The issue of abortion is one so polarizing in America that many people avoid talking about it. It is equally divisive in the Christian community, where many incorrectly assume that all Christians are “pro-life”. First of all, the issue is not as rhetorically simple as “pro-life”, and its binary opposite “pro-death”. The choice to have an abortion is a complicated one, fraught with emotion.
Therefore with an issue so divisive, emotional and complex, I am concerned by the recent campaign to celebrate the birthdays of aborted fetuses with free cupcakes in the Campus Center, as it takes this issue and makes it seem trite and simple. While the purported intent of the organizers was to create a dialogue about abortion, free cupcakes do not open up discourse. Rather, they signal that the issue is as simple as having birthdays to celebrate or not, instead of a complicated personal choice.
Think of another equally polarizing issue, such as gay marriage. Should advocates for gay marriage give out slices of wedding cake in the Campus Center to represent the weddings that gay and lesbian couples will never have? Even as an advocate I would not support that, as it would only further polarize the issue and close off discussion. In the ACU community we need to be open to all voices and ideas to encourage dialogue, rather than using symbols to isolate those who don’t agree with us.
I commend the decision of the chapel office to not bring in a pro-life speaker, as I again think this issue is too divisive and complicated to presume that only one side should be represented by a public speaker. I would encourage the organizers of this event to find other, less divisive and emotional ways to share their message and advocate for their group. We all must be aware of the messages we send in public spaces and ensure that we are opening up dialogue, rather than silencing it. As Dr. Money used to say, there is nothing under the sun that can’t be discussed at a Christian university. That statement stands true for this issue as well. However, rather than having emotional and polarizing campaigns such as this one, let’s find more appropriate times and places to ensure that all students’ voices are heard and that we respect the diversity of the ACU community.
senior political science major