ARLINGTON, Texas — Over 200 students at the University of Texas at Arlington recently petitioned a student pro-life group to remove an abortion display featuring nearly 3,000 crosses in part due to concerns that the crosses represented Christianity and thus were “culturally insensitive.”
“Every cross is supposed to represent an unborn child, but not necessarily every child that is aborted is Christian,” petition organizer Ashley Radovcich told The Shorthorn, the campus newspaper. “And therefore, they’re being culturally insensitive, especially since we’re the fifth most diverse campus in America.”
“[T]hey need to be more culturally sensitive to religions and cultures on campus,” she reiterated. “I mean, by all means, they should represent their views—freedom of speech … but they should also be more aware of what they’re putting out to the public.”
“When I’m looking at this, they’re basically telling us that we can go to Hell just for having options,” sophomore Olivia Frost added.
The student group Pro-Life Mavericks had placed 2,900 small wooden crosses on the university’s Central Library mall last month to represent the number of children that are killed in the womb each day by abortion. It had done so the year before and was likewise met with opposition.
Adam Fogel, public relations officer for the Pro-Life Mavericks, said that while a number of pro-abortion students took issue with the cross display, the group had no problem with those who held signs in front of the crosses to express their support for abortion.
“It’s their opinion. They’re exercising their freedom of speech, so I have nothing against it,” he told the newspaper. “We’re trying to get our opinions out and they’re trying to get out their opinions.”
But Fogel also outlined to Campus Reform that disagreement has gone beyond simple sign holding, as the group’s display has been vandalized by those who have taken offense at the spread of cross memorials.
“About 100 crosses or so were kicked over and our display signs went missing for a couple of days,” he said.
However, Fogel noted that not all response to the memorials has been negative, since some have found the display to be eye-opening.
“The biggest surprise we had was finding out how many people had no idea that abortion was this common and this much of a problem in the states,” he explained.
The Pro-Life Mavericks plan on erecting the display again next year.
As previously reported, in 2013, a similar display of crosses was vandalized at Rachel’s Park in Waco during the 40th “anniversary” of Roe v. Wade. Approximately 600 of 4,000 crosses were knocked down or destroyed in the incident, and it appeared that someone had driven a vehicle over the crosses, as the vandal left pieces of the underside of their vehicle littered throughout the park as well as traces of motor oil. Automotive tires were also left at the scene.
“It appears the animosity against the preborn knows no bounds,” park founder Rusty Thomas lamented following the incident. “Not only are we content as a nation to stand back and allow the preborn to die through the sin and crime of abortion, but now there are those among us who seek to destroy the very memory of these children as well.”
The year-round memorial, named after Jeremiah 31:15, which speaks of Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more, was later restored and rededicated. It has reportedly been attacked several times since its inception in 2000.