Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Cross That Divides - War against the cross at William and Mary
cbn.com ^ | November 21, 2006 | Heather Sells

Posted on 11/21/2006 7:15:21 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe

There's a passion for history at William and Mary-- and pride.

King William III and Queen Mary II chartered the school in 1693. Their purpose: to train ministers in the Gospel and spread the faith among the Indians.

Now, critics say the public school has turned its back on its Christian heritage.

"What is convenient and comfortable has now taken precedence over what has been the core values and the core heritage of the institution," said Dr. Dave Gyertson, former Christian college president.

"The logic of the decision means you can't have a sacred space at William and Mary," said Vince Haley, from savethewrencross.org.

The two-foot high cross now resides in a small closet behind the chapel. President Gene Nichol's recent decision allows its display only upon request. Until now, it was removed only upon request for special events.

"The truth is, not everyone will ask that it be removed--they just won't go," said Vice President of Student Affairs Sam Sadler. "That's sort of access by exception. What we were trying to do by this is to make access equal for everyone."

Surprisingly, the cross in the chapel is not a part of the founding tradition at William and Mary. In fact, it was only given to the college 60 years ago.

And that's why its removal is a "non-issue" says campus Professor and church historian David Holmes.

Holmes loves the Protestant chapel, which closely resembles revolutionary-era Anglican churches with its clear windows, pews that face each other, and plaques honoring Anglican clergy. But Holmes says, when William and Mary was founded, Anglicans considered crosses to be idolatrous objects.

Holmes said, "There's no mistaking it for a Christian church, and Christianity does not revolve around the presence or absence of a cross in a chapel."

Alumnus Vince Haley is not convinced. He's leading a protest that's collected 3,800 signatures from students, alumni, and friends of the college.

Some students CBN News spoke with are clearly upset about the decision.

"To me it's offensive to say that my religious symbol is offensive," said Joe Luppino-Esposito, who opposes the cross removal.

Rory Easton, also opposed its removal said, "I think it's unfortunate that we seem to be succumbing to a politically correct society."

But others support the college, like Virginia Burk. She said, "People should understand that not everyone believes in that kind of stuff, and it can be very offensive."

For now, college administrators say they have no plans to even consider removing other Christian symbols on campus.

But it's a promise that brings little comfort to those who love not only William and Mary, but also the reminders of its remarkable Christian history.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: academia; censorship; christianheritage; churchandstate; erasure; paganism; religiousleft; revisionism; waronjesus
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-24 next last

1 posted on 11/21/2006 7:15:22 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe

Of course removing the Cross is ridiculous.

ther can be no reason that makes sense,except cowardice.


2 posted on 11/21/2006 7:24:30 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sgtbono2002
Save the Wren Chapel - “Thomas Jefferson, William & Mary’s most famous alum, described the teachings of Jesus Christ as ‘[T]he most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.’ Surely the continued presence of a religious symbol celebrating the life of a man who advocated one to, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,’ is in accordance with William & Mary’s highest values.”
3 posted on 11/21/2006 7:27:25 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob

Your alma mater? Thought you would be interested.


4 posted on 11/21/2006 7:28:54 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Make all taxes truly voluntary)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe

It was only a matter of time. As I recall, W&M has been the most "diverse" campus in the country for at least a decade and a half.


5 posted on 11/21/2006 7:35:44 PM PST by Mach9 (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe
...and Christianity does not revolve around the presence or absence of a cross in a chapel.

Brilliant.

6 posted on 11/21/2006 7:39:12 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (America! It's off with the desert BDUs and on with the lavender burqas!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe
‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you

Yes, but not everyone believes in "that kind of stuff." That kind of stuff. Wonder if this woman has even looked at the New Testament.

7 posted on 11/21/2006 7:42:54 PM PST by jwalburg (It wasn't the Executive that Thomas Jefferson referred to as "the Despotic Branch.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe

that kind of stuff, (and it) can be very offensive."

GET OVER IT, the world does not revolve around those who perceive offense.


8 posted on 11/21/2006 7:47:28 PM PST by lilyred (In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. MLK)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe

But others support the college, like Virginia Burk. She said, "People should understand that not everyone believes in that kind of stuff, and it can be very offensive."

___________________________

What is so offensive about a Christian college having a cross. This person knew that it was a Christian college when she went there...too bad.


