When I was first beginning my college search, not once did I ever think that a Christian University would be the right fit for me. Although I grew up very Catholic, I was also able to create my own beliefs both spiritually and politically. I'm an anomaly, I identify as Christian and Liberal. Crazy, right? So when I picked Grand Canyon University as my school of choice, I was terrified I would be faced with an environment that would discount my political beliefs. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Although there is a strong Conservative presence on campus, GCU embodies the idea of inclusivity regardless of religious, cultural, and political beliefs. When The Young Americans for Freedom chapter here at GCU, was trying to get Ben Shapiro to come and speak on campus, I was baffled. Ben Shapiro has been under fire for the support of the border wall and the elimination of DACA, his stance against the transgender community, his affiliation and work under Breitbart, and most importantly his dismissal of the women's cases against Brett Kavanaugh.
He even went as far to state in the opening episode his show on Fox News as quoted in an article by Haaretz, an Israeli news publication that reports on hot-button political issues from around the world, "The manipulative way Democrats have played this entire scenario suggests that this is a political hit, pure and simple, at least from their viewpoint." Coming forward with sexual abuse takes courage and I can assure you those women had far more on their agenda than executing "a political hit".
With a message of hate, it does not matter if it is backed up by Conservative values or Liberal values. It should not be tolerated either way. GCU and Brian Mueller's decision to not give Shapiro a platform to speak was not in the venture of censorship or diminishing Conservative student's freedom, but rather eliminate his offense perception to be associated with the school. GCU has had many Conservative speakers come to campus with a similar message as Shapiro, excluding all of the hate and bigotry; clearly showing that in no way are they preventing students from their right to free beliefs. Mueller thankfully realized that by having someone like Shapiro on campus, he was subjecting hate to be spread. Specifically, Mueller wanted those under DACA to not feel that the University was supporting someone who wants to take their education opportunities away from them.
I just wanted to say thank you to Mr. Mueller. Thank you for remembering that Christianity comes in many forms and hate comes in one. Thank you for standing up for the marginal beliefs and promoting the long-standing message of inclusivity. Thank you for not falling to the pressure of those who want to disregard others who may not believe in the same way. Thank you for remembering that this is indeed a PRIVATE university, one that can decide what messages will be shared on its' campus. Thank you for making me realize that I did choose the right school as I know that just because I may not believe or think in the same manner as the majority that I too can be heard, respected, and nurtured in my faith as well. THANK YOU.