Crosses shouldn’t offend-nor ideas

Monday that was out of the ordinary on the Great Lawn. There were at least a 100 crosses, each about two feet high, facing the parking lot across from the library. The crosses were placed there in order to promote a lecture that was given by a pro-life speaker who was scheduled to speak at the St. Thomas More Church at late afternoon on that day. Rebecca Kiessling, a self-proclaimed product of rape, took an anti-abortion stance in her speech sponsored by Students for Life, Sigma Chi Zeta and the Blessed Pier Giorgio Confraternity.

However, some pro-choice students were offended by the crosses that were displayed for
the event. But to be offended for this reason is unreasonable since St. John’s is a Catholic
educational institution. A student that attends a religiously-based institution of learning
should expect that he or she will encounter its traditions displayed within the area it owns. So it should not come as a shock if one sees a cross in a classroom, a Nativity scene commemorating Christmas, or even crosses on the Great Lawn.

The pro-choice students should be concerned though with how the University hinders
their collective voice to be heard on campus. Even though the University has a clear position on controversial issues such as abortion and euthanasia, it should not take efforts to limit ideas that oppose its stance on these matters.

Regardless of the fact that St. John’s is a Catholic university, it should not allow one thought to dominate an issue and instead promote an environment where different ideas can be freely exchanged.

Certainly, if the University feels that it has the right answer on a particular issue, it should
let it stand in the trial of ideas. If the University feels it has the truth, it should be confident that it will prevail over other ideas naturally. To hinder other thoughts, especially the prochoice take on abortion and euthanasia, shows that the University is insecure about its stance, fearful that it may falter if challenged. By taping up the
mouths of those who oppose its view, the University will in fact rob the spirit of free inquiry, which should be an essential feature at any institution of learning.

The pro-life students on campus should realize that their being offended by a bunch of
wooden crosses is fruitless and instead argue for an atmosphere at the University where
their voices will not be hushed, but encouraged.