Monday, January 10, 2005

Stephen Goldstein: A Death in the University

Stephen Goldstein
January 10, 2005

Recently, I read about a young man, Ahmad Al-Qloushi, a 17-year-old Kuwaiti citizen who came to this country a mere four months ago. Today he is a student majoring in Political Science at Foothill College, a small California community college in the Silicon Valley area of California.

What has happened to Al-Qloushi at Foothill is a symptom of a disease that has infected college campuses across America for the past thirty years and has become cancerous over time. I have seen this cancer destroy several lives, and, as a pastor, have officiated at the funerals of two conservative students who committed suicide because of this disease. Out of deference to the families, I will keep the anonymity of these innocents, but I want to share one their stories as a cautionary tale.

This was a young woman whom I will call Jane. Her father is in the ministry. She had been raised in a loving home; nurtured in the “admonition of the Lord,” and sent out as “a sheep” into a wolves pack, also known as a “school of higher learning.” Ironically, under the guise of political correctness, these schools pride themselves on being “sensitive” and “welcoming” to minorities who are different. But this compassion does not extend to political enemies.

Instead of being nurtured, this young Christian was savagely attacked, instead of being educated, she was harassed and ridiculed and made to feel less than human because she dared to identify against the evils she saw in the society in which she lived. She spoke out against abortion, declaring it murder; she was asked if she ate meat, when she replied yes, she was verbally assaulted and called a murderer. When she returned to her dorm, she found a dead mouse, a string around its neck, pinned to her door.

She was sexually harassed as well. When she declared that she was a virgin and was proud of it, she found used condoms had been thrown all over her dorm room, the dried semen sticking to her clothing in her closet, all over her dresser and mirror. Someone had written a message across her mirror in red paint that she needed to get her “cherry popped.” She called home; her parents called the school and they were assured the matter would be looked into and the students that were responsible would be punished. Not only was no one held accountable, but her academic advisor told her she needed to “grow up.” Several of her professors openly mocked her in class for her pro-life, pro-Christian stance.

Jane’s grades began to slip. She went from Dean’s honor roll her first year to academic probation. The verbal taunting and abuse continued until a day came when she didn’t show up for any of her classes, nor for her part-time job at the campus bookstore. One of her few friends on campus went to her room to check on her. When there was no response to her knock, she went to the student advisor for the dorm who got the master key and opened the door. They found Jane dead, in her hands a mock fetus with a pair of scissors in its head.

Perhaps other “mitigating factors” led her to the decision. Sadly, we will never know. I was shown the note she left behind, “What is the point in believing in what I think is right when everyone else in school tells me I am wrong? How can I go on and be successful when all of my professors tell me that God hates me because of what I believe?”

I wept without shame for this child -- lost to an intolerance that goes almost without notice in our liberal culture.

Perhaps her story will cause others to think again.

Stephen Goldstein is a born again Jewish Believer in Messiah. He is a writer, a Bible teacher, ordained pastor, and evangelist. He performs one act, one scene plays as tools of evangelism. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife of 27 years. Mr. Goldstein can be reached at

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