    The students have a point.
    Public schools can’t do anything that gives the appearance of endorsing a single religion.
    The Supreme Court, ruling (pdf) in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Jane Doe (June 19, 2000), explained that,
    “[S]chool sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents ‘that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community and accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.’”
    Publicly-funded institutions like CMU have to stay neutral in matters of religion, and cannot do anything a reasonable person might construe as an endorsement of a particular religion.
    And that’s exactly how the nursing students see the Bible give-away: as an improper endorsement of one and only one religion: Christianity.
    The nursing students have three main goals:
    1. They want to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution and the potential for compromising their future careers locally,
    2. They want their entire class to be able to vote on the Bible give-away, and if a majority of the class approves of it, the students want other religious texts, as well as information on atheism, to be included in the give-away. (We are voting on this as a class, and I will personally be happy to provide other religious texts for my fellow classmates if this is truly the issue.)
    3. The want CMU to acknowledge that the Bible give-away violates the law, and they want to keep future nursing classes from having to grapple with this same issue over again in future years.

    CMU President Tim Foster
    One thing that’s working in the nurses’ favor is Gideons’ own internal policy governing the distribution of Bibles in schools. Gideon International’s Form 115 policy on school scripture distribution (in Section 4-1, under “Reaching the Hearts of our Young People”) says,
    “If any method of distribution [at a school] has the potential to create media publicity, the distribution must be cancelled or postponed.”
    If CMU refuses to work with the nursing students to change or eliminate the Bible give-away, WCAF has vowed to contact the local media, protest (I am saddened by the thought of a protest, which will only pull attention away from our incredible accomplishment) at the pinning ceremony and, if necessary, contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) for legal help fighting it.

    Your information is one sided and very inaccurate. I would recommend you find both sides to the story for future posts.

    • Anne Landman
      November 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      You are free to be “appalled,” but you and other writers, like Dr. Simmons, needs to know that the basic facts are these: The school is planning to have Christian Bibles — and no other religious literature — handed out to the nurses at their pinning ceremony, which will be held on CMU property. No matter what led up to this plan, whether it was ordered by school staff or by students voting, if the Bible handout is carried out it will constitute an illegal endorsement of a single religion by CMU. There is no way around this. CMU will have liability for this activity simply by the fact that CMU knew about it and allowed it to occur on their property. We are trying to keep the school from opening itself to a lawsuit by pointing this out. You have some students who are very angry about this situation, and WCAF is actually doing CMU a favor by letting the school know that this Bible plan is a clear violation of the law.

      There is a very easy, sure-fire solution to the whole problem of the Bible give-away, though: move it off campus. On December 11, have the Gideon volunteer wait with the Bibles at the religious coffee bar across 12th Street from CMU, for example, and instruct the nursing grads that they can walk over there and pick up a free Bible at the coffee bar after the pinning ceremony if they want one.

      That’s it. That would solve the whole problem. The school will have zero liability for the Bible give-away under these circumstances.

      With such a clear problem posed by the Bible give-away, and such an easy, completely cost-free solution right at hand, why is anyone arguing anything?

      • Angela Addington
        November 13, 2015 at 7:29 pm

        Concerned Student,
        I personally agree that this is not the proper venue for the handing out of Christian literature, however I I feel the bigger problem here is the inability of adults whom are about to enter a professional field advocate appropriately. I know for a fact that you have a pinning committee. Why weren’t the concerns taken to the pinning committee? Why was the first step President Foster and then the media? How will you have difficult conversations with physicians, patients, patient families, colleagues, and any other individual involved in the care of your patients if you can’t have a difficult conversation with your peers in school? Where is the pride and respect in yourself, in your beliefs, and in your program and where is the trust that I know has been instilled in all of us who have gone through Colorado Mesa University nursing program? This is sad for your class and sad for this generation of nurses. The freedom to choose against religious literature is reasonable and mature. The way this has been handled is cowardly and disrespectful.

    • Concerned Student
      November 13, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Concerned Student

      I also am a member of the BSN 2015 graduating class & I feel obligated to correct/ shed light on the situation from my point of view, as a student who was there. I do not find this blog holy inaccurate. I am concerned with the anger represented by some camps though. Well here it is: This is what happened as I see it

      Background: At the beginning of the semester each of the 31 students was handed a form to vote as this blog indicates. Near the bottom of the voting sheet there was a statement, I can’t remember the exact words, but it essentially said “bibles will be presented/handed/available?(not sure) to each student”. When the pinning committee was asked about this, I remember being told that : (paraphrased)”Students will be offered a bible as they exit the stage and that they could politely decline if they didn’t want one”. Thus, the blog may be referring to what I thought was the original plan, to give bibles to each person as we walked off stage and then if you didn’t want it you just have to say no thanks. I personally wasn’t super comfortable with this but as the blog says, and I agree, I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice.

