On behalf of the Knox College InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter, I am writing to inform you that between 20-25 copies of our flyers advertising two open bible studies we host on Mondays and Thursdays have been taken down without our consent last week.
The first set of flyers went up on the night of Monday, Jan. 28, approximately around 7 p.m. in various locations in Seymour Union and the Umbeck Science and Mathematics Center. By the next evening, Tuesday, Jan. 29, they had been taken down. Flyers for the Gospel of Luke seemed to be the preferred target between the two.
Not wishing to arrive too soon at the conclusion that our flyers were singled out, we put up new flyers in Seymour Hall. By the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 30, however, they had been taken down again.
At this point, we contacted our staff adviser, Professor Louisa Sue Hulett, and our IVCF staff worker based in Peoria, Martin Smith. We concluded that the flyers are neither offensive nor overtly eccentric in their content and presentation.
There should be no reason why someone in the Knox College community feels the need to take them down systematically.
On the night of Thursday, Jan. 31, we put up new flyers in the Umbeck Science Mathematics Center hoping for a better result. By the morning of Friday, Feb. 1, however, some had been taken down again.
Our concerns are as follows: The college’s commitment to freedom of speech and civil discourse is seriously being breached, undermined and threatened. If anyone takes issue with our flyers, they are more than welcome to contact us directly.
Our contact information is clearly marked on the flyers.
As stewards of the earth, we want to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. Making new copies (in color) to replace old ones is not sustainable.
The individual(s) who is/are taking down the flyers are depriving their peers of the opportunity to even consider taking part in activities that complement the college’s commitment to diversity and the pursuit of truth.
We hope that you recognize the dilemma in which we find ourselves. Should we put up new flyers only to have them taken down to the detriment of the college community and the environment? Should we stop putting up flyers and so compromise on our calling to be humble and gentle purveyors of our faith and the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus? These are some of the questions we hope you help us answer.
As followers of Christ, we are bound by the grace of God not to lash out in return. Our confidence and focus remain on Him who, when reviled “did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
Class of 2013
President, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
*Copy Editor for TKS