Wheaton College certainly had good intentions when they hosted a Town Hall Chapel for students Monday night. The annual all-school forum is meant to offer an opportunity for students to engage with the College President, currently Philip Ryken, on campus issues.
But the goodwill toward men didn’t last. When Philip Fillion, a straight, married senior at the college, approached the microphone with a question about the school’s stance on same-sex relationships, things got weirdly violent. Fillion read his question aloud from a public Facebook note he’d published:
“All students, via the Community Covenant, and all faculty, via the Statement of Faith, are required to affirm a sexual ethic that denies everyone except celibates and married straight people a place in the kingdom of God. This sexual ethic is not at all universal and depends on a reading of scripture that is incredibly narrow and ignores history, culture, and science. The Statement of Faith and the Community Covenant also lack any language about the sacraments of the Christian church. Why is it the case that our college, in documents we all must agree to or be expelled, insists on formally condemning and denying equality to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, on spurious theological grounds, yet completely leaves behind baptism and Eucharist, which Jesus Christ himself instituted to grow and strengthen the Christian community?”
As Fillion was walking back to his seat, someone in the audience chucked an apple at him.
And nobody did anything.
“There was no response when the fruit was thrown. No boos, no gasp,” he says. “A student was in line after me and when it was his turn to ask a question, he began his time at the microphone by calling out whoever had thrown the fruit, remarking that such behavior was inappropriate and disrespectful. There was restrained applause for this.”
“President Ryken did not see the incident and did not fully understand what happened until after chapel ended,” Wheaton College told TIME in a statement.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Shortly after the forum, a person who claims to be the apple-thrower posted a letter defending himself on a public wall at Wheaton designated for sharing student opinions.