Professor Offended by Student Reading Bible, Calls Department Chair to Make Him Stop

“Why do you have your Bible out anyway?”

A history professor at Northern Arizona University was triggered by seeing a student reading his Bible in the few minutes before class started and called a department head in to force him to stop. Campus Reform published the audio of the conversation.

The student, Mark Holden, said he spends a few minutes of his free time before class studying the Bible. His professor, Dr. Heather Martel, objected and asked him to put it away. When he didn’t, Martel sicced History Department Chair Derek Heng on Holden and the student recorded the exchange.

“So, Prof. Martel says that she doesn’t want you sitting in front of her because you put, you know, a Bible out, right?” Heng said. He then explained that he isn’t aware of the full “dynamics” of the classroom, but implied his Bible reading may be a hindrance to the class.

“So, she doesn’t want me in the front because I have my Bible out?” Holden asked.

Heng’s response shifted, “No, I think she, I mean, well why do you have your Bible out anyway?”

Holden said there was five minutes until the class started and he would like to use it for personal reading. But Heng had another idea:

“So, will you, will you, will you, put your Bible away?”

As Campus Reform noted, Professor Martel had previously accused the student of disrupting her class after Holden challenged her views on cultural assimilation:

Holden told Campus Reform that he had cited news reports about two Muslim immigrants who erected a sign declaring that the Koran gives them the right to commit rape, saying he used it as an example of a case in which cultural assimilation might be desirable.

According to an email that Martel sent to Holden explaining the violation, Holden had allegedly interrupted the class multiple times and “made a scene,” only stopping after a classmate intervened.

Martel also claimed that Holden shouted out, “You work for me. I pay your salary.” However, neither the professor nor Heng responded to requests to elaborate. 

Martel had also sent an e-mail to the entire class saying she expects “civility in the classroom” and would not tolerate “hate speech.”

But after the Bible incident, Holden withdrew from the class.

“It’s a systemic problem, not just at this university, but across the United States in the restriction of free speech,” he told Campus Reform, explaining that too many professors are “pushing an ideology on students and any opposition to this is refuted and slashed.”

Like many conservatives on campus, Holden is worried his beliefs are targets for professors who will punish him with bad grades. Holden knows conservative professors feel they have to hold back or risk losing their jobs. 

Just another day in the Land of the Free.

Check out the audio above.

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