Editorial: The anti-abortion demonstration was a misguided spectacle

Posted By Horizon Staff October 25th, 2012 in Editors Pick : 45 COMMENTS

The following is the opinion of the editorial board.

As the majority reading this will be aware, third-year Seth Gruber recently demonstrated in an utterly inappropriate manner against abortion on campus. The Tuesday demonstration outside the Dining Commons included graphic images of aborted fetuses. It was intentionally shocking, provocative and inflammatory. The editorial board condemns Gruber’s decision to use graphic photos in a misguided attempt to convince students to adopt his own viewpoint.

The Horizon’s editorial board affirms that the principles of freedom of speech and thought should be upheld on campus. However, while Gruber has the freedom to express whatever opinion he pleases, he has a responsibility to deal with the consequences of his public demonstration. When public speech crosses the line, becoming offensive and destructive to the community, we can and will condemn it.

We question what Gruber hoped to accomplish by displaying these signs on an overwhelmingly pro-life campus. If he hoped to draw attention to the issue of abortion, he will be dismayed to learn that the debate triggered on campus by his demonstration does not revolve around abortion. Rather, it revolves around Gruber and the appropriateness of his actions.

The signs used were printed by the ambiguously-named Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, where Gruber works. We do not know whether the Center endorsed this particular demonstration. This organization specializes in “public education,” which is to say they specialize in the types of demonstrations our student body observed on Tuesday.

A centerpiece of the organization’s argument is the assertion that abortion is the modern day equivalent to the Holocaust. While Gruber may not endorse the organization’s implicit comparison of abortion-supporters to Nazis, he used their signs in this demonstration.

His actions were utterly inappropriate for any public forum that aims at a full and substantive debate on the moral question of abortion. The reality, whether pro-life activists wish to acknowledge it or not, is that reasonable people disagree over the morality of abortion. These kind of demonstrations dehumanize, bully and condemn those they disagree with; this method of communication creates an unhealthy environment for conflict and debate.

Let’s look at a more effective method of approaching the abortion issue. In April of 2011, Gruber himself helped organize the Westmont-approved event “Abortion: Right or Wrong,” which featured a debate between Scott Klusendorf (pro-life) and Nadine Strossen (pro-choice). It was followed by a question and answer session, allowing students to participate and encounter different perspectives. We know Gruber is capable of better, and we will hold him to that higher standard.

Gruber’s actions did not just undermine the fabric of civil debate on campus; they were destructive to the community Westmont strives to maintain. On a campus of this size, no matter how pro-life it may lean in its political views, statistically at least one or two people have had an abortion. Did Gruber’s demonstration take this damage to the community into account, or consider the effect these images would have on those individuals?

We encourage the College to disavow these actions. We encourage those affected to remember that Gruber’s opinion is not the opinion of Westmont College or of the student body. Finally, we encourage the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and Gruber to keep explicit demonstrations like this off our campus and consider more productive avenues of sparking conversation and change.

45 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Being this is the opinion page that is of course all you have shared: your opinion. Let me say that I fully disagree with your strong condemnation of a man who’s heart you likely do not know. And let me ask what research you have done as to what methods are most effective in moving people to action against a moral evil. Hmmm? Please explain the research? To condemn someone who has done the research about what is most effective, if you haven’t seems rather irresponsible. I, for one congratulate Seth Gruber for his fortitude and love. I’m not under the impression that he gains anything personal from this other than the knowledge that he is obeying his Lord the best way he knows how.

  2. Natasha says:

    I agree with Dave, if you have ever talked with Seth you would see his heart is after God and his methods for bringing to light to this issue of abortion is drastic, but I believe, effective. I, praise the Lord, have never had an abortion, so I can’t speak from a post-abortion victims stand point, but like everyone else I have been faced with the issue of choosing which side I will support. I used to believe the statement that “a women has a right to choose what she does with her body,” but after seeing graphic images and videos of abortion, it became more than just a word and something to argue over. I saw a video of a baby that was almost full term be taken out of a women and set on a table… as if it was just a tooth that the dentist had pulled out, rather than an actual human baby life. If I hadn’t seen that, I may never have been swayed to believe this is a cause worth standing up for. So I commend Seth Gruber for being brave enough to stand for life. Jesus said, Let the little children come… but how will they come if they aren’t even allowed to born into this world?

