(5-12-19) Next Saturday (May 18th) Taylor University will hold its commencement for 2019. Usually a joyful day for graduates the graduation ceremony has turned into a day of conflict. Why? US Vice President Mike Pence is the scheduled to be commencement speaker.
Taylor University :
Statement on web site about the school:
For more than 170 years, Taylor University has stayed true to its heritage, challenging each generation of students to integrate faith with learning and follow Christ’s calling. Though our University’s history is not blemish-free, tough times have kept us anchored in faith and committed to our university’s mission.
As soon as the announcement was made a petition was started by a 2007 Taylor graduate Alex Hoekstra (check his twitter account) and was to be forwarded to Taylor University President Paul Lowell Haines. This petition has gained national coverage by the mainstream media since it was posted.
According to the change.org petition details:
Inviting Vice President Pence to Taylor University and giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration’s policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear.
Last year students from Notre Dame walked out during Pence’s commencement speech.
On the other side of the issue is a petition in support of Pence.
We also believe that someone of power, such as VP Mike Pence, should be respected and welcomed for committing their incredibly valuable time to Taylor University, regardless of political affiliation.
This movement is very hard to find in the mainstream media. Which speaks volume of a media that is biased in this situation against both Trump and Pence.
Another recent movement in support of Pence speaking at Taylor’s commencement did find some national coverage this week from Fox News, “I Like Mike”.
Photo courtesy of David Muselman
Muselman, from Berne, Indiana, is a Freshman Finance Major.
He told Fox News in a recent interview:
“My whole motive behind selling these ‘I Like Mike’ T-shirts was to tell the world that a huge majority of campus was thrilled at Taylor’s decision. The silent majority is in full-fledged support, while a very, very small minority is not supportive.”
Yesterday Pence was at Liberty University:
Yesterday Pence during his Liberty University commencement speech he told the graduates:
“Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs,. Be ready.”
This Saturday we will see what takes place at Taylor University. But when you only know one side of the story and don’t tell both sides you hurt those around you. Don’t expect to see ‘I Like Mike’ to appear in many mainstream publications. but you will see plenty about the protest petition.
Taylor’s President, Dr. Paul Lowell Haines
“Taylor University is pleased and honored to welcome to our campus and its 2019 Commencement exercises, Vice President Mike Pence. Mr. Pence has been a good friend to the University over many years, and is a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates. We welcome the Vice President and his wife, Karen Pence, to this 173-year-old premier institution of Christian higher education, and thank them for their love and service for our nation, our state, and our institution.”
President Haines has stood steadfast in the selection of Pence as the commencement speaker and stood firm in his commitment not to make a change, that is a good thing.
The sad part of this situation, the national media turned it into an issue that could have been avoided and took the opportunity to build upon it.