9 posted on 11/21/2006 8:02:52 PM PST by Vinny (Tolerance is a device used as a prelude to a new Intolerance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vinny
It is a state school
The second oldest in the Nation, after Harvard.
Both were begun as divinity schools.
The denuding of all institutions of Christian and Biblical references is rampant. You all better wake up as your ox is next to be gorred.
10 posted on 11/21/2006 8:07:59 PM PST by Bainbridge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: jwalburg

I am a junior at William and Mary. Although I signed the petition because I hate the president and the anti-Christians, I also do not think it is a serious problem. I would prefer that the cross be present at all times in recognition of the fact that Christianity is the one true faith.

The cross was not historically present in anglican chapels, though. Though I would prefer the cross be present at all times in the chapel, if it was not historically placed in front, I see no reason to place it there so late in the chapel's history.

With that said, I wouldn't mind seeing the savior's cross at the front of the chapel. If it remains down, that too is a justifiable argument.

Either way, Christianity wins by revealing a loving God to humanity, who cares more for the private devotion of his followers than for the public display of a single golden cross.

I am guilty of this as much as anyone else, but if we devoted as much time to thoughts of Christ as we do to fighting political struggles for Christianity, I think we'd be much better off. Politically and religiously, we win when we pray to God for guidance. This is why little battles over crosses can sometimes be less important than major wars over the importance of our beliefs in today's society.


11 posted on 11/21/2006 8:10:27 PM PST by Conservative Youth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Bainbridge

We should begin to build new ones.


12 posted on 11/21/2006 8:11:05 PM PST by Vinny (Tolerance is a device used as a prelude to a new Intolerance)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Vinny

Since it's now a public university, I am sure they were simply figuring that sooner or later they would be sued by the Anti-Christian Liberals Union, and decided to give up early.

Someone did make the point on another forum that the chapel is a historical building, and theoretically the cross could not have been removed without getting permission to do so from the local historic preservation agency (presumably not done). Interesting clash of governmental goals there.


13 posted on 11/21/2006 8:11:26 PM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe
But others support the college, like Virginia Burk. She said, "People should understand that not everyone believes in that kind of stuff, and it can be very offensive."

Vampires consider the cross to be very offensive (or so they say in the movies), but I do not understand why anyone else would.

14 posted on 11/21/2006 8:33:41 PM PST by Logophile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe
Holmes said, "There's no mistaking it for a Christian church, and Christianity does not revolve around the presence or absence of a cross in a chapel."

Sounds like it's back to the catacombs. Nah.... even that wouldn't be accepted by the PC gang.

15 posted on 11/21/2006 10:55:53 PM PST by Just Lori (Blessed are the peacemakers: ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES, COAST GUARD!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe

"Now, critics say the public school has turned its back on its Christian heritage"

- - - as have the Ivy League schools, founded to train ministers of the Gospel. Imagine that.


16 posted on 11/22/2006 5:20:54 AM PST by RoadTest ( He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. -Rev. 3:6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe

I am MUCH more concerned about the neglect of the gospel, namely that Jesus died for our sins, and was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25) than a symbol... (and one in which in the 17th Century many Christians, especially in America, due to their iconoclastic Calvinism, would have rejected in a church).

I suspect the gospel has been absent the William and Mary chapel for several decades now....no surprise the symbol would follow.


17 posted on 11/22/2006 5:27:03 AM PST by AnalogReigns (We really shouldn't sweat the small stuff...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoadTest

While I think Harvard and Yale Divinity Schools are beyond hope (and Harvard has been that way since the early 1800s), I have heard some positive reports that Princeton Theological Seminary is moving back towards traditional Christianity. Apparently, there are an increasing number of traditional and evangelical Christians deciding to go there (perhaps PTS is seen as a mission field in itself?), and even if these students are not in the liberal protestant mainstream, PTS has at least felt their position should be given respect.


18 posted on 11/22/2006 10:51:33 AM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Conservative Youth

"I am guilty of this as much as anyone else, but if we devoted as much time to thoughts of Christ as we do to fighting political struggles for Christianity, I think we'd be much better off. Politically and religiously, we win when we pray to God for guidance. This is why little battles over crosses can sometimes be less important than major wars over the importance of our beliefs in today's society."

Amen. You are very wise for a college junior. Hope you are active in a church. Churches need young people with your discernment.


19 posted on 11/22/2006 10:57:03 AM PST by kaehurowing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Tailgunner Joe

Maybe I missed something...
but do "The Wren Chapel" and/or "The Wren Cross" have anything to do
with architect Christopher Wren?

Just curious.


20 posted on 11/22/2006 10:58:07 AM PST by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-24 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson