Left-wing students and faculty at Baylor University, an alleged Christian school, are trying to shut down a speech concerning life, gender, and marriage from a Christian perspective by The Daily Wire's Matt Walsh set for Tuesday.
There is obviously a high-demand for the Young Americans for Freedom-sponsored lecture, aptly titled "The War On Reality: Why The Left Has Set Out To Redefine Life, Gender, And Marriage," as it is already sold out. Still, opponents claim Walsh will be delivering subjectively deemed "hate speech" and that his words will leave them emotionally traumatized and, somehow, in danger physically.
A Change.org petition seeking to censor Walsh, titled "Stop Matt Walsh, Conservative Blogger, from Delivering Anti-LGBTQ Speech at Baylor," has garnered 2,200-plus signatures as of Saturday morning.
"Baylor University’s conservative student group, 'Baylor Young Americans for Freedom, has invited conservative blogger Matt Walsh to deliver an Anti-LGBTQ+ speech on April 9," the petition claims, adding, "This cannot be allowed to take place. Please remove this from campus events. For the benefit of all LGBTQ+ students, alumni, and future students, this harmful hate speech must be kept off of our beloved campus.”
Furthermore, a letter claiming the speaker’s appearance would cause a threat to “students’ emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing” is being shopped around for signatures, amassing 600-plus thus far.
As pointed out by Walsh, it's especially unclear as to how his speech on Christian values will cause "physical" harm to students:
"This is a free speech issue," asserts the petition, titled "Support Matt Walsh! Stop Patrick Hill & others who don't understand free speech.”
"No one has to agree with him. No one has to listen to him. He was invited by those on campus who do want to hear what he has to say, and he should be allowed to speak his mind," it reads. "Allow Matt Walsh, an invited guest, to express his opinion so that those who want to hear him can hear him. Those that don't want to hear him don't have to attend.”
"The backlash over a speech about Christian values at a Christian college tells us something very troubling about the state of both Christianity and higher education in America," Walsh told The Daily Wire of the efforts to silence him.
The fierce efforts to shut up Walsh, thus far, have not deterred administration from allowing him to speak, a spokesperson from the university, Lori Fogleman, iterated to The College Fix on Thursday.
"Baylor University's mission statement includes the phrase 'Integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment in a caring community,'" Fogleman said.
"As an institution of higher education, we are committed to a thoughtful exchange of ideas and an academic environment that supports inquiry, discourse, and diversity," she added. "As a Christian institution, we have an additional responsibility — to appreciate differing opinions and backgrounds in a respectful, loving manner that extends grace as Christ did."