Vice President Mike Pence is no longer invited as the commencement speaker for the Wiscosin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Pence was scheduled to deliver the speech this Saturday to the Christian college just an hour from Kenosha, where the college cited “escalating events” as the reason for the cancellation. A local pastor will deliver a speech instead.
There has been some vocal opposition this week to the Pence invitation from alumni and current students. A letter was directed to the college’s staff, faculty and administration questioning whether the invitation to Pence was apolitical.
We renounce the decision to invite Vice President Pence to speak at the Class of 2020 Commencement on Saturday, August 29, 2020. We are concerned about the college’s blatantly inappropriate decision to invite the vice president to speak for this monumental event for the Class of 2020. Not only is the invitation disrespectful, but also the remarks provided by the college fail to recognize the reality of the decision. WLC has insisted that this event, “is not in any way meant to be viewed as a political event, as it cannot be, and is not a political statement.” They claim the decision was apolitical. However, the mere invitation of a Vice President of an incredibly divisive and controversial ticket to speak in a swing state months before an election is ignorant and deceptive. Speaking to young adults months before an election is a political move and not one that WLC can decide is apolitical. Praising Vice President Pence for his advocacy, “for the freedom of religious expression so that ministries like our churches and Wisconsin Lutheran College can flourish within a pluralistic society,” is problematic. This administration has been divisive and degrading. As a governor and now as the vice president, Mike Pence has failed to promote policies that reflect Christian values. The WLC administration should recognize, instead of ignoring, his problematic policies. WLC cannot and should not thrive from putting love on hold. Love must always come first. We invite you to rethink your priorities.
The letter in its entirety and its many signatures can be read here.
Story at CNN.