LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Use of Ford Chapel for sex seminar offends many students

“I Heart The Female Orgasm,” a presentation held by Allegheny’s Reproductive Health Coalition and ASG in Ford Chapel, is an unnecessary provocation toward Christian students on campus. We are not necessarily opposed to the event being held, although it does advocate a lifestyle contrary to our ideals. We do, however, oppose it being held inside the only Christian sanctuary on campus — our holiest site, where we gather each Sunday for worship. This event is even more outrageous when one considers that it is being held within Ford Chapel during the season of Lent, when we commemorate Christ’s 40 days of fasting and self-denial.

Those organizing the event claim that Ford Chapel was the only available venue on campus and that the choice was not meant to incite antagonism or controversy. This seems plausible on its face, but it is highly unlikely. I’m not up to date on my scheduling, but what about planning ahead and hosting the event in Quigley, Schultz or any of the other areas on campus which are undoubtedly vacant on a Wednesday night? Of all the venues on campus, why host an explicitly sexual event inside the church? Imagine the uproar if one of Allegheny’s Christian groups hosted a speech by Chick-fil-A’s CEO on family values at the Queers and Allies house. Clearly, Ford Chapel was chosen to push the boundaries. If our campus truly aims to move forward, we must refrain from antagonizing religious students. If students who claim to support tolerance and inclusiveness engage in these types of playground-style antics, undermine their demands for respect and legitimacy. Respect is earned, not given.