Everyone Can Agree It’s Time to Put Up the White Flag
I came to King’s as a young girl that did not know how she felt about many things in life. Whether the topic was politics, religion or even something as simple as what my favorite movie was – my answer always seemed to be, “I don’t know.” But I did know, I was just afraid to express myself. Now as a senior in my spring semester, I feel confident to express my beliefs in a passionate way. I truly believe that I have King’s to thank for that.
King’s prides itself on being a liberal arts college that has a core curriculum that encourages students to think about life and form their views. Coming in as a freshman, I thought this might have been a bit of malarkey. I expected to continue on with my ignorant life being blissful. However, I soon realized that the proverbial ignorance was not bliss and courses in fields like theology, philosophy and literature helped me to find the views that were hidden deep inside of me. The liberal arts concept truly worked for me and I will gladly shout that from the top of Holy Cross Hall for the entire world to know.
It is fairly easy to grasp that I love King’s College and the liberal arts nature of the school. That is why during my first week of my last semester at King’s, I was so shocked and appalled by an incident that occurred so early in my final days at my beloved school.
It all started when I received an email on the first Wednesday of school, as did the rest of the campus, that asked, “What are the baby-colored flags doing in the middle of campus? Find out Friday…” I had yet to see the flags, so I simply disregarded the email. I walked past the center of campus and duly noted the baby blue and pink colored flags on my way to class.
Thursday soon came and the student body received another email that said, “Do you wonder what those flags are doing in O’Connor Park…? I guess you’ll just have to Stay tuned until Tomorrow!” Now I was excited. I couldn’t wait until Friday to see what the flags were all about. Was it a surprise for the senior class? Was it some interesting study about gender studies? The emails really pumped me up and I was ready to see what fun surprise the flags represented.
I went to O’Connor Park and saw a stand set up right by the flags. I walked up to the stand and saw that the flags were put up by Knights of Columbus to show how many fetuses get aborted. I had forgotten that it was the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision. I immediately felt my face getting flushed as I learned what the flags represented. While I am a very liberal Democrat, I am still very open to other beliefs. The flags were a stand against abortion and while I am not pro-life myself, I had no issue with this belief. However, there were many other issues that I had with this incident, as did many other students.
One of the many problems that I felt about this was the notion that Knights of Columbus was responsible for this event. I find it patronizing to women that a males-only organization can tell women what they should do with their bodies. Perhaps if the Knights of Columbus worked with their sister group, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, they would have gained more credibility on the subject.
Another issue that truly bothered me and other students was the spirited emails sent about the flags. The emails were full of fun and I was excited by them. Such a serious subject as abortion was the last thing I expected the flags to represent.
Sarah DeMace, a senior at King’s, also felt that the tone of the emails didn’t match the message of the flags.
“The serious and morbid subject didn’t match the tone of the emails,” DeMace said. “Abortion is such a sensitive topic that shouldn’t be hyped up by playful emails, no matter if you are pro-choice or pro-life.” The flags made a mockery of the subject of abortion.
Even though I am pro-choice, I think that believers of pro-life should get their chance to share their views. I feel that King’s helped me to feel that openness to others’ beliefs. However, I do wonder if King’s would allow an organization promoting pro-choice to set up an exhibit in the middle of campus. The liberal arts core curriculum tells me that it would be allowed, but I still have a feeling that it would never be permitted. I am left with a funny taste in my mouth after seeing the flags, and I feel uncomfortable walking by them every day to class.