While Donald Trump is consistently making headline news with his bombastic proclamations, Mike Pence largely works in the shadows. The VP, however, did end up in the papers by deciding to speak at Indiana’s Taylor University.
As Taylor is an Evangelical Christian college of Pence’s home state of Indiana, there shouldn’t have been too much of a commotion. The commencement speech, though, was marred by a number of students and faculty walking out in protest.
Negative reaction to the Vice President’s commencement speech began back in April. A petition against the ceremony was started and eventually received over 8,000 signatures.
The petition read in part:
“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.”
Those words were put into action this weekend as dozens of students and faculty members walked out during the speech. The walkout was planned in advance in solidarity with the protest.
— Midge the elder (@SaintAmourMich) May 19, 2019
The walkout did not seem to affect the VP who plowed forward by promising increased rights for Christians. “I promise you,” he told the assembled. “We will always stand up for the freedom of religion and the right of every American to live, to learn, and to worship according to the dictates of your conscience.”
He finished his speech with a warning, “You’re going to be asked to bow down to the idols of the popular culture. So you need to prepare your minds for action.”