UCF Student Webster Cook Speaks Out on Radio

22 07 2008

Audio link via American Freethought, cool!

Before Cook’s live interview explaining what happened in his own words, the first part of the program compares his UCF religious service issue to senior centers across the country that are “local” and not public, but do receive federal dollars and are open to all seniors seeking food and social contact. The “good people that the senior centers approve of” — for praying before meals and not protesting it as impermissable or offensive — were being treated better, fed first and included in the group, whereas an elderly man who objected was told if he didn’t like the religious music and prayer, he could come late, sit alone and if there was any food left, he could have it.

UCF is of course entirely a public institution, not just a recipient of some public funding. Cook explains in detail that religious services are explicitly funded by UCF student government with about $40,000 per year, not simply allowed to use UCF buildings. He also explains that the Catholic woman (Michelle Ducker — LOL, some “woman”, I was picturing a middle-aged nun-type,what a story this is!) trying to force him to eat or return the wafer, was already angry with him before the communion rite began, for trying to sit in the back and for for not standing and kneeling at appropriate times, etc. SHE threatened HIM with a disruptive scene rather than the other way around, and then apparently made good on that threat when he wouldn’t follow her worship directives.

The boys’ conversation with Swallows in the hallway, about black magic, is pretty interesting to hear, too . . .

Finally, I was personally tickled by the jazz music interlude, “It Ain’t Necessarily So!”

UPDATE – About Michelle Ducker, still chuckling at the ironies:
“Last spring, she balanced her Project Smile activities with a part-time job at Waccadoo’s and her Interpersonal Communications major. This fall, she’s interning with UCF’s Catholic Campus Ministry in marketing and public relations. ., .”