On October 23, 2008, Temple College professor Kerry Laird was ordered to remove a satirical cartoon from his office door by Interim Vice President of Educational Services and Chief Academic Officer Mark Smith. Later that day, Laird placed a sign on his office door that said, “Gott ist tot,” a Freidrich Nietzsche quote that translates to “God is dead.” Smith demanded that Professor Laird remove the quote immediately, stating that the quote “can be considered very controversial and offensive.” Smith refused to reverse the censorship even after a faculty member and a student pointed out the double standard being used against Laird’s expression. On November 5, however, less than an hour after receiving a letter from FIRE, Temple College President Glenda Barron reversed its censorship.
November 6, 2008
Temple College administrators deemed their own actions inappropriate after one of the college’s professors found himself in hot water with them for posting “God is dead” on his office door. The phrase, taken from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s “The Gay Science,” is followed by the words, “God remains dead. And we have killed him.” By no means is this the first time Nietzsche’s words have created a firestorm. At least as early as the 1960s, students and teachers have used his words to provoke thought. Kerry Laird, a first-year literature and composition instructor, last month posted the philosopher’s words in […]» Read More
November 6, 2008
In a victory for freedom of expression, Temple College President Glenda O. Barron has quickly reversed the censorship of a religiously themed cartoon and the Nietzsche quotation “God is dead.” A vice president required the removal of postings English Professor Kerry Laird had affixed to his office door because they “can be considered very controversial and offensive.” Approximately half an hour after FIRE faxed a letter to President Barron, she announced to all faculty and staff that the censorship “was inappropriate.” The trouble began earlier this term, when Laird posted a cartoon on his office door that used profanity in […]» Read More