  3. Hailey says:

    I strongly disagree with your opinion as well. It seems you are speaking on behalf of the whole student body when you don’t know the opinion of the whole student body. I myself, being a student here, fully agree with what Seth is doing. Westmont is refusing to talk about this subject and something needs to be done about it. We have global focus weeks about reconciliation and poverty and wealth but why not on abortion? This is a major issue; it is an issue of life and death. And you are more worried about people’s feelings than the truth being told? Feelings are by choice, you choose what you feel. These babies do not have a choice. We need to be their voice. God has called us to be on mission for Him and the issue of abortion is part of God’s mission. You say there was a more effective method of getting the truth out in April of 2011. I question the effectiveness of that event because what has been done since then at Westmont? We cannot just talk about it, we must act. You also say that this campus is mostly pro-life; I would challenge you to do some research on what the opinions of this campus really are. I could say a lot more on this subject but I will end with this, I have asked God to break my heart for what breaks His heart and abortion devastates my heart. I would challenge you to talk to God about this issue and see what He says.

    • Laura says:

      Hailey, I would read the article again. No one is condemning Seth’s pro-life convictions. In fact, the article (truthfully) states that this campus is overwhelmingly pro-life. This is my fourth year at Westmont and I can say that I’ve probably run into about three pro-choice individuals in my time here. And it’s something I’ve discussed with people quite a bit. But if you want evidence that’s not merely anecdotal, get in contact with Dr. Knecht of the political science department who recently did a study on students’ political convictions.
      The issue here is not the abortion question broadly speaking. Mr. Gruber certainly intended to convince students of the horrors of abortion but instead convinced the student body of the horrors of misguided communication. While his philosophical convictions may be well-conceived, he has deeply wounded many within our community and encouraged shame rather that contrition, anger rather than dialogue, and distraction rather than action. Furthermore, his display marginalized those on this campus who see this issue not merely as one that affects the unborn but as one that greatly affects the lives and well-being of women. The issue is not as simple as Mr. Gruber would like to think it is. The truth is that for every unborn child there is a woman in a unique circumstance which may or may not involve victimization. By eclipsing the issue to pertaining merely to the unborn, Mr. Gruber has forced those like myself who care deeply about both women and their children to pick sides between two parts of a non-mutually exclusive conviction. While it’s true that we should not be quick to label “wrong” those things that we find offensive or upsetting, both Mr. Gruber’s use of graphic imagery and his stance towards those with whom he disagrees have led to deep hurt for many on this campus. It is possible to deal with this issue constructively and respectfully; that possibility has not been realized this week.
      I am glad that you feel so strongly about this issue and that God has blessed you with a desire to do something. I would ask both you and Mr. Gruber to think about getting involved with a local crisis pregnancy center, to start respectful conversations with friends, to love those around you who may be facing unwanted pregnancies, to support legislation which opens doors for those seeking the option of adoption, and to attend next week’s programming on wealth and poverty, as economic disparities play a huge role in abortion statistics. I agree: let’s do something about this. Let’s seek to love those around us and to be used as instruments of healing and peace. Let’s admit that, while God may not be a God of relativity, we don’t have complete access to His knowledge and thus must remain in a spirit of epistemic humility. Let’s pray that our anger would be softened and that grace would abound on this campus, for all who have been affected. And let’s seek God’s face on this issue, recognizing that our primary commandment is to love God and His people.

