Students at the Evangelical Christian Wheaton College in Illinois said that a guest lecture from a pro-life speaker made them feel “unsafe” while recounting his life story of being a Black American conceived through rape and put up for adoption at birth.
The Wheaton College College Republicans recently invited pro-life speaker Ryan Bomberger to speak on campus. Bomberger travels to campuses to give a lecture entitled “Black Lives Matter: In and Outside the Womb.” Bomberger was conceived through rape and put up for adoption after birth. He speaks about his personal story as a Black American during his campus lectures.
According to a report from Campus Reform, leaders of the student government at Wheaton College published a statement that condemned the speech, arguing that Bomberger made students feel “unsafe” on campus.
As many of you know, a special interest club hosted an event on Wednesday night titled, “Black Lives Matter: In and Outside the Womb”. The speaker of this event, Ryan Bomberger, made several comments at the event that deeply troubled members of our community. His comments, surrounding the topic of race, made many students, staff, and faculty of color feel unheard, underrepresented, and unsafe on our campus.
As Student Government, we are committed to the College’s mission to promoting student programming that “pursues unity, embraces ethnic diversity, and practices racial reconciliation so that it will contribute to the education of whole persons”, and therefore, felt it necessary to respond to the offensive rhetoric from the speaker at this event that compromised this mission. We would like to reaffirm that call in our Community Covenant to “pursue unity and embrace ethnic diversity as part of God’s design for humanity and practice racial reconciliation as one of his redemptive purposes in Christ”. As a community, we seek to affirm the worth of all human beings as unique image-bearers of God. We also look to recognize and challenge any situations that may hinder this mission.
Bomberger responded to the statement by arguing that the students only want Blacks to hold certain perspectives.
“It would be a disservice to the students if I, as an African-American, were only allowed to express a particular (and decidedly secular) perspective on culture-shifting issues,” Bomberger wrote in an email statement. “I am a person of color, a clarifying fact which you conveniently left out of your letter of denouncement… For anyone —student, faculty, or staff — to claim that they were ‘unheard’ or ‘underrepresented’ obviously didn’t stay for the 25 minutes of Q&A that followed or the additional 30 minutes that I stayed and responded to more thoughtful questions… Are students at Wheaton taught to fear or taught to think?”