More than 50 years ago, when a family donated money to create the Harvey D. Grace Memorial chapel at Wichita State University in Kansas, they said they wanted the space open to people of all faiths. That’s why, earlier this year, the school decided to remove the pews from the building. When Christians wanted to worship, they could break out the folding chairs. And when Muslims wanted to pray, they would have plenty of space available to them as well. It was a win-win for everyone.
But alum Jean Ann Cusick decided this was Christian Persecution.
She wrote on her Facebook wall last week:
So. In MAY, it would be decided the pews would be taken out for ‘Accommodation”. The Muslim students are ecstatic in the link, here provided.
If a Methodist, or Catholic or any other faith group wishes to use the chapel, can they also reserve 1 hour DAILY???? And who pays to have the folding chairs added and taken down when they are needed. ALL pews gone as well as the Cross???!!! Sumpin’ NOT right here.
A lot of “sumpins” aren’t right here… but opening the chapel to everyone isn’t one of them.
Cusick’s post brought out the bigots, though, and the school has had to quell the uprising of Christians who think religious inclusivity is an attack on their beliefs:
“Why did they have to take out all the pews?” Cusick said.
The decision, she said, marginalized Christians.
“This is Islamophobia,” said Wichita State’s student body president Joseph Shepard, a church-going Christian. “It’s coming from off-campus, not from the students here. “They say we’ve taken a place of Christian worship and turned it into what they call a mosque.”
On Tuesday, Wichita State president John Bardo posted a message on Facebook, saying the university would look at changing the chapel’s furnishings yet again.
Maybe the best comment came from Taben Azad, vice president of the WSU’s Muslim Student Association, who correctly pointed out that Cusick cared so little about the chapel that she wasn’t even aware of the changes until six months after they happened.
It would be foolish for WSU to cave in and reinstall the pews just because a handful of Christian bigots never learned how to share and don’t want to breathe Muslim cooties. Swapping the pews for chairs is a simple accommodation that hurts nobody and opens the space to more students. You’d think religious people everywhere would be thrilled.
Not Cusick, though. She’s too busy complaining that Muslims are being treated with respect at her alma mater.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Kat for the link)