      • Laura says:

        Furthermore, Westmont is not refusing to talk about this issue. Those in power are, however, seeking to address the abortion question in a way that is beneficial for the students they serve. Mr. Gruber’s display was not approved because it was (rightly) seen as something that would not benefit the intellectual and spiritual growth of the students here. If Mr. Gruber wishes to address the issue of abortion on this campus, I would suggest that he respect the decisions of those in authority over him and work with them on a more constructive outlet.

      • Jojo Ruba says:

        Laura, if we were talking about the “choice” of killing 2 year olds, would your argument make any sense? I don’t need to have “epistemic humility” to know that killing an innocent 2 year old is wrong – why then use that argument to justify choosing to kill a 2 month old child in utero?

        Every civil rights movement from Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, the Vietnam War and even anti-smoking groups use images as evidence agains the injustice they are fighting. Does that make some people upset? Yes. Should we be sympathetic to those hurt by the images? Absolutely. Does that mean that their actions were wrong because people’s feelings were hurt? Not at all.

        Jesus said a lot of tough and hurtful things to people who needed to hear the truth. Why? Because He loved people enough to tell them that truth.

        In the US, born-again Christians are having abortions, including at your school. Do you think it’s worth sacrificing the life of innocent children who might have been saved if their moms saw these images because we are afraid of offending others? If you do, then that truly cannot be love.

    • Horizon Staff says:

      Hi Hailey, just wanted to clarify: an editorial, by definition, is an article reflecting the opinion of the Horizon staff as a whole (which is why there is no byline). This is the reason for the collective language expressed throughout the article—not an attempt to write on behalf of the student body, but on behalf of the newspaper itself and the staff involved.

      • Theresa says:

        Horizon Staff,
        I am currently in a Journalism course here at Westmont and I am curious to know whether the Horizon staff as a whole all had this opinion, and were all consulted on everything that was written in this article, and if so did everyone on the staff write this article collectively or was it written by an individual with the consent of the entire Horizon staff?
        Also you state in your article that these types of demonstrations dehumanize, bully and condemn those they disagree with. This is a very bold statement. I feel that if you make this statement you must believe that the same applies to the written word, and that an article can have similar qualities. While this article is not outrightly condemning Seth I feel that much of the language used can be interpreted as negative and only gives a one sided view of Seth, thus dehumanizing him to a point.
        I was saddened by the fact that no other voices were apparent in this article except for the Horizon staff. With an issue of such controversy and apparent conflict on campus I believe it would have been in the Horizon’s best interest to go more in depth on the issue. This could have been achieved by interviews with Seth himself, the organization he is affiliated with, as well as positive and negative reactions from students on campus. While the article is presenting a good point, just as Seth himself is in support of a good cause, I believe that both areas could use a more loving approach, and through love more can be solved.

  4. anonymous says:

    Dave, this article doesn’t seem to condemn Seth’s heart. Rather, they are condemning the means he chose to pursue his end. If the supposed end is public education, but the result is mass conflict, shock, and anger, there is something amiss in the means. Completely withholding any judgment on Mr. Gruber’s motives or his heart, it is safe to say that his actions did more to shut down communication than to open it up. They focused dialogue around himself and his methods rather than around the abortion issue. His audience by and large felt attacked rather than invited into productive, loving discourse. Regardless of where any of us stand on ANY issue, we all need to speak the truth in love. Whether you’re Seth, one of his detractors, or a commenter on this page, stop trying to trap people in corners and start trying to welcome open honest discussion.

  5. Chelsea says:

    Who is Seth trying to reach here? He is most likely trying to reach women who are considering having an abortion. These women are in a world of hurt; they are confused, at war with themselves and society, and trying to make one of the most influential decisions of their lives. One of the biggest decisions of a person’s life is best guided with prayer, but many (not all) of these women do not know Christ. If Seth set up a booth with a sign that said, “Thinking about an abortion? I’d like to listen, come talk to me”, he would get WORLDS farther. By sharing with them this strong view in kindness, in vulnerability, in transparency, they would hear much more than from a MAN shoving awful photos in their faces. These women need love, and guidance, and Seth, no matter his heart, is shoving traumatizing images in their faces, as if they are not going through enough trauma.

