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. ., .”

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3 responses

26 07 2008
Protest UCF’s “Ecclesiastically Motivated Witch Hunt” « Cocking A Snook!

[…] I sure hope besides this Furbush fellow, PZ notices UCF student MICHELLE DUCKER and helps turn the investigative brainpower of Pharyngula’s informal research team toward her story, such as figuring out the real reason Cook’s countercharges against her were dropped with no investigation or temporary hold on MICHELLE DUCKER’s student registration . .near as I can tell, she’s central to this whole incident and may well have precipitated it, may even have had prior animus toward Cook, yet the Catholics have stage-managed her involvement after the fact (successfully so far) with the result that it’s been alternatively covered up and pimped out as PR incriminating Cook. […]

9 08 2008
JJ

Comments from Richard Dawkins’ blog:
I have been looking over the UCF student handbook and I am not convinced that an individual acting disrespectfully to an entire organization can be considered a violation except in the most broad terms.

It seems to me that for every argument that could be made to show a violation by the student, there would easily be an equal argument made to show the student was harassed. Harassment is a much clearer violation of the code of conduct.

********
Well if the school is going to punish these students, I suggest that any letter writing include a link to the FSM [Flying Spaghetti Monster] pages, and a DEMAND that pasta of any kind not be served ANYWHERE on campus, unless it is to those who profess knowledge and worship of thine holiness, the FSM.

. . . I just cannot believe that in our modern society a state funded school would knowingly provide our most holy sacrament, pasta, to heathens who blasphemy our most sacred foodstuffs. By not providing the proper respect and rituals they are disgracing what we consider most holy of all!

22 10 2008
UCF Senator Webster Cook Impeached Secretly, Thus Illegally? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] UCF Student Impeached for Church Protest Speaks Out on Radio […]

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