Letter From the Editor – Edward Perkins

This week’s issue spends a lot of time discussing love at Antioch. Our readers hear it from our staff, faculty, and even our layout editor. Given the amount of attention given to this topic, it would seem redundant for my editorial to also discuss love at Antioch, but I am talking about love of a different kind, and a different Antioch.
In Roman times, Antioch was the largest city east of Constantinople. It was also of great importance to early Christians. One of these early followers of Jesus was St. Ignatius, the third Bishop of Antioch. It is to old Saint Iggy, rather than Saint Valentine, that I turn to for a lesson in love.
St. Ignatius was captured by the Romans, and sentenced to death in the Colosseum. During the long journey from Antioch (in present day Turkey) to Rome, he was subjected to all kinds of hardships. His writings tell the grim tale: “I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated”. Yet his beliefs did not waver, and he actually attracted large crowds of followers during his trying journey, turning desperate times into an educational experience. Upon arrival in Rome, Ignatius was taken to the Colosseum and put in front of a bunch of hungry lions. His love of his beliefs was so great that right before he was torn apart by these bloodthirsty beasts he is reported to have cried out to his followers “I am dying willingly for God’s sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you, do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God. I am God’s wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ.” This is true love, though certainly not of a romantic disposition, but love for a belief system and ideas.
As we at the Antioch of modern times face the wild beasts of disappearing financial aid, disintegrating facilities, and dwindling student services, and possibly the ultimate test of our ideals, the closure of our institution, I ask those who truly love this place, and its virtues and principals, to remain steadfast. Follow the example of St. Ignatius, and if the death of the college does transpire, let your love move you closer to everything it represents, even as we are ripped to shreds by the merciless teeth of the Board of Trustees. Love, Live, and Prosper.
Happy Valentines Day Molly!
-Edward Perkins