    Seth may have the best heart in the world, and he may be doing this out of what he thinks is a display of love, but the hurt and disgust he caused with his display was far from any type of love I have ever heard of, experienced, or encountered.

    The largest cause of worry from all this is that Seth is not hearing anyone. Seth did not revolutionize communication with women in hardship, he instead traumatized women all over campus. I am sorry to those that love Seth, know his heart, and must hear him get criticized, however if he wants to get anywhere with these women he needs to reevaluate. Unfortunately for women, Christians, and Seth, he pridefully refuses to hear a word of wisdom from anyone.

    • Jon P. Tew says:

      Right. Because women thinking about an abortion will be caught going up to a table that says, “Thinking about an abortion? I’d like to listen, come talk to me”.

      These photos have turned many over to the prolife movement. How many has it turned away?

      • anonymous says:

        Honestly, I’ve only heard people become more open to the idea of pro-choice by this display. They audacity with which the information was displayed made them reconsider their stance as pro-choice (as well as pro-life) advocates came to defend those who were hurt by the graphic images.

  6. Caitlin Postal says:

    I commend the editorial staff for taking a position on this event. I’m currently on an off-campus program and we have had extensive conversations based on the WCSA email, this article, and Seth Gruber’s blog post in the past day. Since none of us were on campus during the demonstration, we are affected slightly differently but this event still raises the question of what is appropriate for an on-campus display and protest. I’m going to be blunt: Gruber’s actions are incongruous with the student conduct and handbook. If he comes away from his actions with nothing else, I pray that he would recognize the harm he has caused the student body by failing to comply with student conduct and common courtesy. I can speak more specifically of my opinions about his actions but those are better suited to a different venue.

  7. Caitlin says:

    Also there is a mistake in the first line of your article. Seth Gruber is not a fourth year student, but a third year student.

  8. Diana says:

    CBR, the organization Seth works for, set up their GAP presentation (Genocide Awareness Project – the one Seth was denied to present 3 times on Westmont’s campus) at our local community college campus last spring. I brought our Chinese exchange student to see it. She carefully walked around and read each display board that juxtaposed abortion with another injustice. On our way home I explained to her that many students react violently and negatively to this display – much like I see Westmont’s students behaving. So here is a young lady, raised in “forced abortion,” “one child policy” China, and this was her response: I don’t understand why they are angry at the posters, they should be angry at what the posters are teaching. They should be angry at abortions.

    She is not a Christian, she did not grown angry at the presenters, she simply, honestly responded from what she saw. She got it!

    I do wonder why Seth has become the target. It is abortion that is the horror – not the one who is exposing it.

    I read in your article that there has to be a more effective method. Rather, can’t you embrace that there are many methods that are called for to eradicate abortion? … being the complicated, many-faceted issue that it is – it takes many tactics to deal with each scenario.

    As for the method Seth used, I agree with some of the other respondents that this particular method has been researched – it is known to be a very effective way to eradicate a social injustice, and it has been used historically to do just that.

    I just wonder why Westmont editorial staff can’t see that. I would think, above all, that journalists would embrace a type of communication that exposes evil.

    I also find it confusing for you to speak of his “misguided attempt to convince students to adopt his own viewpoint,” (which is obviously pro-life), and then you speak of your “overwhelmingly pro-life campus” but close with “Gruber’s opinion is not the opinion of Westmont College or of the student body.” So – are you pro-life or not?

    • Another Anonymous says:

      Diana, do you realize that this is a Christian college? Most people on this campus are pro life. People are upset with how it was presented. Many of us were taught as kids how to argue without violence. His posters were arguing with violence. As a com minor, I would have hoped Seth had learned that.. In case I wasn’t clear, many people at Westmont are pro life.

