Thursday, December 10, 2015

Not All Evangelical College Students Support Jerry Falwell Jr. on Guns

Wheaton College
Liberty University likes to boast that it is the largest Christian university in the United States. Thousands of evangelical Christian young people attend the Lynchburg school.

But Liberty is not the only self-identified evangelical college in the country.  For most of the twentieth-century Wheaton College was the flagship evangelical college in the United States.  Some would argue that it is still the flagship.  Unlike Liberty, which prides itself on its professional and graduate programs, medical school, law school, and impressive facilities, Wheaton is a liberal arts college that prides itself on its high-achieving student body.  Wheaton consistently lands on lists of the best liberal arts colleges in the country.  It has long been referred to as the "evangelical Harvard."

Today the Wheaton Record, the college's student newspaper, is running an "open letter" condemning Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr.'s recent remarks about guns on campus (Get up to speed here). The open letter was covered by the Chicago Tribune.

Here is a taste of the letter:

On Friday, December 4, Liberty University’s Chancellor Falwell made public statements about protecting the campus against possible terrorist threats. In his remarks, he called for students to arm themselves so that they could “end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them,” exhorting the students to “teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.” While these sorts of remarks epitomize the ever-growing fear and hostility directed toward Muslims, we as Evangelical Christians hold that Christ calls us not to react with religious oppression or violence—instead, we have the responsibility to live out fearless love in order to pursue unity. We, therefore, reject the ideology espoused by Chancellor Falwell in his recent remarks to the Liberty student body, and we invite you to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters who share our human dignity.
Read the rest here.  I am hoping that more students at Christian colleges will use their campus newspapers to condemn the Liberty president's remarks.

ADDENDUM:  The Washington Post also picked up this letter.