Reader-Submitted CCCE- Mmm… Donut

Reader Erin sent a few CCCEs; she says she gets a lot of them from her crazy aunts. Maybe I should tell some of my aunts my email address so they can send me CCCEs, because y’all, I have got some crazy-ass aunts. Here’s one about college that was written by someone who most likely never went to one.

The Donut Story
There was a certain professor of religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious
man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr.
Christianson taught a required course in Christianity at this particular
institution. Every student was required to take this course regardless of
his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the
Gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the
course as nothing more than required drudgery. Despite his best efforts,
most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only
a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going on to Seminary. Steve
was popular, well liked and an imposing physical specimen. He was the
starting center on the school football team and the best student in the
class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk
with him. “How many push-ups can you do?”

Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.”

“200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Dr. Christianson said. “Do you think you
could do 300?”

“I don’t know,” Steve replied, “I’ve never done 300 at a time.”

“Do you think you could?” again asked the professor.

“Well, I could try,” said Steve.

“Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project and I need you to do
about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need
you to tell me you can do it,” said Dr. Christianson.

Steve said, “Well… I think I can… yeah, I can do it.”

Dr. Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me
explain what I have in mind.”

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room.
When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these
weren’t the normal kind of donuts, these were the big fancy kind, with cream
centers and frosting swirls. Friday, the last class of the day, and they
were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr.
Christianson’s class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia
would you like one of these donuts?” Cynthia said, “Yes please.”

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you please do
ten push-ups so that Cynthia may have a donut?”

“Sure.” Steve jumped down from the desk, did ten quick push-ups, and then
returned to his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, “Joe do you
want a donut?”
Joe said, “Yes.” The professor asked, “Steve would you do ten push-ups so
Joe can have a donut?”

Steve did ten push-ups and Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first
aisle. Steve did ten push-ups for each person before he received a donut.

Dr. Christianson continued down the second aisle until he came to Scott.
Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good physical condition as
Steve. Scott was popular and never lacking female companionship. When the
professor asked, “Scott would you like a donut?”

Scott’s reply was, “Yes, if I can do my own push-ups.”

Dr. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them.”

Scott said, “Then I don’t want one”

The professor shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you
do ten push-ups so Scott can have the donut he doesn’t want?”

With perfect obedience Steve started to do the push-ups.

Scott yelled, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!”

Dr. Christianson said sternly, “Look, this is my class, these are my desks,
and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it” And
he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to perspire and was starting to slow down
a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much
effort to get up and down.

As Dr. Christianson started down the third row, many students were beginning
to get a little angry.

Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?” Jenny’s answer
was a firm “No!”
Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so
Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten…Jenny got a
donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were
beginning to say “No” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.
Steve also had to put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done
for each donut. There was a pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face and
his arms were beginning to turn red because of the physical effort being put
forth.

Because Dr. Christianson could no longer bear to watch Steve’s hard work go
for all these uneaten donuts, he asked Robert, the most vocal unbeliever in
the class, to watch Steve do each push-up to make sure he did all ten in
each set.

As the professor started down the fourth row, he noticed some students from
other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators
that ran down the sides of the room. He did a quick count and saw that there
were now thirty-four students in the room. He started to worry that Steve
would not be able to make it. He went on to the next person and the next and
the next. Near the end of the row, Steve was really having a hard time. It
was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Just then, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room. He was about
to enter when at once all of the students yelled, “NO!! Don’t come in!!”
Jason didn’t know what was going on.

Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.”

Professor Christianson said, “You realize that if Jason comes in you will
have to do ten push-ups for him?”

“Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut.”

Dr. Christianson said, “Okay Steve, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way
right now. Jason, do you want a donut?”

Not even knowing what was going on, Jason said, “Yes, I’ll have a
donut.”

“Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?”

Steve did ten very slow and labored push-ups. Jason, bewildered, was handed
a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row and started on the visitors seated
by the radiators. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each push-up in a
struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was profusely
dripping off of his face and there was no sound except his heavy breathing.
By this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both
cheerleaders, and very well-liked. Dr. Christianson went to Linda and asked
if she wanted a donut.

Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.”

The professor quietly asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda
can have a donut she doesn’t want?” Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten
very slow push-ups for Linda.

The Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan “Susan, do you want a
donut?”

Susan, with tears streaming down her face pleaded, “Dr. Christianson, why
can’t I help him?”

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, explained, “No, Steve has to do it
alone. I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that
everyone here has an opportunity for a donut whether he wants it or not.
When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade
book. Steve is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has
failed a test, skipped class, or offered up inferior work. Steve told me
that in football practice when a player messes up, he has to do push-ups. I
told Steve that none of you could come to the party unless he paid the price
by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes.

Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?”

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that
he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups,
his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said, “And so it was, that our
Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, ‘into Thy hands I commend my
spirit.’ With the understanding that He had accomplished all that was
required of Him, He yielded up His life for us. And like some of those in
this room, many leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.”

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically
exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

“Well done good and faithful servant,” said the professor, adding, “Not all
sermons are preached in words.”

Turning to the class the professor said, “My wish is that you might
understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have
been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God spared not His only begotten son, but gave him up for us and for the
whole world, now and forever. Whether we choose to accept His gift to us,
the price for our sins has been paid. Wouldn’t it be foolish and wouldn’t it
be ungrateful just to leave it laying on the desk?”

There is nothing in this story that even sounds true. Let’s start at the top. The professor’s name is Dr. Christianson, and he teaches a classon Christianity? How very Pilgrim’s Progress. Maybe I should change my last name to Heathenstrom.

Dr.
Christianson taught a required course in Christianity at this particular
institution. Every student was required to take this course regardless of
his or her major.

Oh really? This is a Christian school, right? Or at the very least a private school. Because you’d have a hard time floating a required course on Christianity that from the story seems to be an exercise in prostelyzation at a state school. Speaking of which, in what world is a religious studies professor actually religious? this guy was the chair of the Religious Studies department of my alma mater when I was there.

The professor shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you
do ten push-ups so Scott can have the donut he doesn’t want?”

With perfect obedience Steve started to do the push-ups.

Scott yelled, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!”

Dr. Christianson said sternly, “Look, this is my class, these are my desks,
and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it” And
he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Okay, first of all, Doctor Fakenamerson, you’re being a prick. Second, no those aren’t your desks, they’re the university’s.

Because Dr. Christianson could no longer bear to watch Steve’s hard work go
for all these uneaten donuts, he asked Robert, the most vocal unbeliever in
the class, to watch Steve do each push-up to make sure he did all ten in
each set.

Okay, what? That doesn’t make sense. Instead of, say, stopping the exercise because poor Steve’s about to have a coronary in the middle of “his” classroom, the professor makes the biggest heathen in class count all his pushups?

As the professor started down the fourth row, he noticed some students from
other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators
that ran down the sides of the room. He did a quick count and saw that there
were now thirty-four students in the room…

Just then, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room. He was about
to enter when at once all of the students yelled, “NO!! Don’t come in!!”
Jason didn’t know what was going on.

Remember the part about the author of this piece (and I mean piece in every way possible) never having been to college? This pretty much proves my point. Unless there was a lot of noise filtering out into the hallway, students from other classes wouldn’t just wander into another room. And even if they did, they probably wouldn’t sit down; they’d stand at the back and gawk like normal people. Plus, how the hell many donuts did this guy bring? Presumably he knew how many students he had and could buy accordingly.

As for the second paragraph, “a recent transfer student”? At a college? At the end of a semester? Yeah, not so much. You can transfer to high school at the end of a semester, or middle school, or elementary school, but universities generally expect students to attend for an entire semester. I hope they prorated his tuition, because it seems like a waste of money to pay for a whole semester if you’re just transferring in at the end.

Turning to the class the professor said, “My wish is that you might
understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have
been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God spared not His only begotten son, but gave him up for us and for the
whole world, now and forever. Whether we choose to accept His gift to us,
the price for our sins has been paid. Wouldn’t it be foolish and wouldn’t it
be ungrateful just to leave it laying on the desk?”

Dude, maybe I had a big breakfast. Or maybe I just don’t like donuts. Or maybe I think you’re being an asshole doing that to someone who’s done good things for you. But tell me this: did Dr. Appropriatelynamedson create Football-Playing Steve for the express purpose of making him do an asssload of pushups? Because that’s the story of Jesus. Made entirely to die for the sins of the world. That’s the guy’s whole purpose. To go around being all inspirational and then die. And inspire crappy musicals. Which then inspire funny Mr. Show sketches. I tried to find video for that one but couldn’t. I busted out the Season 1/2 DVDs and watched it though, and it was good.

Score this:
Attempting to promote religion through the use of analogy/metaphor/simile that makes it look unappealing to those outside the religion. Or in this case, through the use of sadism and fried dough.

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17 Responses to Reader-Submitted CCCE- Mmm… Donut

  1. Even before I got to your critique, I was thinking, ‘WTF?!?!?’ Who writes this dreck, anyways? 35 donuts, what is this, Police Academy 666? Pathetic tripe.

