- Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to give a commencement speech at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, next month.
- More than 4,300 people have signed a petition asking Taylor’s administration to disinvite Pence.
- Taylor University President Paul Lowell Haines defended his decision to invite Pence, saying the vice president is a “Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates.”
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Alumni from a small evangelical Christian college in Indiana are urging the school to disinvite Mike Pence from delivering a commencement address at graduation next month.
More than 4,300 people have signed a Change.org petition asking Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, to cancel Pence’s commencement speech, calling his invitation inconsistent with Christian values.
The petition was created by Alex Hoekstra, a 2007 Taylor University alumni, according to Yahoo Lifestyle.
“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,” the petition said.
Hoeskstra told Yahoo Lifestyle that those who don’t want Pence to speak are “deeply uncomfortable” with the vice president visiting the school.
“These are people – gay, female, immigrants – who feel personally injured by policies set forth by the administration,” he said. “That includes Republicans and those who voted for Donald Trump.”
Taylor University President Paul Lowell Haines defended his decision to invite Pence in a statement to Fox News, in which he said the Vice President had been a “good friend to the university over many years.”
He called Pence a “Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates.”
Taylor University Spokesman James Garringer told Fox News that the school “strives to encourage positive, respectful and meaningful dialogue,” and said the administration “look[s] forward to hosting the vice president next month.”
Pence, who previously served as governor of Indiana, is also scheduled to deliver a commencement speech at Liberty University next month.
In 2017, Notre Dame University students walked out during Pence’s commencement speech at the school.
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