      Fast forward a few weeks: A member of CMU faculty came to class regarding a complaint (a student or someone related to wrote a letter to the President, I think). The faculty then told us that the bibles will be available directly outside the pinning ceremony. The class was silent, there was no discussion. I think everyone was just stunned with what had happened. There was some talk of being upset with the students for not using the proper chain of command voiced by a present faculty member.

      Now: I thought everything was settled, books outside. But then I received an email dated Thursday Nov 12 asking for me to vote on the bibles. Considering this blog was written before that I am thinking that the vote is in response to whatever has been happening with the upset students.

      So, as for today these are the main points I feel are important to clarify in this blog:

      1) The facts have changed for the students many times over the semester: from bibles being handed to them as they exit the stage, to in the lobby area, and now possibly not at all.

      2) The 31 students never collected together prior to Nov 12th to be able to have a vote on the bible issue. Thus the students and this blog are correct, there was never a class consensus on the issue. However, the students are now currently voting.

      After pondering on this issue I am saddened that we are resorting to passive aggressive dialogue instead of looking for a solution. I am not upset at the students who started this, I believe that the students who are acting against it must believe they are in the right. I know our class is made up of very smart, truthful, and sincere people. I hope that this issue does not cause our class to lose its tight bond. I hope that the administration and the students can find a solution that benefits both parties.

      I guess we will find out how the vote goes. Unfortunately I think that most people will vote Abstain (the choices are YES, NO, Abstain) because they don’t want conflict and because the vote has to be cast via email- although we have been assured that our email will be promptly deleted after casting a vote. I am still on the fence on my decision but I feel like I should either vote Yes or No…… I vote peace.

  5. Paul D Simmons, MD
    November 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Ms Landman:

    I am an physician and instructor at CMU for the nursing program. I’m also an atheist and quite proudly so.

    You have several facts wrong:
    1. The program is the traditional BSN program, not the RN/BSN program.
    2. The Gideon giveaway is in not “school sponsored” in any meaningful sense. Or if it is, it is “school sponsored” in the same sense as Coca-Cola is school-sponsored if you purchase a soda from a CMU vending machine.
    3. Each year, the students get to vote on whether they want the Gideons to be part of the ceremony (or not).
    4. The pinning is not a graduation ceremony. You conflate the two.
    5. The faculty advisors of the pinning ceremony have made it clear that, in fact, the students do have a choice about this matter.
    6. Your paragraph concerning the Gideons surprisingly contains no factual errors.
    7. The setup of the ceremony in no way requires any student to “accept or reject a Bible” in a public, visible way. This is pure fantasy.
    8. Faculty were unable to ridicule the aggrieved students’ concerns because the students did not bring the complaint first to faculty, but to President Foster directly, who appropriately sent the students back to the faculty.
    9. Although I don’t speak for the University, I’m sure they would welcome the press to pinning – it would give these hardworking, altruistic students coverage they richly deserve.

    As I mentioned, I’m a proud atheist and would go toe-to-toe with anyone trying to “push state-sponsored religion” on or off campus. But we must be kind, and polite, and not pick ridiculous battles that only serve to caricature those of us who don’t talk to an imaginary friend in the sky. The Bible is a oft-poetic, mythical text, and is offered in the spirit of support for students who VOLUNTARILY take it on the day of pinning. No jack-booted thugs are there forcing it on anyone. I only regret that the life-changing lessons of a liberal university education have not been taken seriously by the offended students: that we live in a world full of people with silly ideas, and with critical, serious thought, one can live a happy life quite unruffled by those who may differ with us.

    Paul D Simmons, MD

    • Anne Landman
      November 12, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Dear Dr. Simmons,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      The nursing students I spoke with obviously refute your comments in almost every detail, and they are living inside this situation. Your observations are interesting, but the primary concern in this matter is what these students — and quite a number of them — see happening to them and how strongly they feel about it. That is what matters.

      It’s also important that CMU abide by the law.

      The only real fact that matters here is that a Christian bible a give-away on school grounds implies the school’s endorsement of a religion, and so violates U.S law. If it proceeds as planned, the nursing students have a case that would be likely attract the attention of the ACLU, as well as attention from other groups that protect civil rights.

      It would be far more prudent for the school to drop this part of the ceremony from now on, and let people accept whatever scriptures they desire in their churches instead. CMU is not the place for religious endorsement.

      • Courtney Kasun
        November 12, 2015 at 10:22 pm

        And what of the accounts of the faculty who are also “living it?”

        The assertion that only one fact matters in this case is a reductionist view of a more complex situation. Certainly, not offering the organization or department a chance to comment is a red flag.

        • Courtney Kasun
          November 12, 2015 at 10:33 pm

          I’d prefer to keep the dialogue public, thank you. Per your email:

          “I’ve contacted the program administrator. She has all my contact info and I’ve been waiting for a response. Nothing so far”

          How long before posting this did you contact for comment? Was there a separate comment request to check facts, or is the only request the letter you posted threatening legal action?