  2. You know, the cop/donut thing is, in my experience of working in law enforcement (although I’m not an officer,) not that true. We don’t have donuts at the station more than once every couple of weeks, and those fuckers on day shift always eat the good ones before night shift comes in. Not that that has anything to do with the topic at hand- I just felt like oversharing in comments tonight.

  3. C. L. Hanson says:

    Actually, I think it’s not too bad as analogies go. It makes it quite clear that the idea of “the atonement” is creepy, sadistic, and makes no sense whatsoever. Are you sure it was a Christian who wrote this?

  4. gear says:

    It’s funny, I hate getting these things in my email (And don’t so much these days as I’ve been out of touch with my more new-age Christian friends) but I like this blog so much the link is saved in my syndicator. These things are equally creepy and amusing. Keep up the good work.

  5. Nomen says:

    “When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered up inferior work. Steve told me
    that in football practice when a player messes up, he has to do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to the party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes.”

    1. Then why are you giving donuts to onlookers who aren’t part of the class?

    2. I thought all you told Steve was “I have a class project and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work.” When did you mention anything about a party in the bargain?

  6. rtone says:

    Hilarious! The tale, the analysis, the comments. Love it.

  7. S.Leyva says:

    Regardless of whether the story is fiction or not, it is used as an illustration of the redemptive work of Christ. Only He can pay the debt that we have incurred through our willful disobedience of His standard. He knew that we would never be able to do this for ourselves, so He paid that price for all humanity once and for all with His Son’s death on the cross.

    Some people will claim that payment and allow it to be credited to their debt. And, they will enter into a personal relationship with Jesus as adopted sons and daughters who will partake of the Father’s inheritance as such.

    Some will rack up debt like they will never have to pay for it ever, and then learn only while standing before the judgment seat that they must pay for all of it in full.

    Others feel like they will be cleared of their debt because of some sort of clout that they possess (“good” works vs. bad works, religious affiliation, etc.), or by throwing themselves on the mercy of the Judge.

    But God is completely holy and completely righteous. He can not dismiss sin nor can He be in the presence of it. Therefore, anyone who has not had their “donut” paid for by the only One qualified to do so will suffer the consequences of their transgressions. And yes, the invitation is open to all who desire to enter.

    Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God does not say that the wages of SOME sin is death. He doesn’t even say the wages of SINS (plural) are death. He simply and absolutely says the wages (plural) of sin (singular) is (without a doubt) death. 1John 1:8 says, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” And if you are rationalizing your actions and declaring that they are not sin, you should read Romans 3:23 which says “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

    OK. So maybe you’ve just lied a little once or twice, and maybe you’ve pilfered this or that. But it’s not like you’ve ever killed anyone, right? Well, James 2:10 says “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.”

    The great news is that this forgiveness is open to ALL who come to Him in repentance. He can forgive all of your sins no matter what they are or have been. You don’t have to clean yourself up before you approach Him. Come as you are, and He will do the rest.

    Jesus never said that He was the only way to God. Every road in life that you choose to take will bring you to Him. So the question that remains is “How are you going to stand before God the second after you die? With Him before you as your Father? Or with Him before you as your Judge?

    The choice is now up to you.

    Please visit: http//:www.NeedHim.org

  8. S.Leyva says, “Jesus never said that He was the only way to God.” Like it or not, he said it most emphatically: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV). Again: “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matthew 11:27 NKJV).

    This also was clearly taught by the early church: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”” (Acts 4:12 NKJV). “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 NKJV). Many other references teach the same thing.

    Concerning the story of the donuts, Jesus also used parables – made up stories – to teach. They were not necessarily allegories in which all the details may communicate different ideas. Generally, the parables taught one main truth, sometimes supported by other points like a stool with three legs. When I read the story which I just got in an email, I did a search to see where it might have come from because it sounded more like a parable than a true story (and I found your website). The story has a lot of flaws in it theologically, but the main point may be that someone else paid for the “donuts”. That is not unlike real life. In Economics 101 you learn about TANSTAAFL: “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Someone paid for it. (Someone fed you and clothed you and gave you a home until you were able to take care of yourself. Someone paid your bills.) Two more points: you can eat the donut, or you can refuse it saying that it isn’t fair or that it’s a stupid story. Fair enough. It’s your choice. Only, this story is not about donuts.

  9. S.Leyva says:

    J. Gary Ellison.

    I agree completely with all your Scripture references, but you misunderstood my meaning.

