Dozens of Students Protest Mike Pence’s Commencement Speech at Taylor University May 19, 2019

Dozens of Students Protest Mike Pence’s Commencement Speech at Taylor University

Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a commencement address at Taylor University, a small Christian school in Upland, Indiana. You might expect the reception to be as warm as it was last week at Liberty University, but last month, dozen of faculty members expressed opposition to his appearance and many students felt the same way.

One petition protesting his speech even said signers didn’t want to appear “complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration’s policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear.”

But that’s all rhetoric. What actually happened in practice?

Dozens of students walked out when Pence was introduced, echoing what some Notre Dame students did in 2017. (Pay special attention to Laura Rathburn, the student wearing a rainbow cap reading “Ally Visible For Those Who Can’t Be,” who refused to shake Pence’s hand as she walked across the stage at the 1:27 mark below.)

As for the speech, Pence pretty much reiterated what he said last week, pretending that Christians were under attack and that graduates needed to stand up against the fictional bullies that exist only the Religious Right’s mind. (Pence, as usual, is confusing criticism of this administration’s cruel and ignorant policies with criticism of the Christian faith.)

According to one analysis of Pence’s speech, he mentioned “President” more than “God,” and said “Trump” just as often as he said “Jesus.”

Makes sense. The Christian Right is no longer even pretending they’re interested in the Bible. It’s all an act to cover up their desire to have more political power in order to push a conservative agenda on the country, no matter how many women and LGBTQ people and minorities — not to mention constitutional norms — have to suffer along the way.

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