Franklin Graham Absolutely Slams Taylor University Students Attempting To Uninvite VP Mike Pence

Franklin Graham Absolutely Slams Taylor University Students Attempting To Uninvite VP Mike Pence April 18, 2021

Evangelist Franklin Graham finds it hard to believe that there are students and alumni at Taylor University in northeast Indiana that don’t like the fact that Vice President Mike Pence accepted an invitation to speak next month at the college’s commencement ceremony. An online petition was launched by Alex Hoekstra, a 2007 graduate from Taylor, in an attempt to withdraw the invitation on the grounds of Pence’s alleged un-Christian views. Part of the petition reads: “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.”

As of late Tuesday, the petition had gained roughly 4,500 signatures from faculty, alumni, parents, staff, current students, and those that wanted to let “the Taylor administration know how you feel.” In a Facebook post written by Graham on Tuesday, he said: “For the life of me I don’t understand this. Some students and alumni at Taylor University in Indiana, a Christian college, are objecting to Vice President Mike Pence speaking at their upcoming graduation commencement.”

Graham continued in his post by saying: “They should be absolutely thrilled. But instead, this group started a petition to rescind the invitation because they say the Administration is ‘not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear.’ What are these people smoking?” Graham also pointed to the fact that Pence had just recently described himself during an interview with CNN as a “Bible-believing Christian.” Graham praised the president of Taylor University, Paul Lowell Haines, for standing by his decision to invite Pence, who was described as a “good friend of the university for years” and “a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates.”

Dana Bash from CNN asked Pence for a response about the criticism he has received from the mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, about his beliefs in regards to same-sex marriage and issues related to it. When he was asked if he agreed with Buttigieg’s belief that God him gay, Pence said: “all of us have our own religious convictions. Pete has his convictions, I have mine.”

Pence continued by saying: “I hope that Pete will offer more to the American people than attacks on my Christian faith or attacks on the President as he seeks the highest office in the land,” the vice president added. “He’d do well to reflect on the importance of respecting the freedom of religion of every American.”

“I think Pete’s quarrel is with the First Amendment. All of us in this country have the right to our religious beliefs. I’m a Bible-believing Christian,” said Pence. Vice President Pence says that his view of marriage is consistent with how it was described by Jesus Christ in the Buble. According to the book of Genesis, Jesus said: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

According to Taylor University’s website, they recognize this Biblical understanding of marriage, as well. Taylor University’s school statement on human sexuality reads: “All human beings are created in God’s image and are, therefore, of immeasurable value (Gen. 1:26-27). Our male and female genders are also a part of God’s original good creation, and our sexuality is to be celebrated. The God-ordained context for virtuous sexual expression and procreation is marriage, a sacred covenant between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Mt. 19:4-6; Heb. 13:4).” The nondenominational college, which was founded in 1846, states: “Taylor University has proudly stood for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and hosted countless people who have impacted the world with those same values.”

One of the adjunct professors at Taylor, Amy Peterson, wrote an Op-Ed for The Washington Post explaining why there are so many people, including those on the staff at Taylor University, who are upset by the fact that Pence was invited to speak at the school. “Taylor, an institution without denominational ties, has a chance to be a place where deeply divisive political questions on issues like racism, immigration policy and sexual ethics can be faithfully worked through by Christians from many backgrounds,” she wrote.

Peterson continued by saying: “But giving Pence a position of honor makes that difficult, if not impossible. It doesn’t build bridges; instead, it ratchets up the already-high level of division and distrust on campus.” She also added: “Inviting Pence reinforces the creeping conflation of ‘evangelical’ with ‘Republican.’”

According to Peterson, there were 49 faculty members that support Pence coming to the school and 61 oppose it. Peterson also suggested that inviting former President Barack Obama would have been a better decision because it would have been viewed as a message of “reconciliation.”