    Jesus never did said that He is “the only way to God,” for every person who ever lived (or will live) will have to come before God and account for what they have chosen to do with His Gift – His Payment.

    Like it or not, ALL will come to God to hear and receive the consequences for that choice.

    Jesus DID always say, however, as you correctly cited, that He is “the only Way to the FATHER.”

    If, when you die, you want to be standing before your Father,
    then Jesus IS the ONLY way.

    ALL other roads DO lead to God, but ALL of those roads will be leading you to the Righteous and Holy Judge. Those who find themselves at the end of one of those many roads, will come to realize just how completely bankrupt and powerless they are to pay for their own way in.

    They won’t be able to beg, borrow, or buy “a donut” to literally save their lives.

  10. Tolkein says:

    Would you believe that the homilist at my parish actually read this story as his sermon this morning? I am a devout Catholic Christian, and I enjoy a good soteriological allegory as much as the next person, but this has to be one of the most inane and tedious (and inapt, I might add) attempts at allegory ever committed to the printed page.

    After suffering through the neverendingly meticulous descriptions of the students, their donuts, and Steve’s pushups, I stared in disbelief as the homilist broke down crying at the end. And then–the cherry on the sundae–the congregation burst into applause. I looked around at everyone and thought, “Who are these people, and what were they listening to?”

    If anyone you know is considering incorporating this tale into a sermon, please–for the love of all that’s holy–stop them!

  11. alan says:

    Did you notice they used the number 35 in this? That didn’t JUST happen by accident. The LORD put it in there because 5 times 7 is 35. Five is a symbol of man’s weakness. Remember that 5 loaves weren’t enough to feed the multitude. And 7 means perfection by GOD. So, it is the combination of man’s weakness with GOD’s perfection.

    By the way, you, too, can make up this kind of numerical BS (at least with any non-prime.) Just head over to http://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4Numbers_and_Scripture.htm
    Happy factoring.

    Praise the Imaginary Friend.

  12. Sarah says:

    I am 100% agreeale with what S. Leyva on the April 17 one, and what J. Gary Ellison said. It was a story trying to compare Steve’s actions to what God does for us everyday. Steve was perfect in school, Jesus was perfect while on this earth. Jesus died for OUR sins so that we may have the greatest rewarded which is Heaven and Steve did 10 push-ups for every kid so that they might have their reward which was a donut. Get where I am going now? If you have faith problems go to http://www.morethanwinning.org or http://www.yfc.net

  13. Josh says:

    While I don’t like analogies that trivialize the sacred, and this is at least in that neighborhood (although it probably helps some people understand the Atonement better), if you are going to sit there and pick apart a hypothetical story just to prove that Christians are “crazy,” it sounds like you need to find some better things to do with your time.

    All people are free to believe what they want, but should also respect what others believe, even if disagreeing with it. I know that Jesus did pay for our mistakes, and you are free not to believe it. Let’s leave it at that and not bicker over it, especially in the form of a hypothetical story.

  14. bdc says:

    Tolkein
    Unfortunately for me – too late. I have heard this story used TWICE from the pulpit at Church within the last few months.
    Urgh! I wish those guys had read your advice. Why on earth would someone utilise the actual scriptures when they can regurgitate this tripe?
    I have to agree that the behaviour amounts to torture. I have seen two versions of the story – one involves high school kids which answers some ofthe criticisms above – but reinforces the idea that the teacher is perpetrating torture on children.
    How weak and shallow must one’s faith be to rely on this type of glurge?

  15. John Harvey says:

    You received an altered version, the original story was about a high school seminary class in Utah. While the story is almost assuredly fictional the details which so bother you all fit in a high school seminary class setting (in the original the class is not mandatory). But your reaction well illustrates the behavior/attitude of the students the teacher in the story is attempting to reverse.

  16. Khris says:

    I have been trying to find the origin of this story, (not getting anywhere, btw); but I have noticed that many people are saying that the teacher is a *jerk (to put it nicely)for turning away; but God the Father withdrew his ‘spirit’ from Jesus Christ while he was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Second with the Seminary class, most are in the early morning before school even starts. To my knowledge-don’t quote me on this- only some cities in Utah and Idaho incorperate Seminary into the school systems.

    • Darren Schmitt says:

      Khris. I apologize for responding to a post so old but since the original one started in 2007 I though I’d give it a shot. I’m not sure blogs are the best place for “spiritual” experiences since it seems to attract so many critics but to set the record straight and answer your question the story is true, It took place May 8th 1985 at Cottonwood High Seminary in SLC, UT. I was in the class.

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