In response to a visit this evening concerning a sign in my window (see title above), I wrote the following email to my Department Chairperson. OSA refers to Order of Saint Augustine. There is more information and a picture at my website www.peacefulways.com/ (click on Conscience and Militarism).
It was good to speak with you a few minutes ago in reference to my being visited a few minutes earlier by Corporal Hall of Villanova Security, his presence at my door being at the request of certain members of the OSA complaining about my sign. It was good to confirm that you have spoken previously with Fr. Peter concerning my sign, as have I, and to confirm that his response was not of a critical nature. In fact, my sign has generated some meaningful interaction with a number of members of religious orders on campus, including members of the OSA. No one has ever questioned the appropriateness of my placing it in my window. I believe it poses a relevant question for each to answer in his/her own heart — it does not propose any specific answer. My website www.peacefulways.com/ provides further information.
What is my response to learning that some members of OSA appear to be unhappy with this sign?
1. I believe most strongly both that this sign is appropriate for a Christian institution, and that I have a right (indeed, an obligation) in my academic position to pose such a question.
2. I intend to keep this sign (or a copy) in my office window while I am a tenured faculty member. It is not my intention to be confrontational. The fact that some may disagree with the sign, or even may find it upsetting, does not lessen its value as a catalyst for significant discussion. It is my sense that this is what an academic institution is all about.
p.s. Villanova later removed any mention of the word PEACE from its Mission Statement.