Grand Canyon University has rescinded an invitation for conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to speak at the campus.
Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and host of The Ben Shapiro Show was initially invited to speak by the campus organization Young Americans for Freedom. Grand Canyon University in Arizona is a Christian school.
A statement released last week by the university, however, said that Shapiro would not be allowed to speak because it would be detrimental to the school’s “unique and united community.”
"We believe in many of the things that Ben Shapiro speaks about and stands for, including his support for ideals that grow out of traditional Judeo-Christian values and his belief in a free market economy. Our decision to cancel Shapiro's speaking engagement is not a reflection of his ideologies or the values he represents, but rather a desire to focus on opportunities that bring people together," the statement read.
Shapiro responded to the statement on Twitter, writing “Oh.”
GCU said the decision would most likely disappoint some students, but the change was meant so the university could “bring unity to a community that sits amidst a country that is extremely divided.”
Students and others took to Twitter to voice their disappointment over the school’s decision.
"Wait so if 'unity' is the standard, then no one can be invited to speak. Because there will always be someone who disagrees and is offended. #GCU should probably get out of the University business... and maybe search the scriptures a bit more to see how 'divisive' Jesus was," one Twitter user said.
Said another: "My alma mater GCU has chosen to ban @benshapiro from speaking at a student event. Aren't universities supposed to be a place for discussion of all ideas? Why is GCU banning free speech? #gcu #benshapiro”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Rich Polk/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.