There is a real problem today with Catholic and other faith-based schools failing to pass the torch of faith (or even respect for faith) to the next generation. Instead, students are allowed run rampant on doctrinal issues, bring anti-faith values to religious institutions, and bully people who hold religious beliefs. Lately, this tragedy has been highlighted when pro-life speakers who align with schools’ statements of belief are vehemently protested by students.
Case in point: A recent viral Tik Tok that showed Archbishop Riordan high school students walking out of a pro-life speaker’s talk got national attention. The video text read, “My school tried to hold a pro-life assembly…so we walked out.” The assembly speaker was Megan Almon, a speaker with the pro-life organization, Life Training Institute. One of the specific purposes of this institute is to make pro-life presentations in Catholic and Protestant schools in order to educate students on how to defend their beliefs. However, Almon was treated like an extremist by the students, facing indifference and hostility.
We know how she feels. Students for Life of America President, Kristan Hawkins, will face this same animosity at the University of San Diego, another Catholic school. As a part of SFLA’s 2021 fall tour, The Future is Anti-Abortion: Preparing for a Post-Roe America, Hawkins will be speaking at the University of San Diego on November 11th. In preparation for her speech, posters have been distributed on campus by the Pro-Choice Students of USD which is encouraging other pro-abortion students to protest at Hawkins’ event. The poster concludes with a sentence which is incongruent to the Catholic faith: “Abortion is a human right.”
The situation at the University of San Diego is not unique for SFLA. Last week, at the first stop of The Future is Anti-Abortion tour, Hawkins faced severe hostility from students at Wellesley College. Her event posters were vandalized, she was publicly discredited through harsh misinformation, and students called upon the administration to not allow her to speak. Although there was a potential for further ugliness and perhaps violence on campus, Hawkins persisted and gave her speech.
She persisted because this something that the Pro-Life Generation deals with daily. But we will not be silent on the human rights issue of our day!
SFLA students and members of the pro-life movement know that, sooner or later, they will be persecuted for their beliefs. Speakers are violently protested, students get abused, and the mainstream media consistently takes the side of the abortion industry.
That’s why it is so important to continue these speaking tours because the culture even in environments that should be pro-life is so extremely pro-abortion. Hawkins makes the point that abortion conversations are important on campuses and in churches because students can “come into my talk believing the bogus lie that pro-lifers don’t care about women and walk away knowing that we do and questioning whether their own side is as pro-woman as they thought.” Real conversations about the inhumanity of abortion can change the toxic abortion culture that is infiltrating faith-based schools.
To read more about common attacks on free speech on campuses, check out Kristan Hawkins’ Wall Street Journal Op-Ed HERE.