But not everyone at the nondenominational school, whose mission is “challenging each generation of students to integrate faith with learning and follow Christ’s calling,” is enthused about Pence’s planned appearance, as became clear this week. A Change.org petition asking the school to rescind the invitation had garnered nearly 5,000 signatures by early Thursday, with copious commentary appended. Appeals to university leadership have been plastered across social media. Some are pledging to withhold donations.
“Not my Taylor. Not my Jesus,” one signer wrote…
Students and alumni who added their names to the online petition expressed varied objections, from Pence’s support for the president’s conduct to his role in the 2015 implementation of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics said gave license to service providers to refuse to do business with gay and lesbian patrons. Many of those who commented cited Buttigieg as a notable counterexample from the Hoosier State.
Benjamin Krapohl, who said he was a graduating senior, claimed the invitation was a sign of disrespect to “all the non-white, non-straight students who are already pushed to the fringes of Taylor’s community.” An alumnus, Graham Hauser, argued, “’Republican’ isn’t ‘Christian’ anymore and this administration has made it easier than ever to see that.”