Analysis

Christian college administrator calls students desiring to do pro-life outreach ‘antagonizers’

pro-life, abortion

According to Campus Reform, an administrator at a private Christian university told a pro-life campus group that its members could not collectively counsel abortion-minded women off campus. According to video obtained by the outlet, administrator Chris O’Connor, Director of Student Activities, derided the pro-life students as “antagonizers.”

Campbell University is a private Baptist college located in North Carolina, where students are allegedly taught to “lead with purpose.” Their mission is…

informed and inspired by its Baptist heritage and three basic theological and biblical presuppositions: learning is appointed and conserved by God as essential to the fulfillment of human destiny; in Christ all things consist and find ultimate unity; and the Kingdom of God in this world is rooted and grounded in Christian community.

Despite this mission, O’Connor allegedly told students, “I don’t want to use the word… ‘antagonistic,’ but it could be perceived as that. You’re going there to target that business.”

Lydia Taylor, president of the Campbell University chapter of Students for Life, insisted students intended only to counsel women in a loving, peaceful way — but O’Connor said that women going to get abortions may “not perceive it as loving.” He then insinuated that faculty had these concerns from the beginning.

“When the club was founded there was some concern that there would be some things like this happening,” he said. “The committee was reassured that the club wasn’t going to put the university in a tough spot like this.”

O’Connor said students could go there individually, but not as a sanctioned club activity.

Eventually, the university reversed its decision, according to a Campus Reform update. The group will be allowed to counsel at an off-campus abortion facility, but are required to leave if there is any conflict.

Haven Hottel, Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing, told Campus Reform that the request for travel activities are still under review.

READ: Christian colleges with links to Planned Parenthood exposed in year-end report

“Requests by recognized student organizations must meet certain approval criteria, including a commitment to abide by all conduct requirements as outlined within the Student Handbook to ensure student safety,” Hottel said. “The Office of Student Life is committed to an equitable review of all student organization travel requests, as per our published policies.”

Yet Taylor pointed out that Campbell not only allowed the campus LGBTQ club to travel to Washington, D.C. for a Pride parade, but also provided transportation. “So I assumed since Campbell was allowing [that] controversial event… they would certainly allow for us to hold a small and peaceful event just 30 minutes away,” she said. “We would not be able to use Campbell funding to go to [these] events off campus.”

Early this year, Students for Life of America released a report identifying 69 self-professed Christian or Catholic colleges with ties to Planned Parenthood. The initial investigation found over 100 colleges promoting the abortion giant on campus, but 34 removed references to Planned Parenthood from their websites after being contacted by Students for Life. It is discouraging for many pro-life students to learn that even at Christian universities, the abortion industry’s reach cannot be avoided.

“It’s just very sad to me that Christianity is being misrepresented at our university as supportive of abortion,” Taylor said. “It’s very discouraging to see this happening all over Christian universities everywhere. But it’s only motivated me to not back down and keep fighting. I would love to be able to [hold events] as [a] Campbell club, because that should be our right as a club on campus. But until then, we will continue to fight on our own.”

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