Abortion, Black Lives Matter, and Wheaton

"Last month, black pro-life activist Ryan Bomberger spoke on the Wheaton campus about abortion and race. . . . If disagreement is unsafe, then Wheaton is unsafe. If you don’t like people challenging your ideas when you are intentionally provocative, this is not the place to come and speak." - Ed Stetzer

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Joel Shaffer's picture

Here is part 2 to Dr. Stetzer's interaction with Bomberger.  https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/january/wheaton-college...

I've followed this story with great interest, namely because my son attends and plays football at Wheaton College.  I watched the video presentation by Bomberger (which I felt was good and insightful), read Bomberger's articles where he accuses Wheaton of compromising and silencing, slandering, and smearing him for his pro-life message and his view on racial issues,  along with him publicly contemplating whether he should sue Wheaton student government reps for libel for a letter about him that they sent out to their fellow students.  I held off judgment until I  heard Wheaton College's side.  Sadly, we are not able to hear the side of Wheaton students that objected to what Bomberger had to say after the talk because he threatened to sue them, which conveniently made this a more one-sided narrative controlled by Bomberger.  However, now that Dr. Stetzer from Wheaton has weighed in, Bomberger needs to answer some questions about how he portrayed Wheaton.

Question #1:  Why did Bomberger portray and mislead the public about the disagreement between him and Wheaton college as if the students and the college were objecting to a Pro-life stance?  The headlines and part of the articles he wrote comes across as misleading click-bait about why the students objected to him and felt him controversial.   

Question #2:  Why did Bomberger portray and mislead the public that the leadership was silent about the controversial speech by George Yancy and yet supported the "smearing" of himself? (Stetzer explained in the 2nd article that many of Wheaton's administration and faculty opposed Yancy's speech and Yancy will never be invited to speak at Wheaton again).  It looks like Bomberger made accusations against Wheaton's leadership without most of the facts about how the school handled the Yancy incident. 

Question #3:  Why did Bomberger threaten to sue Wheaton students with libel?  The communication about Bomberger was sent only to Wheaton students, not the outside public.  I thought the email sent by the student government wasn't wise and was flaky, but threatening a libel suit over it?  Right now, the Wheaton students are not telling their side of the story because they don't want to have to deal with a lawsuit.  Bomberger, with all the attention and money that has come in from this controversy (anger and rage is a great fundraising tool), can control the narrative and has the money to hire a lawyer.  The primary student rep that Bomberger interacted with comes from an impoverished background within inner-city Chicago (One of the student's mentors, Brian Dye is a fellow urban ministry colleague and Facebook friend of mine).  The student rep doesn't.  

Bomberger has continually contended that Wheaton and other Christian colleges are trying to silence, slander, and smear him.  Ironically, with these 3 questions, it looks as if Bomberger is doing much of the silencing, slandering, and smearing; the very thing that he accused Wheaton of.