      As for the Horizon, they don’t have to take a stance. And Westmont should not have a stance. We have been taught to have our own ideas and beliefs, and not blindly follow what we are told our college believes in. How great is it that we are allowed to formulate our own ideals? This is a liberal arts college. And I am proud of that.

      Seth is not a target. He is not pictured as some horrible person for saying what he believes in. People are upset with how he has presented them. For some people, sure, these pictures may work in getting his point across. For those upset at how he has presented them, obviously they did not. Personally, they make me angry. Abortion is not genocide. My own stance shall remain out of this because I want both sides to listen.

      Genocide: noun: the deliberate, systematic killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.
      -Abortions are not systematic
      -Abortions are not of a particular ethnic group or nation

      What this program (CBR/GAP) is trying to stretch out as genocide, is what they can call murder. But murder apparently doesn’t sound as drastic as genocide. However, when you look in the thesaurus next time for a word that can make a bigger impact, be sure to look up the definition to make sure it matches up with what is actually happening.

      I’m glad the posters worked for your Chinese foreign exchange person. Don’t expect everyone to be the same. Everyone has difference reactions to issues. Try to be gracious than that.

      I do agree that abortion is a multi-faceted issue. But no where in any of the presentations, any of his or your arguments do I hear you coming from the woman’s side. You do NOT know what someone has gone through until you are in their shoes. And don’t give me an example of someone who saw the display, broke down in tears and thanked you. Because he’s already used that one. Every issue is complicated. And whatever level of guilt someone is experiencing is not helped by displays saying “Here’s what you did!” That is not loving. That is condemning.

      This is an opinion paper. If you want anyone to hear your opinion, you better let them tell you their’s as well. Otherwise you’re shoving your own values down their throats.

      Did you know that it was not just the Horizon that wrote about it? We received an all-student email from WCSA about the incident as well. It was a well-written email with some interesting information. Did you know that Seth went behind their back and put this up without permission? I’ve heard from others that the men he was with weren’t going to leave until the police came. Did you know that these actions spoke louder than his pictures? Disrespect came out of those posters. Disrespect for women, the school officials, the student body and our school. THAT is what makes people angry.

      • Jojo Ruba says:

        If the students and school are more upset about the fact they saw what abortion does than the fact that 1 million Americans are killed that way every year, than I have a hard time accepting your school as a Christian one.

        • anonymous says:

          Just a point of clarification, unborn children are not american citizens. The act of being born in America makes you an american, as well as any other naturalization processes. Having US citizen parents qualifies you for this, but only once you are born.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am a student in Mr. Gruber’s class here at Westmont.

    The idea presented is a good one. I believe that most of the campus agrees that abortion is wrong.

    However to post on facebook and link this article as Mr. Gruber did following this editorial’s posting saying “Pray4Westmont” is absurd and preposterous. Mr. Gruber, you are not God and do not know how He views this issue of graphic presentation. To condemn the faith of an entire Christian College with such recklessness is wrong. The same ignorance was evident when the requests of the College were ignored in regards to the display. While the con side of the argument (Against the graphic display) seems to be reasonably admitting the issue still needs to be addressed just in another way, why can’t Mr. Gruber and the pro side extend the same grace and compromise as well.

    • Jojo Ruba says:

      God already stated what He believes about graphic images. Just read the account of how Jesus died – in a public place outside of Jerusalem – for all to see the cost of sin.

  10. Noah says:

    Thank you Horizon staff for this editorial. Many of the comments on this blog come from people who are not current Westmont students or have never been Westmont students. At Westmont, we have community norms for thoughtful and loving discussion. Seth has violated those norms with his graphic display and “holier than thou” approach to all criticism. As a current student, I fully support this editorial and the Horizon staff for writing it.

    PS: There are pro-choice students at Westmont, although they are often confused for Nazis

  11. Alumni says:

    We all agree that sex slavery is an ugly thing. You can decide whether or not it’s right or wrong (most would agree it’s wrong), but we all know it is a very, very ugly thing.

