ProLife Speaker Ryan Bomberger Discredited for Making Some Wheaton College Students Feel “Unsafe”

"Are students at Wheaton taught to fear or taught to think?"

Last month, Ryan was invited by the College Republicans at Wheaton College to share his presentation “Black Lives Matter In and Out of the Womb.” His talk was followed by a lengthy Q&A session, and Ryan also stayed afterwards to talk to students. However, in the following days, Ryan became the center of controversy when the student body president, vice-president, and the executive VP of community diversity wrote a letter saying he made people, minorities in particular, feel “unsafe.”

 

Ryan Bomberger, a prolife speaker and the founder of a nonprofit group called The Radiance Foundation, travels across the country advocating for the unborn and telling his own personal story, which began when his biological mother was raped. She gave him life, and Ryan was adopted into a Christian multiracial family of fifteen (ten of the thirteen children were adopted). He and his wife Bethany have four children of their own, two of whom were adopted. He says “his life defies the myth of the ‘unwanted’ child as he was adopted, loved and has flourished.”

Last month, Ryan was invited by the College Republicans at Wheaton College to share his presentation “Black Lives Matter In and Out of the Womb.” His talk was followed by a lengthy Q&A session, and Ryan also stayed afterwards to talk to students.

However, in the following days, Ryan became the center of controversy when the student body president, vice-president, and the executive VP of community diversity wrote a letter saying he made people, minorities in particular, feel “unsafe.”  The three student leaders, reportedly with the assistance of two college staff members, sent this email to the entire student body six days after the presentation:

As many of you know, a special interest club hosted an event on Wednesday night titled, “Black Lives Matter: In and Outside the Womb”. The speaker of this event, Ryan Bomberger, made several comments at the event that deeply troubled members of our community. His comments, surrounding the topic of race, made many students, staff, and faculty of color feel unheard, underrepresented, and unsafe on our campus.

As Student Government, we are committed to the College’s mission to promoting student programming that “pursues unity, embraces ethnic diversity, and practices racial reconciliation so that it will contribute to the education of whole persons”, and therefore, felt it necessary to respond to the offensive rhetoric from the speaker at this event that compromised this mission. We would like to reaffirm that call in our Community Covenant to “pursue unity and embrace ethnic diversity as part of God’s design for humanity and practice racial reconciliation as one of his redemptive purposes in Christ”. As a community, we seek to affirm the worth of all human beings as unique image-bearers of God. We also look to recognize and challenge any situations that may hinder this mission.

You can read Ryan’s email response in full, but I thought this part was great:

am a person of color, a clarifying fact which you conveniently left out of your letter of denouncement. I was primarily presenting a perspective of those who are never heard, always underrepresented, and are actually unsafe—the unborn.

…For anyone to claim they felt “unsafe” by anything that I said is unfortunate and simply hyperbole. Are students at Wheaton taught to fear or taught to think?

According to one source, some communication then happened between Ryan and the college administration, but he still feels the matter has not been addressed satisfactorily. The position of the Wheaton College administration in response to this isn’t clear, as they haven’t made a public statement. It does appear that the initiative to write and send the letter was taken by the student leaders (only one of whom attended Ryan’s presentation). The letter being sent may or may not have been with the Wheaton administration’s approval, so I make no assumptions on this.

Read More