        • Anne Landman
          November 12, 2015 at 10:37 pm

          Courtney, CMU faculty and administration needs to understand that a publicly-funded school cannot legally endorse a single religion, or do anything that gives the appearance that the institution endorses a single religion. This isn’t a “reductionist view;” it is the single point of law at the heart of this case. The solution is simple: CMU needs to eliminate or not permit any activity on campus that gives the impression the school is endorsing a religion. If CMU does that, the problem goes away.

          • Courtney Kasun
            November 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm

            Anne,

            And yet, that isn’t what is happening, which would be clear with a balanced view of all the facts, which is lacking here. Seeing the world in absolutes is amongst always reductionist. Not having relevant information certainly is.

          • Courtney Kasun
            November 13, 2015 at 9:49 am

            Since you continue to email me privately, your most recent email exchanges:

            “I threatened no legal action, but said I would contact the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation, and I absolutely will do that if this problem isn’t resolved to the nursing students’ satisfaction. If you are afraid of that, that indicates to me that you understand on some level that there is something amiss with the planned endorsement of religion on campus.

            There is.

            It is illegal for a publicly-funded school to do anything to endorse, or even give the appearance of endorsing a religion. The Bible give-away at the pinning ceremony without a doubt does exactly that.

            Communication is key, and I’ve opened the door to that by informing the school about the students’ objections to the Bible give-away. The school now has the responsibility to act on it.”

            AND

            “U.S. law is relevant, and absolute.”

            I’m done engaging with the continued return to email. However, to close:

            – I’m sure the absolute nature of US law means you’ve never sped, committed a traffic violation, or any other common slight.

            – I’ve never said US law isn’t relevant. What I’m saying is that your assertions are wrong, that things have not happened as you report, and that the situation is different than you describe.

            – Again, you failed to engage with Dr. Simmons, and the many facutal errors he called you out on. You cannot ignore facts and purport to have an accurate view of a situation.

  6. Rob Fiedler
    November 11, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I am Catholic and feel strongly about my faith HOWEVER no one has the right to force their belief or lack of same, on another person!

    My wife, a nurse of 46 yrs agrees!

  7. Anne Landman
    November 10, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Bible hand-outs like this usually only occur at Christian colleges like Bob Jones University (http://www.bju.edu/academics/programs/nursing/), Maranatha Baptist University (http://www.mbu.edu/mbu-school-of-nursing-caring-for-the-whole-person/) or College of the Ozarks, a Christian college: http://www.hometowndailynews.com/2015/04/26/college-nursing-program-to-hold-pinning-ceremony/

    Some evangelicals hold a belief that nursing is a form of religious ministry. Religious nursing schools like Maranatha teach that “Biblical truths permeate nursing classes as students study the human body as part of God’s magnificent creation.”

    It’s odd for a Bible give-away like this to occur at a publicly-funded university nursing program like CMUs. It could be happening here because, despite it’s name change and supposed “promotion” to being a university, CMU management still maintains the collective mentality of a small, parochial bible belt town.

    • American Patriot
      November 12, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Try this simple solution; if you don’t want the Bible, hand it back. I’ve been using that technique for years on gifted atheist, communist and racist printed material. And it’s always worked well for me.

      • Scott
        November 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm

        “They want to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution and the potential for compromising their future careers locally,”

        Kind of hard to be in front of a crowd, hand the bible back and remain anonymous.

    • Dr. Debra Bailey
      November 12, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      Ms. Landman,
      Having children graduate from the University of Colorado and friends who graduated from Colorado State University, I can attest to the Gideon’s presence on campus at these public institutions. As the Director of the Health Sciences at Colorado Mesa University, I will inform you that you are ill advised about the planning of the student nurses pinning program. Please look up the word bible. The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, “the books”) is a collection of texts forming thoughts and knowledge in Judaism and Christianity. There is no single canonical bible. Many Bibles have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents.The Bible, the Koran and the Torah have stood the test of time as books of knowledge. Books are promoted on a University campus. The interpretation of books is what education is all about.
      I assure you our health sciences programs are science based and welcome you to look at the curriculum. We turn away two thirds of our applicant each year due to full capacity.
      If you have a passion for Nursing and the Nursing student {yes this is singular} you protest to be speaking for; then be respectful of the profession and remove the caricature of the insulting picture of a woman dressed in a short white outfit.
      Education is a gift denied to many, please stop the disruption of the last precious weeks the University has to prepare professionals for our future.
      Dr. Debra Bailey RN, FNP, PhD

  8. Suzi Shepherd
    November 10, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    I went to a Jesuit University, they never considered handing out a bible at the pinning cerimony, we had students of many faiths and backrounds, each received equal respect. Interestingly I think they could have done this legally but even 25 years ago they knew better.

  9. Lee cassin
    November 10, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    This is terrible. This is a public, taxpayer-funded university and should not be so promoting one religion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *