Letter to the editors
February 23, 2012
Filed under News & Features
To the editors:
I want to start off by saying that I am not writing to attack 220, and I apologize if that is the perception that arises from this letter. I only seek to weigh into the controversy surrounding 220, and to give my opinion as a student of Le Moyne who is both deeply religious and also deeply tolerant. I feel that 220, while they certainly have the right to congregate at Le Moyne, should not be approved by the administration and allowed to function as a Le Moyne sponsored club.
There are several reasons why I feel this way, but the most pressing and one I feel the administration needs to consider is that this club in no way promotes the Catholic and Jesuit tradition, and its goal is not the promotion of a more just society. What their goal is, is very clear from the last line of their mission statement: “to present the truth of the Bible to Le Moyne College.” It sounds as though their purpose is to proselytize and preach the Bible at us, as though Catholics and non-Christians alike have no knowledge of what it contains, and they are going to preach their version of “truth” without regard for the truths held by the other Abrahamic religions, including Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Something the Jesuits have taught me, and that I hold dear to my heart, is that actions speak louder then words. If 220 wants to be a example of Christ, they should do so by their actions and not by trying to convert the campus to their theology.
Secondly, both Krahmer and Marshall have made it clear that they have no intentions of allowing members who disagree with their theology. Marshall’s comment on Article 10, stating that “It’s hard to have an academic conversation with someone if they don’t have some sort of substantial agreement with what we’re saying,” is insulting to say the least. The purpose of having an academic conversation is that that neither participant agrees 100 percent with the other. I have friends who are deeply atheistic, and yet some of the most insightful, compelling, and wonderful biblical conversations I have ever had came from them. And furthermore, Krahmer’s assertion that in order to lead 220 one must have a “strong Christian background and belief” is just as insulting, because it precludes people who may be knowledge about the Bible, but for one reason or another do not identify as a “Christian.” Leadership in any Le Moyne club should be open to anyone who feels they can perform in the position. To have such restrictions in place means the club truly isn’t open to everyone.
Finally, I would like to point out that there already exists a group on campus for students wishing to learn about faith in general, and to discuss that faith with others. The Faith Sharing Community, which is part of a larger group called Ignatian Ignite, is open to anyone of any religion, creed, belief, or philosophy. It’s open to discussion about any form of faith, atheistic included, and how that faith manifests itself in daily life. Faith Sharing meets at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Chapel.
-Katie Mellnitz ‘13