Letter to the Editor: Re: Lenten “Satire”

Dear Editors,

As faculty and staff of the Christian faith at Bucknell, we write to express our concern with the satire article published in The Bucknellian on Feb. 22. Satire regarding Christianity and Christians has a long history — some of it with good reason. Satire can effectively point out absurdities or contradictions in a position, or otherwise contribute to dialogue about important issues. However, the pointless and overt mocking of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — Whom we consider to be the central figure of history and the only hope for all humanity — evident in the article appears antithetical to Bucknell’s goal of “fostering an inclusive, diverse campus community” (Bucknell Diversity Statement). Discussion of the merits of various religions and world views is expected on a college campus. We want you to know that Christian members of our campus community represent a range of ethnicities, nationalities, and branches of historic Christianity share our reverence for Jesus Christ, and grieve when He is demeaned in this way.

There is significant intersectionality among Christian traditions on campus, some of which focus deeply on practices of Lent, and which represent a variety of international cultures that have not been part of the dominant culture of Bucknell historically. Printing such offensive material contributes to a marginalization of some campus members in these traditions, and a feeling that they are excluded from a dominant American secular culture on campus.

In making this a teachable moment for the campus, we call on the Bucknellian to:

—Publish an apology recognizing the offensive nature of the article in relation to campus diversity concerns.

—Engage in a conversation at a group meeting with representatives of Christian traditions on campus, student or staff, who practice Lent as a central tradition, to understand better why this article was offensive and marginalizing; or engage in a university diversity workshop for the staff.

We appreciate your work in telling the story of Bucknell through the weekly news of our campus community, but also seek to make sure that all are included respectfully in that story.

Sincerely,

Bucknell Faculty Staff Christian Association

Bison 4 Christ

Gregory Amarante (Development and Alumni Relations)

Fr. James Chuta (Orthodox Campus Minister, Orthodox Christian Fellowship pastor)

Prof. Rich Crago (Engineering)

Prof. Cindy Guthrie (Management)

Prof. Peter Mark Jansson (Engineering, Rooke Chapel Congregation faculty advisor),

Fr. Michael Rothan (Catholic Chaplain, Campus Catholic Ministry pastor)

Prof./Rdr. Alf Siewers (English, Orthodox Christian Fellowship faculty advisor)

Prof. G.C. Waldrep (English)

Coach Dan Wirnsberger (Athletics)

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