Thursday 28 March 2019

Black pro-life speaker: Ivy League student group disinvited me from abortion talk over my 'biblical sexuality' stance

A black pro-life speaker said a Cornell University student group disinvited her from an abortion talk because her "biblical sexuality" stance would offend students — and that she was told that letting her speak would be like "allowing a racist to speak who held pro-slavery and pro-Holocaust views."

What happened?

Jannique Stewart wrote in a Saturday Facebook post that the Cornell Political Union in January invited her to speak at the Ivy League school in April "regarding the fact that abortion is a moral wrong" — until organizers got a look at her bio weeks later.
More from her post:
"I received a shocking phone call in which I was told that I was being DISINVITED. Why? I was being DISINVITED because of my outspoken beliefs regarding biblical sexuality. Specifically, because of two main beliefs: 1. Sexual activity should be reserved for marriage 2. Natural marriage defined by God as the Union of one man and one woman. YES, it was made very clear to me that I was being DISINVITED invited because of my views. That is VIEWPOINT DISCRIMINATION. It was explained to me that having someone on campus who believed the way I did was tantamount to allowing a racist to speak who held pro-slavery and pro- holocaust views!!! I was also told that their concern was that many of the students would be offended by my beliefs and would not be able to focus or listen to my speech."
Stewart told PJ Media in an email that her ministry, Love Protects, "addresses a range of issues dealing with biblical sexuality: abstinence until marriage, pro-life, anti-pornography, to issues regarding the traditional and biblical view on marriage and LGBTQ issues."
She added in her Facebook post that the group initially said rather than disinviting her it would be better if another speaker took her place, and Stewart told the group she wasn't bowing out. Then she said the final "no" came and for the same reasons.
"More and more universities are censoring conservative Christian voices in an effort to silence dissent and spare any possible offense," Stewart added in her post. "Unbelievable! The First Amendment supports freedom of speech not freedom from speech."
Stewart told PJ Media the disinvitations took place over the phone so there was nothing in writing to confirm her assertions.

What did the student group have to say?

The Cornell Political Union told the school newspaper the Sun that Stewart's "accusations of discrimination ... are false. We have never negatively characterized Ms. Stewart's beliefs, nor have we ever attacked her character."
CPU President John Sullivan Baker told the paper that the main concern was "security," which Stewart contested.
"We had discovered information [about] her past advocacy activities that could potentially lead to a situation in which the security of our members was jeopardized," Baker added to the Sun. "And to prevent security risks we would have had to be able to afford security, and that's not something we're able to afford at this time."
Baker did not specify what "security risks" the organization is concerned about, the paper added.
A 2017 talk by Tea Party co-founder Michael Johns cost $2,000 in security fees, the Sun reported, adding that Baker said no other CPU speaker has triggered security fees since.
The Sun's article did not address Stewart's claim that the group said letting her speak would be like "allowing a racist to speak who held pro-slavery and pro-Holocaust views." TheBlaze on Wednesday asked CPU to comment on that assertion by Stewart but did not immediately receive a response.

What did a noted Princeton professor have to say?

Robert P. George, a well-known Princeton University professor, criticized Stewart's disinvitation in a scathing Facebook post of his own:
"So here we are. Evidently, no Catholic, Evangelical Protestant, Eastern Orthodox Christian, Orthodox Jew, or Muslim, who believes what his or her tradition of faith teaches about sex and marriage is permitted to engage in debate at the Cornell Political Union. Even someone who, following thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Musonius Rufus, Xenophanes, and Plutarch, holds to traditional morality on philosophical grounds without the benefit of scriptural revelation, is ineligible to be a debater. If Plato or Aristotle were around today, they would be barred. Think about that for a second.

"Among the most appalling practices of the contemporary left is its attempt to secure its position on sex and marriage by stigmatizing anyone who dissents from it as a "bigot' or "hater"--the equivalent of a racist--and thus excluding them and shutting down all debate. We're seeing this all over the country. It is a sin against the House of Intellect. The bullies who commit it need to be stood up to. Their victims need to refuse to be intimidated. And all men and women of goodwill need to stand with them."
George concluded with the question, "Where oh where are the old fashioned, honorable liberals?"
Here's a video featuring Stewart:

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