By Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.
Yesterday Vice President Mike Pence, former governor of Indiana and pro-life rock star, gave the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, one of the nation’s most prominent Catholic schools of higher education.
Before the Vice President’s address, a few graduates publicly declared they were going to peacefully walk out because Pence’s very presence made them feel “unsafe.”
**pausing here to pinch myself – really, students said that?**
From the Catholic News Service:
But the choice of Pence and having him on campus make students feel unsafe, claimed Notre Dame senior Imanne Mondane. In a recent interview, she told The Observer, the student-run newspaper, that “for many people on our campus, it makes them feel unsafe to have someone who openly is offensive but also demeaning of their humanity and of their life and of their identity.”
While our generation has many great attributes, events like this make me ashamed to be a millennial. Since when does someone having a different view than you make them dangerous? Really, the Vice President, the white-haired and cuddly Mike Pence, makes you feel “unsafe?”
Quite frankly, it’s a ridiculous notion that in 2017 we can’t even listen to others with whom we disagree. That, in order to shut down the conversation from happening and listening to others, we just declare that their opinions and beliefs make us feel “unsafe.”
If that’s really how these graduates feel, they are going to be in for a rude awakening when they enter the workforce.
And this happened at Notre Dame of all places! Remember back in 2009 when they invited the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at their CATHOLIC institution? President Obama had been exposed not months earlier for voting several times against giving protections to babies born alive after abortions.
The 100 graduating students who walked out of their commencement yesterday missed a great speech by the Vice President. But that’s not all of who missed it. All the media covered were the 100 students who refused to listen to the Vice President’s address on free speech, where, ironically, he said that Notre Dame has done a good job of encouraging the free expression of ideas:
“While this institution has maintained an atmosphere of civility and open debate, far too many campuses across America have become characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness — all of which amounts to nothing less than suppression of the freedom of speech. These all-too-common practices are destructive of learning and the pursuit of knowledge, and they are wholly outside the America tradition.”
You can watch the whole speech here and you should, because it’s great. Too bad those Notre Dame graduates who needed to hear it the most missed out on it: