News & Politics

Oklahoma Wesleyan President Rebukes Whiny 'Safe Space' Students

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, listens as Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Everett Piper prays at a rally on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, at the university's Lyon Chapel and Fine Arts Center in Bartlesville, Okla. Hundreds of people showed up to hear Cruz and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) speak at the rally. (Timothy Tai/Tulsa World via AP)

All hope may not be lost. (The following is the note from the university president in its entirety.)

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!

This is not a day care. This is a university!

In a twist that no one would have seen coming fifty years ago, private religious colleges may be the last bastions of campus free speech and sensibility when all of this plays out. Obviously, the end game of the social justice warriors who scream about microaggressions, safe spaces and trigger warnings is a complete dismantling of the First Amendment. Ironically, telling them to shut up is probably the essential component to saving freedom of thought and speech on American campuses.

This is a topic I’ve dealt with humorously and seriously for a couple of decades now. My daughter is heading off to college in the fall and we are having a lot of discussions about the social justice warriors and what they are really doing. This dystopian nightmare on college campuses that sees free speech and due process constantly under assault needs to be countered quickly and permanently.

We may not be able to undo the damage if it goes on much longer.