Largest Christian University In Country Bans Conservative Speaker
A report was aired this week by Young America’s Foundation (YAF) that said the administrators for the supposed largest Christian university in the country, Grand Canyon University, were blocking conservative pundit and Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro from speaking on their campus. They join a long list of colleges and universities across the United States who have blocked conservative speakers from taking the podium… Ben Shapiro chief among them.
The university is in Phoenix, Arizona. The administrators there said that they would not “provide a venue” for Shapiro, whose speech is part of YAF’s Fred Allen Lecture Series. Spencer Brown is the spokesman for YAF. He said that: “If this pathetic response sounds familiar, it should—that’s exactly what UC Berkeley administrators initially told students when Cal administrators tried to prevent Shapiro from speaking.”
The Daily Wire posted that in July 2017, just one month before Shapiro was scheduled to speak, UC Berkeley stated:
“On Wednesday, Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans were told by the University of California, Berkeley administration that Berkeley would not facilitate an event by Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro on September 14 on campus. Instead, administrators have informed YAF and BCR that they are “unable to identify an available campus venue.” They have not provided a list of other events taking place on campus on that time and date that would prevent Shapiro from speaking.”
Brown went into detail that YAF met with the university administrators where they listed three reasons for denying Shapiro access: permitting Shapiro on GCU’s campus would not be good for the school long-term; Shapiro’s approach triggers a divisive atmosphere, and GCU wants to maintain its culture of unity, love, respect and having all student voices on campus heard. The last reason is ironic because they are actively silencing conservative students on campus.
From The Daily Wire:
“Brown said that at that meeting, administrators termed Shapiro’s style too “cutthroat” and that merely by him being present at the university, divisiveness would be precipitated. The GCU YAF chapter said administrators specifically cited DACA students and what possible remarks Shapiro might make about immigration. They also said that GCU’s president Brian Mueller agreed with the decision to deny Shapiro a venue. Mueller has stated that GCU has a “significant number” of undocumented students who benefit from DACA, and that the university is “about immigration reform.” He also said, “We really believe that we’re so divided as a country right now, extreme positions on the left and extreme positions on the right aren’t helping.”
“Brown continued, “Seemingly unaware of the reaction to schools that block Ben Shapiro, administrators reasoned that in refusing to give Shapiro a venue, GCU would avoid negative media attention. They fear, according to the students in the meeting, that the outside world is watching GCU and waiting to jump on the school for making a mistake.”
“Brown notes that Grand Canyon University’s mission statement states that the university offers “opportunities in which the public can engage in events that involve critical thinking around the community and academic discourse” including “lecture series, competitions, and town halls” to encourage “asking questions and pursuing knowledge to avoid delusion and blind acceptance of ideas.”
“Brown commented, “By caving to an unseen mob and ignoring the popularity of Shapiro among its student body, Grand Canyon University just played itself and deserves whatever negative response this brings. GCU has abandoned the sentiment of its own proclaimed values, deluded itself into acting like the liberal campuses it claims to differ from, and blindly accepted the Left’s ludicrous argument that Shapiro’s presence somehow damages students, campuses, or debate.”’
Grand Canyon University obviously is violating the First Amendment here. Considering that Shapiro is a devout Jew and a tireless advocate for traditional Judeo-Christian values, this makes no sense whatsoever.
GCU’s response from their website:
“GCU statement regarding decision to cancel Ben Shapiro speaking engagement
“We wanted to take a moment to address Grand Canyon University’s decision to cancel a speaking engagement on campus by Ben Shapiro that had been scheduled by one of our student clubs.
“We believe in many of the things that Ben Shapiro speaks about and stands for, including his support for ideals that grow out of traditional Judeo-Christian values and his belief in a free market economy. Our decision to cancel Shapiro’s speaking engagement is not a reflection of his ideologies or the values he represents, but rather a desire to focus on opportunities that bring people together.
“To understand that decision, one has to first understand the University’s history and the culture that has been created on our campus.
“As a private interdenominational Christian institution, Grand Canyon University’s core beliefs are rooted in biblical truths and outlined in our Doctrinal Statement and Ethical Positions Statement. These foundational documents, inspired in large part by the Nicene Creed, articulate our commitment to the full inspiration of Scripture and provide clarity, unity and alignment across the University on matters of ethics and morality…
“Today, we live in a very divided America. The current high volume of rhetoric has not led to community-building or problem-solving. Grand Canyon University, rather than engage in this type of rhetoric, has instead worked to bring people together and build partnerships to renovate our inner-city community.”