Targeting Individuals Temple Universitys Gulag

Attacks by university professors, students, administrations, and related groups have turned the university campus into a zone of hostility toward all things Christian; individuals, organizations, and Christianity itself are subjected to inexcusable treatment.

Michael Marcavage, a student at Temple University, knows this all too well. He was unhappy when he learned in the fall of 1999 that the play Corpus Christi-where Jesus is portrayed as a homosexual who makes love to his disciples-would be staged on campus. Considering the play blasphemous, Marcavage set out to protest it. He posted close to one thousand flyers throughout the campus and said that he intended to hold a demonstration. On reflection, he decided to organize a counter-event rather than a protest, to show his peers "who the real Jesus is." This event was to include a performance by gospel singers, speakers, and a biblically oriented play on Christ's life called Final Destiny, which was to be performed by Temple's Campus Crusade for

Christ chapter. Corpus Christi proceeded without protest, but the university allegedly reneged on its promise to permit Final Destiny to be performed on a campus stage. Even when Marcavage offered to pay for the event, the school refused to grant permission.

On November 2, 1999, Temple vice president William Bergman summoned Marcavage to his office to tell him that Final Destiny would not be performed on campus, after which the student left Bergman's office in disgust and went to the bathroom and splashed water on his face. Marcavage alleges that Bergman followed him to the bathroom, pounded on the door, and when Marcavage opened it, Bergman physically forced him to return to his office. Once back in the office, according to Marcavage, Bergman pushed him down into a chair, at which point Marcavage, now afraid of Bergman, said he wanted to leave. Bergman refused to let him leave or use the phone. Knowing that Bergman could not forcibly detain him, Marcavage said he again attempted to leave, but was tripped to the floor by Bergman. Marcavage said Bergman next forced him onto a couch and held him there against his will. University police then arrived, handcuffed Marcavage, and transported him in a police car to the Emergency Crisis Center at Temple University Hospital. After a three-hour examination, psychiatrists concluded nothing was wrong with the Christian student.

When Marcavage filed a lawsuit against Bergman and the University in December 2000, Bergman "vehemently" denied the allegations, saying everyone at Temple was treated fairly. A Temple spokeswoman said that Bergman was concerned after Marcavage had been in the bathroom for fifteen minutes and wouldn't come out, fearing he might harm himself. She also said that officials sent him to the hospital based on a campus psychologist's recommendation. Temple University Hospital documents, however, reportedly show that the campus psychiatrist "claims that she did not see any overt sign that the patient will hurt himself" and while Marcavage was upset after the incident, "there are no apparent grounds for 302 [a form for involuntary commitment].' The spokeswoman also said that the incident arose because Marcavage requested a seventy-foot stage at the last minute and was unreasonable about it. Marcavage said the university fabricated this story to discredit him.

According to Marcavage's attorney, Michael Fahling, "What had gotten Michael a ticket to the psychiatric ward were his religious beliefs and opposition to a play. How utterly chilling it is that something like this could happen at a major university by top-level officials."25 Timothy Duggan, president of the school's Campus Crusade for Christ chapter, said that the incident against his friend Marcavage was part of a larger pattern of anti-Christian bias on campus. "The reason this had become an issue," said Duggan, "is because of the rebellion of the university to the Christian point of view."

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