LETTER: Purpose of Christian imagery on campus should be considered

In response to the questioned posed in the Aug. 20 letter by Warren Blumenfeld, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction (“On what basis do we decide which [religious symbols] to choose for our campus?”) I believe I have an answer. Why not choose based on the religions practiced by the students attending Iowa State?

If one were to look at the demographics, he or she would find that Christianity is accepted and practiced by the vast majority of attending students. Iowa State is a business, and, like any other business, the general idea is to provide a great product while appeasing those who create your revenue – and in this case, Mr. Blumenfeld, your salary.

I don’t believe there is any religious sect on campus being told it cannot practice its religion freely. I’ve yet to read how these religious symbols, which are at the center of the debate, are somehow preventing anyone from practicing the religion of their choice.

I keep hearing this talk of people being offended. An easy solution would be to take down the religious symbols so that no one would have to be offended. That we would desecrate a memorial to fallen service members of this country to appease a small few in the population of this university I find to be not only offensive, but a travesty.

You ask what the basis of these religious symbols should be. Let me ask you a question, Mr. Blumenfeld: Where do you think Iowa State would be as a college if it weren’t for the vast majority of practicing Christian students who have lined its pocketbooks for the last 150 years? And this isn’t even the point I’m trying to make.

Members of no religion should be told they can’t practice freely by the display of these symbols. We aren’t talking about erecting new religious symbols. We are talking about symbols that have been there for 50 years to honor the fallen, who fought for your right to question the symbols’ legitimacy, Mr. Blumenfeld. And now you’re talking about taking them down.

I guess what it really boils down to with me is those the building was built to honor. Why not take a poll of the family members of the people the building was created for? Their faith-based answer might shock you.

Pat Batey


Industrial technology