Wichita State University is a public college in Wichita, Kansas. On the campus is the Harvey D. Grace Memorial Chapel, a place for worship, private prayer, or other spiritual activities. Recently, WSU’s administration has upset some “Christian” bigots because the school decided to make the chapel accessible to Muslim students. To quote Joseph Conrad, “The horror. The horror.”
Of course, stoking the non-controversial “controversy” is Fox News’s resident Christian bigot, Todd Starnes. In an October 8 post on the Fox News website, Starnes called what the college did to accommodate Muslim students a “Christian cleansing.” What exactly did this “Christian cleansing” consist of, you ask? In order to make room for Muslim prayer rugs, workers removed the pews at the chapel, replacing them with chairs.
Starnes is outraged. He says:
This is what the Islamic transformation of a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values looks like, folks. The Christian faith is marginalized while the Islamic faith is given accommodation.
Starnes must have spent all of his pathetic, little Mr. Whiny Bitchface life attending church services at megachurches and cathedrals with antique rosewood pews and such. He has obviously never been to one of any number of houses of worship where parishioners sit on folding chairs, and often stack those chairs following services so that they are out of the way for the YMCA basketball league, or such.
The family who donated the money to build the chapel in 1964 specified that the space be open and available to students of all religions and races.
According to The Wichita Eagle, most on campus were ok with the change, which was actually done back in May. But that doesn’t matter to Starnes and the crew of outside agitators, led by a WSU alumnus named Jean Ann Cusick, who started the controversy with a Facebook post. Cusick’s page is filled with posts such as the one below.
Of course the headline from Patriot Update in the post above is totally misleading. The chapel was not renovated because Muslims were “offended.” It was renovated because, as described above, there was no room for Muslim students to put down their prayer rugs. Those students had asked for use of the chapel because they had been worshipping in other places, mainly between the book racks at the college library.
Christian websites have jumped on the bandwagon. The facts are thin and the hyperbole is thick in this story from Christian Today:
Right in the American Heartland, in the state of Kansas, a minority group of Muslim students have succeeded in taking over what used to be the Christian chapel of their university to the dismay of the school’s majority Christian population.
Students at the university are fighting back against Cusick, Starnes, WSU alumni, and right-wing agitators who probably couldn’t find Wichita on a map. The Wichita Eagle reports that student body president Joseph Shepard, who is described as a “church going Christian,” had this to say:
This is Islamophobia. 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.
Thanks to the controversy created by these off-campus agitators, university President John Bardo has appointed Eric Sexton, the school’s vice-president for student affairs, to look into changing the chapel again. In other words, they will now allow right-wing media and bigoted alumni such as Cusick to force their will on the college, despite all indications that the vast majority in the WSU community are fine with the change.
“Christians” who call things like this “persecution” are proving once again that they have no concept of what that word means. You can’t help but wonder what an ancient Christian who was tortured during the rule of Nero might think. The removal of pews in an interfaith chapel is “Christian persecution?” How do you say “bitch, please” in Latin, anyway?
Featured image via Facebook screenshot