    We would never say it’s a good idea to put up pictures of sex slave victims, or worse, what goes on with sex slaves. Never. This would be an aberration and we would think this is a disgusting and denigrating thing to do.

    Yet somehow it has become the status quo for pro-life people to resort to showing huge, grotesque pictures of dead babies and aborted fetuses in order to get their views across.

    Why can’t we agree that this is wrong to do in public?

    If you want to watch the equivalent of one of the Saw films, do it in the privacy of your own home – do not display it in a way that is damaging to people’s senses and horrible for the mind to see – it is scarring; regardless of your view of what is right and wrong.

  12. Chris says:

    Hey lets all freak out because some one rocked the boat in our sheltered bubble of 1200. Then once we graduate most of us will see the real world from behind the counter of a coffee bean. Or we can not be one of the whiny ‘mont people, go back to the library or the lab, and get something out of our very expensive education. If you take the second option, in a few years when things that really matter in the outside world smack you in the face, you will be better off with a real job, doing something important, and getting paid well for it. We look to graduation, yet we don’t look past it.


    For the art and english major complaining here : http://tinyurl.com/8kfm7sh

  13. michael says:

    Would you write the same of a man standing outside the dc with anti-factory farming propaganda? I think not. You are offened because your political agenda involves supporting something that is gory- right or wrong aside, it is grotesque to view. The pictures of aborted fetuses were real. You decide if you want to see reality or some masked over issue veiled in women’s rights. I’m in to HUMAN rights. Killing babies is lame.

  14. Emily says:

    I wanted to throw in my support for the Horizon staff for publishing this. I know many recent alums like myself still look here to see current ideas going around at Westmont and are happy to see you standing up and saying something. I’m sure you have gotten plenty of negative feedback, just know many alums I know outside the bubble commend you for this and other editorials you have published.

  15. Bryan says:

    If anyone should feel attacked here, it’s the pro-choicers on campus, not Seth Gruber. This is a well-written, balanced editorial that commends Gruber’s past actions while questioning his recent actions. Meanwhile, Gruber and defenders of his method are accusing pro-choice supporters of murder. It’s hard enough already to be a liberal or a feminist or a pro-choice supporter at a conservative school like Westmont. As lots and lots of people have said already, this is a multifaceted debate, meaning that for many people, the jury is out on whether or not abortion is murder. Yes, truth is absolute, but the truth is sometimes harder to find than we’d like, and it’s almost never black and white. So for now, let’s leave the inflammatory dialogue out of it.

  16. Alumni says:

    The abortion issue was brought up a few times in my 4 years at Westmont. Every time I believe the discussions be came “more and more controversial.” The moment this discussion is brought to light it has both wounded, and strengthened those around it. I believe the “demonstration” was an awakening experience to the student body and faculty. I believe Seth’s reasoning was ultimately good-natured, however if a student wants to make a “demonstration” they should be allowed. The fault here lies with Westmont’s reaction. If the faculty and governing bodies wished this to end quickly, campus security should have been informed and this demonstration swiftly ended. There is a reason we RA’s and RD’s. The fact that this has gotten this far out of hand is not because of Seth. A root can be be pulled from the ground with ease, while an established tree cannot. My prayers are with Westmont.

  17. Demothenes says:

    Seth presented his opinion on the abortion issue in an offensive way. Just because his presentation was offensive, it does not mean it was wrong. Let me be clear. I am not just talking about the message. I am talking about the presentation of that message. Just because the way he presented his message was offensive, it does not mean the way he presented his message was morally reprehensible. He knew it was offensive when he put it together. The point is to shock people into action. It is purposely disturbing images intended to move to action a campus that has not responded to his other attempts to wake us up.

  18. Cory says:

    Rachel Evans wrote a great blog post on the “abortion debate”; it’s well worth a read, regardless of your political persuasion:

  19. Liz Clark says:

    Just the fact that Gruber is being attacked, proves how far Christians have turned from the heart of God. Those who should have been his advocates, have become his opposition.

    Other Christians may not agree exactly with the way Gruber is doing things, but at least he’s doing something! And it’s not like using graphic imagery is the only way he fights (or has fought) against abortion; just ask him.

    I wish people would see that USING GRAPHIC IMAGERY IS A LAST RESORT. If nice little dialogue showed people the evils of abortion and spurred Christians on to obey God and work to abolish it, that would be wonderful…seriously, people (including Gruber) have tried it. But the truth is, it is not working. Those things have been tried time and time again and are mostly failing – do the research (instead of emotionally spouting out opinions not based on reality).

    Images are powerful. For example, women who see an ultrasound of their baby are less likely to get an abortion. That’s one of the things PRC tries to make available. But not all women take that opportunity – not all women understand that the fetuses inside their wombs are human. Maybe many who oppose Gruber know that – but lots of women don’t. Using graphic imagery may be the only means to reach them. Using graphic imagery, like Gruber is doing, is simply one means of many to reach women. Different people are reached in different ways.

    Can’t people set aside their offense for the sake of the women who needs to see those pictures to make the choice to save her baby?

    And if a woman wanted to talk with Gruber about a previous abortion, I know that he would be gracious and loving and point them to the Savior – the forgiver of sins. He’s obviously not going to sugar-coat things, but neither did Christ. I’m sure the images are extremely disturbing to women who’ve had abortions. But that is the reality of what they have done – that cannot be denied. They have to come to terms with the ugliness of their sin (we all do with regards to any sin) and turn to Christ.

    It is a tragedy that most of us (i.e. Christians in general) do absolutely nothing to save the children being slaughtered every day. (In fact, it’s estimated that 1 out of 5 abortions are done by women who claim to be Christians.) If we really understood God’s heart, how could we just stand by? Yahweh, the God who cares about the oppressed, has convicted me through Gruber’s faithfulness to Him. I’m seeking God on how He wants me to be a part.

    Praise Jesus for men like Seth Gruber. Men who actually follow God’s heart to expose injustice and fight for the innocent.

    • anonymous says:

      God cares about the oppressed. But here, the oppressed are not the unborn children. Here, women who have had or have considered abortions are the oppressed. Maybe they made that choice. Maybe they had an abortion. Condemning the is not our role. Jesus is the FORGIVER of sins, and we are supposed to follow in his footsteps, leaving him to judge the living and the dead. We are not following his commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves if we completely disregard their feelings in our approaches to what we believe to be sin. That is not to say that we should lie about what we feel. We should be honest with one another and truly care for one another. Seth’s actions were not about honesty. They were about publicity. Acknowledging the horrors of abortion is one thing. Forcing them upon unsuspecting DC-goers is not only breaking student conduct, but also spreading a message through hate rather than love.

  20. Felix Shiheng Huang '11 says:

    An “end justifies the means” or “by any means necessary” approach does not seem to be consistent with the ethics of Jesus.

    Thank you, Horizon editorial board, for responding swiftly.

  21. Tyler says:

    This school is so entertaining to watch. It was when I went here and and still is. Lets argue while trying to look like a better Christian and then in a week go back to complaining about the DC and the post office closing too early. Get a worthwhile major and degree and be someone more than a barista with a silly degree and boots from urban outfitters or whatever the slack-lining groups new thing it.

  22. John says:

    That’s cute that Seth’s dad comes on the Horizon blog to comment in his defense.

  23. Paul says:

    Reading this page is like reading the comments on a youtube video… How long did it take some of you to write your comment? To get all of your facts straight, and to check and recheck your presented data? An hour? Two hours? Are you defending Seth? Defending the Horizon? Or in all honesty trying to appear intelligent with your bible verses, percentages, definitions and witty comments… Its easy to voice your opinion through a keyboard. Why dont you guys hold a meeting together and see if everyones confidence and VERBAL opinions show up then.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I never knew a newspaper could flat out condemn someone. It seems like certain people in the staff were just waiting for an opportunity like this to put Seth in a bad light.

