Clubs help students defend life

Biola Anscombe Society promotes “sexual integrity” on campus.


Marika Adamopoulos

James Lopez, a graduate student of philosophy, and the visionary behind Biola’s chapter, first heard about the club while attending a student seminar at Princeton University. | John Uy/THE CHIMES

Kaelyn Timmins, Writer

The Anscombe Society, a club that was started 10 years ago at Princeton University to stand out amidst campus “hook-up culture” has a new chapter at Biola. The club was named after the British philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe, an advocate for marriage, family and sexual ethics.

Promoting Discussion

James Lopez, a graduate student of philosophy, and the visionary behind Biola’s chapter, first heard about the club while attending a student seminar at Princeton University.

“The objective of our club…is basically to promote discussions on sexual integrity among students and engage with cultural issues,” Lopez said.

All Biola students are expected to abide by certain community standards. These standards mention student sexuality:

“Students at Biola commit to refrain from practices that Scripture forbids, such as, sexual relations outside of marriage between a husband and wife,” the Student Life webpage says.

Good Reasoning

Still, Lopez feels that the club’s message of sexual integrity is relevant to Biola students because it provides rationale that reinforces students’ pre-held beliefs and contractual obligations.

“Simply because we are Biolans doesn’t mean that we are immune to the temptations of the flesh. Anscombe exists to give students good reasons to be sexually pure and lead a life of sexual integrity,” Lopez said.

As part of the club’s overall vision, it will be hosting a forum about abortion. Lopez was especially interested in the issue of abortion after he wrote an article for The Stream about #ShoutYourAbortion and his passion for defending the Sanctity of Life was reignited.

“[Women proudly shouting their abortions] stirred something in me, I’m like this isn’t right. We’re rational human beings. We shouldn’t celebrate the intentional killing of someone, an innocent person,” Lopez said.


Loyola Marymount University professor Christopher Kaczor will speak about the ethics of abortion at a forum held in Calvary Chapel entitled “The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice” on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Partnering with the Biola Anscombe Society is the Sanctity of Life Club, led by president Alicia Castelluccio and vice president Marjorie Fisher, both senior history majors. They see the importance of the event as well as each of their respective clubs, not just in persuading students to support a Pro-Life stance, but to further educate the student body on how to defend their stance.

“We know that, being on a Christian campus, obviously the majority of students — like 99 percent — would agree in the sanctity of life in general, but wouldn’t necessarily know how to defend it or how to talk about it in an educated way,” Castelluccio said.

Deeper Understanding

This view is underscored by the results of a two-question poll the Sanctity of Life Club administered to students last year.

“One of the polls that we did, a year or so ago, it was pretty much two questions. I think they were, ‘is abortion ever permissible?’ and ‘would you be able to defend your view of abortion?’”  Fisher said. “Almost everybody said ‘no, abortion is never permissible,’ and also said ‘no, I would not know how to defend my view.’”

Castelluccio and Lopez hope this event will promote discussion on campus and ultimately help students have a deeper understanding of why they believe what they believe about abortion.

“I don’t think it should just be the objective of Sanctity of Life Club; it should be our objective as Christians,” Lopez said.

Defending the Truth

The issue of abortion has practical implications; there is a possibility that students could come into contact with women contemplating having an abortion, Castelluccio said.

“Unless you know why you believe what you believe and know how to convey that in a respectable and loving way, it will be really hard for you to actually make a difference in that kind of circumstance,” she said.

Furthermore, Lopez hopes the event will help promote a culture of Christians who stand up for injustice, rather than shying away.

“We shouldn’t be shy defending the truth,” Lopez said.

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