Pro-Life banner hangs at campus entry
People entering campus through Farinella Gate may notice a new decoration on the fence around the Arts Center parking lot.
A banner with a picture of a mother kissing a newborn baby and the words “choose life” followed by a phone number for a pro-life help hot line has been on the fence since last week to celebrate Respect for Life month.
“The U.S. Bishops declared October as the Respect for Life month,” Rev. Stanley Gomes, director of Campus Ministry said.
The University began honoring this month on the first Sunday of October with a special prayer during the day’s masses.
“Out of recent years, this is the first time a banner based on the issue of abortion has been at the front gate,” Gomes said.
Gomes said the banner is there more to celebrate life than to start a political debate, and that it empowers women.
“This is a very pro-woman and pro-motherhood banner,” Gomes said. “It celebrates women who go through all the difficulties and pain to give birth, and they chose life.”
Besides just celebrating the life of women who gave birth, the banner honors the lives of everyone, according to Gomes.
“We are trying to proclaim life to all and celebrate it,” Gomes said.
Students have expressed mixed reviews since seeing the banner.
Junior Moira Kelly said she thought it was very inappropriate to display the banner outside of Seton Hall’s campus.
“We are a college whose primary focus should be about providing a quality education to its students, not making a bold political statement before prospective students and families can even drive inside the gates and see what we have to offer,” Kelly said.
Junior Ben Prohaska noted that he thought the banner was not a bad idea and agreed that the University should be allowed to express their beliefs.
“Poor or positive decision, it is one that is in the schools hands because it is a private institution,” Prohaska.
Gomes did recognize that an institution such as a university should not avoid controversial issues.
“We cannot avoid life’s difficult, touchy, controversial issues,” Gomes said. “We have to approach them head on…and we have to ask the question ‘How would Jesus approach this?'”
Nicholas Parco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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