Dear Wheaton College Biology department faculty: Please correct Ryken’s mistake and/or lie regarding Plan B

Dear Wheaton College Biology department faculty: Please correct Ryken’s mistake and/or lie regarding Plan B July 23, 2012

TO: Dr. Jennifer Busch, Dr. Raymond Lewis, Dr. L. Kristen Page, Dr. Pattle Pak-Toe Pun, Dr. Nadine Folino Rorem, Dr. Rodney Scott, Dr. Gregory Vanden Heuvel

RE: Your college president is misrepresenting Plan B, either due to ignorance or intentionally for political reasons.

This is the sort of thing that ought to be mortifying for scientists at an institution of higher education:

Wheaton President Philip Ryken said that while evangelicals do not ascribe to the Catholic teaching against artificial birth control, the mandate requires coverage for so-called “morning after” pills like Plan B, to which the college objects. Ryken said Plan B is an “abortion-inducing” drug, though studies show that the pill apparently does not cause abortions.

Ryken invoked Francis Schaeffer, describing Wheaton as “co-belligerents” with the Catholic bishops. That’s not encouraging. Schaeffer’s culture-war disciples don’t have a long track record of respect for facts that don’t fit into their predetermined political agenda. They tend to be “belligerents” — warriors — far more concerned about winning arguments and elections than they are with those “absolute truths” Schaeffer was always on about.

But still, the facts are the facts are the facts, whether or not Ryken or the bishops care about them. And your college president has his facts wrong — publicly, proudly and defiantly.

That’s not cool. It makes Wheaton look bad. It makes each of you, personally, look bad. It makes the church look foolish (and not in a good, 1 Corinthians 1:27, kind of way). It makes the church look dishonest.

And it makes Ryken look less concerned with actually being “pro-life” than with posing as such.

What he is saying is just not right. It’s not factually right, and it’s not morally right. Choose whichever flavor of moral consideration you like — biblical Christianity or your professional ethical codes as scientists. Either way, what Ryken is saying is indefensible.

Perhaps one of you could talk to him about that. Or, given the apparent politicization of the president’s office at Wheaton, perhaps one of you could speak to whomever it is that you think might be able to speak to him.

That’d be swell. Thanks.

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