Students at Bradley University's Newman Catholic Center recently put up 4,400 crosses to raise awareness about the number of abortions performed daily. A student group called Voices for Choice protested the display, claiming it misrepresented the religious diversity on the Peoria campus, was offensive to non-Christians, and needed to be removed.
However, Brother Nathan Cromly of the Newman Center says he considers the display a testimony to Jesus Christ and His gospel of life. The center is staffed by the Brothers of St. John, who serve as spiritual directors and guides for the students and assist them in a number of center activities.
“What we wanted to do by erecting the crosses on campus,” he says, “was to call to the attention of the students, who are so often in the dark about the issue of abortion, the fact that [every day] abortion is robbing…4,400 infants of the right to life. In a day and age when students are so sensitive to human rights abuses, we find it kind of amazing that so many of them would be so blasé about an issue that's so fundamental.”
What is far less amazing to Cromly is the level of angry protest mounted over the display. He anticipated such resistance and says, “It shouldn't be so surprising to us that we encounter this opposition, because Christ Himself said, 'If the world hated Me, know that it will hate you, too.'”
The Newman Center's spokesman says it is not for pro-life activists to become afraid and “to cower against the opposition.” Rather, he says, like the biblical Apostles, their job is to “look the opposition in the eye as another human being whom Christ loved but, at the same time, to move forward in love towards what Christ has asked us to do.”
Cromly notes that students with the Newman Catholic Center spent 24 hours working on the display, which took four hours to erect and two hours to take down. In setting up the 4,400 crosses, he says the students chose a striking yet silent way to demonstrate the importance of life to others on campus and, at the same time, to remind Christians of their obligation to defend the lives of unborn children.
(This article courtesy of Agape Press).