A Pro-Lifer’s Views on the Flags
On the issue of abortion, I am pro-life. However, the flags that were put on display meant to demonstrate a certain number of aborted babies caused a great amount of controversy on both sides of this highly-charged issue. Furthermore, the pro-life stance should not be what is under fire on a Catholic college campus. That being said, I do not think that the flags were presented in a way that was respectful of the lives they represent, or the seriousness of the issue.
The e-mails sent out about what the flags represented were taking a fun, playful tone to what is a very personal and serious issue. Asking people “what those flags are doing in O’Connor Park,” and then playfully writing “I guess you’ll have to stay tuned until tomorrow! [Friday, January 22]” is disrespectful to the lives of the aborted babies they represent.
This issue, while polarizing for both sides, is also extremely solemn, and it should be treated as such. In the Catholic church, they have “Respect Life Sunday” in October, and while this is meant to value all life, abortion is included because the church wants all life respected. The Knights of Columbus’ display of the flags was not, in my opinion, reverent of life; these aborted babies were treated as a fun guessing game instead of a serious display ahead of the Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, there was not an e-mail sent out stating what the flags represented; students who did view the display are still wondering what the flags are actually for. I think that the purpose of doing such a display was lost since many students still do not understand what the flags mean.
I believe there were better methods of getting students to think about and start a civil discussion about abortion while being respectful and taking the issue seriously. I see nothing wrong with displaying the flags in the way that they were displayed, but those discussing what the flags mean needed to have sent out an e-mail with a meaningful message about why the flags are there and what the Knights of Columbus was intending with such a display.
I also think that it could have been possible to do something similar to the Day of Silence for the Unborn, which is in October, and tie it in with the Pro-Life March. An amicable conversation about why the church and the Knights of Columbus take the side that they do on this issue could have also been done, hopefully with better results. The Knights of Columbus do take this matter seriously, but there were better ways the display could have been handled.
I know that not everyone has the same opinion on this subject, and I do not have all of the answers to such a problem. All opinions on the issue are to be respected and heard; part of the college experience is being exposed to different viewpoints on a variety of topics.
However, the subject of abortion is so polarizing and divisive that something needed to be done to bring the college together, not tear it apart. The jovial tone taken with the display does not help the pro-life stance at all; it simply added more fuel to an already stoked fire.