Vice President Mike Pence is speaking at Wisconsin Lutheran College’s Commencement speech on Aug. 29 and that’s upsetting a group of people who signed an open letter demanding he be uninvited and calling his invite “disrespectful,” and “ignorant,” and accusing WCL of not promoting an “an agenda of love.”
The letter expresses “express our empathy and grief for the Class of 2020,” arguing the graduation ceremony “will be infected by toxic politics” due to the inclusion of Pence. It’s signed by alumni and some current students.
In a press release, WCL explained:
President Pence was invited to address the graduates and their families as he is a leader who exemplifies the qualities of Christian servant leadership and exhibits Christian values through his service to the United States of America.
The letter says that Pence will speak at Wisconsin Lutheran College’s 2020 commencement celebration on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at 11 a.m. Tat Franklin Field in Franklin.
The Letter Accuses Pence of Not Promoting Christian Values
The Aug. 21 letter, published online, is from “Concerned members of the WLC Community.”
“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,” the letter claims. “Not only is the invitation disrespectful, but also the remarks provided by the college fail to recognize the reality of the decision.”
The letter called the invite “ignorant” and too political before the election. The letter accuses Pence of not promoting Christian values. The letter takes offense at WCL for 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,” calling it “problematic.”
Here’s what the press release said on that:
While serving and leading, Vice President Pence has done so with an unapologetic faith in Christ, and he advocates for the freedom of religious expression so that ministries like our churches and Wisconsin Lutheran College can flourish within a pluralistic society.
“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,” the letter claimed.
The College Called the Mike Pence WLC Speech Apolitical
In its news release, WCL stressed, “This event is not an endorsement of a political party, candidate, or a party’s platform. Commencement is not in any way meant to be viewed as a political event, as it cannot be, and is not a political statement. We also believe that regardless of individual political affiliations, we will be honored to have in our midst the Vice President of the United States of America.”
The release added, “We recognize that we all have varied ideologies and political viewpoints. Yet, we believe it is possible within our context to leave partisan politics at the door and to celebrate America, our freedoms, Christian servant leadership, and our graduates’ immense accomplishments.”