Crazy story about Ben Shapiro this week? Check.
Crazy story about a Christian university this week? Done.
How about a combo? Here we go.
Grand Canyon University has canceled a scheduled Ben speech. The reason? The school fears he’d disrupt campus unity.
Of course, many were unhappy with the maneuver. Here’s the official statement, released Friday:
“We know that if we had made a different decision, we would have disappointed and offended others within the same community. It was not our intent to disappoint or offend anyone. It was, rather, to use our position as a Christian university to bring unity to a community that sits amidst a country that is extremely divided and can’t seem to find a path forward toward unity.”
What the heck?
Boy-Scout-Ben was to be hosted by the Phoenix school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. But they welched on their provision of a venue.
Here’s more from the YAF, courtesy of the group’s website:
Administrators…told members of GCU’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter that they would not “provide a venue” for Ben Shapiro’s planned speech, part of Young America’s Foundation’s Fred Allen Lecture Series.
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.
In a meeting with students Thursday, Grand Canyon University administrators outlined their cowardly denial of Shapiro, giving three feeble reasons for rejecting Shapiro:
- Allowing Shapiro on GCU’s campus would not be good for the school long-term.
- Shapiro’s approach instigates a divisive atmosphere.
- GCU wants to maintain its culture of unity, love, respect and having all student voices on campus heard.
Unless, apparently, a student’s voice is conservative.
Later in the meeting, administrators whined that Shapiro’s style is too “cut throat” and that his mere presence is divisive. According to the GCU YAF chapter, administrators specifically cited DACA students and what Shapiro may say about immigration. They were also told that GCU’s President, Brian Mueller, signed off on the decision to deny Shapiro a venue.
YAF offered their own official statement in response to GCU’s rug-pull:
“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.”
Ben responded via Twitter:
I’m libertarian on immigration in a non-welfare, non-criminal, non-citizenship scenario, so not sure what the objection would be https://t.co/RSEtBrcY4J
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 3, 2019
Over the last few years, colleges and universities have made a real splash in the news with their refusals to allow social or political conservative voices to be heard. At this point, to a degree, it’s to be expected at a state school. But when a Christian university bars harmless Ben from being able to take the podium, we’ve really got a problem.
It seems fitting that the cancellation occurred at Grand Canyon University — there’s a deep gorge between the school’s decision and any kind of reasonable move.
See 3 more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. For iPhone instructions, see the bottom of this page.
If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”