My July 25 post included a reference to the controversy over a Biola University student’s attempt to display graphic images of abortion on campus, the university’s rather aggressive response to stop her from doing that, and the reaction of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR).
About a month later (August 20), Biola’s president, Dr. Barry Corey, published an open letter addressing the matter. In it, he apologized to the student and to “anyone of interest” in the public for actions that “were perceived to be heavy-handed and retaliatory.” Strongly affirming Biola’s pro-life commitments, Dr. Corey outlined five types of steps the university is taking:
- Communication—restatement by the University, starting with its president, of Biola’s “current and historic position on the sanctity of life” in various venues.
- Instruction—through sponsoring a pro-life chapel service with invited presenters who will “demonstrate the use of images compassionately, ethically and effectively.”
- Policy—This term, the University is developing “a clear policy supporting the ethical and compassionate use of graphic images in places trafficked by students.”
- Leadership—in the “academic team” (the dean’s office, I presume) to ensure that pro-life commitments are reflected in the curriculum, learning objectives, and outcomes measures.
- Continuing [Biola’s] Commitment—advocating for life in the universities activities “and through our legal action.”
I think that this letter is a model for how to address a sensitive controversy. My understanding is that it has generally been warmly received in the pro-life community, but that the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform may not be entirely satisfied. But I think we should be.