Students, alumni and staff say Trump-Pence administration's policies are 'not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear.'
Vice President Mike Pence loves to play up his commitment to his Evangelical Christian faith every chance he gets.
But students and alumni of Taylor University — an Evangelical college in Pence's home state of Indiana — are calling on their university president to rescind Pence's invitation to deliver the school's commencement address next month, saying they do not believe the Trump-Pence administration's policies uphold Christian values.
"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," reads a petition urging Taylor University President Paul Lowell Haines to disinvite Pence.
So far, more than 4,200 people have signed the petition.
Signers of the petition who say they are alumni or connected to alumni of the college wrote messages with their reasoning, writing that they are disgusted by Pence's appearance and suggesting other people in Pence's place.
"I'm a husband of a Taylor alum and suggest that if Taylor is looking for a Hossier Christian politician for the commencement they might consider inviting Pete Buttigieg," Justin Alexander wrote after signing the petition. Buttigieg — an openly gay mayor who also hails from Indiana — called Pence out for Pence's anti-LGBTQ positions.
Another petition signer, Austin Lindner, said he is "ashamed" to be an alumni of the university after the Pence invitation.
"The fact that Taylor would invite Pence as a speaker honestly kills me a little bit," Lindner wrote. "I can't imagine what it must feel like for LGBT students to have to see this man's harmful bullshit be honored on the Taylor stage. Really disgusting stuff, Taylor."
The university president doesn't appear to be backing down from Pence's invitation, calling Pence a "good friend to the University over many years," and "a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates," according to a statement to Fox News.
If the university president thinks Pence's values "exemplify" what Taylor University wants to instill in their graduates, then the university must want to teach its students how to demonize immigrants, Muslims and LGBTQ people — as that's exactly what Pence has done throughout his career and time at Trump's vice president.
Published with permission of The American Independent.