July 20, 2019 | 85° F

Attacking support for Stan uncalled for regardless of facts

Letter to the Editor

Recently, The Daily Targum published an opinion piece by a University student that attacked the overwhelming support for Stan McNeil, the former LX bus driver. The student justified First Transit’s decision to fire Stan over a safety breach and criticized those defending Stan over religious freedom. The author did note that Stan was a positive influence, but despite the good, feels Stan’s treatment was deserved.

Stan’s person had a distinctly religious overture, but his bus driving did not. When Stan delivered his famous speeches, he did not make them Christian-themed. He said we were destined for greatness, that we were rock stars and champions. He high-fived us. In all my trips on Stan’s LX, I never heard him mention God.

When he did show his religious beliefs, it was when he asked single students to pray with him. Stan’s prayers were between two consenting adults. Others may have overheard them, but Stan never pushed anyone to hear something. The author asks if we would have defended Stan the same way if he rallied the bus in Muslim prayer. Sadly, we will never know. He never rallied the bus in Christian prayer, much less in Muslim prayer.

Rutgers prides itself on its diversity, its myriad thoughts and ideas. Why then are we condemning a man who has helped us experience that diversity? Even I, as a Christian, had never met a man like Stan. And I would be glad to meet someone who had the courage to share his peaceful, uplifting, motivating Muslim faith with me while driving a bus.

The author took particular exception to Stan’s faith healing claims. Maybe the author is right, and such claims are impossible. But I know that medical industry is filled with the impossible every day, and I know some students feel Stan healed them. How can I know which is true unless I investigate? I can only learn if I am taught something I didn’t already know.

First Transit had every right to fire him. But this was a man who did good for a living. Oh, and he drove a bus. If anyone deserves a second chance, it’s Stan. This was a man who gave of himself every single day. By accepting Stan’s dismissal, we learn that procedures are more important than people, that covering yourself is more important than character. If this is true, then I would like some more “crackpots” in my life.

Andrew Yuskaitis is a School of Arts and Sciences alumnus.

By Andrew Yuskaitis

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