    • Anon says:

      Please re-read this quote from the article:

      “Let’s look at a more effective method of approaching the abortion issue. In April of 2011, Gruber himself helped organize the Westmont-approved event “Abortion: Right or Wrong,” which featured a debate between Scott Klusendorf (pro-life) and Nadine Strossen (pro-choice). It was followed by a question and answer session, allowing students to participate and encounter different perspectives. We know Gruber is capable of better, and we will hold him to that higher standard.”

      The editorial staff in fact commends an earlier abortion debate organized by Seth Gruber. The article does not condemn him but rather seeks to separate the editorial staff from his current actions which they feel are misguided. Even in disagreeing with Seth’s approach, the Horizon editorial staff has done so in a way that is balanced.

      Seth’s demonstration was polarizing and distracting from the actual issues at the heart of the abortion debate. It breaks my heart to see all these squabbles and nit-pickings instead of actual discussion, but it’s what Seth’s actions produced when he went for shock value over healthy dialogue.

      I’m praying for Westmont, too, but not because everyone who is against Seth and his view of abortion as genocide is only a “Christian” in scare-quotes (see Seth’s original article for reference). I’m praying this will be resolved quickly by Westmont faculty and administration and that those who were hurt by the demonstration or arguments thereafter can heal, forgive and be forgiven.

      • Jon P. Tew says:

        “Seth’s demonstration was polarizing and distracting from the actual issues at the heart of the abortion debate.”

        Are you serious? The actual issue is the children that abortion kills. Hard to deny it once you see the photos, isn’t it?

        A pictures is worth a thousand words.

        It’s great that Seth held the Horizon to higher standards. Thank you Seth!!!

        • Anon says:

          Actually yes, I was serious. Sorry, did that come off sarcastic or joking? Well, I was serious.

          Are you serious with your antagonistic tone, questions and inflammatory language? Because if so, know that you’re only alienating those who a) want to have actual discussion or b) disagree with you. This is a sensitive and intensely ethical issue whose depths deserve to be plumbed, but using words that are neither compassionate nor balanced is not only ineffective but arrogant.

  25. Mike says:


    This is probably the best article I’ve ever read on the abortion debate. It’s a bit long, but well worth a read.

    I’m an alum, so admittedly I don’t have all the details about this controversy. Also, I got a little bored reading the comments on here, so I started skimming – sorry if someone already mentioned this.

    The point of the editorial (I think) is that a demonstration like Gruber’s “poisons the well” and really accomplishes little. It’s hard to have an honest, useful debate when you start off screaming “murderer!” The editorial is right – a couple people at Westmont, at least, have had abortions. I’m sure they faced EXTREMELY difficult decisions which none of us can truly understand. Keep that in mind when you start talking about this.

  26. English '00 says:

    The controversy has effectively called national attention to the Westmont administration’s surprising interpretation of its Community Life Statement. The Statement explicitly abjures behaviors that are condemned in the Bible. Yet the administration, in refusing to call abortion a sin, suggests that the Bible does not condemn abortion. Most American evangelicals and Catholics will find this position extremely problematic.

    I’m an alumnus and former Horizon editor who recently heard about this issue in Christianity Today. Like the Horizon staff, I find Mr. Gruber’s posters problematic. But I applaud him for calling attention to Westmont’s wishy-washy stance on abortion.

    The Horizon should look into the history behind Westmont’s current interpretation of the Community Life Statement. When did the official line become ambivalent on the ethics of abortion? In which quarter of admin did this position develop (PR, student life, President)?

    Westmont is a nationally important evangelical institution, and this development is of national interest. It’s a good opportunity for the Horizon staff to do some really significant reporting.

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