Grand Canyon University, a private Christian university in the state of Arizona, has canceled a planned appearance by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, the Hill reports.
In an official statement, Grand Canyon University explained that the talk is not canceled because the university disagrees with Ben Shapiro, but because they want to focus on ideologies that “bring people together.”
“We believe in many of the things that Ben Shapiro speaks about and stands for,” the statement reads.
“Our decision to cancel Shapiro’s speaking engagement is not a reflection of his ideologies or the values he represents, but rather a desire to focus on opportunities that bring people together.”
The Phoenix-based university concluded the statement with a Bible verse, arguing that it has a duty to take upon itself the role of a “peacemaker,” and apologizing to those offended by the prospect of Ben Shapiro holding a talk on campus.
But this is not the first time for the controversial conservative commentator to be banned from speaking at a university. The Hill notes that Ben Shapiro has been blocked from speaking on a number of college campuses across the United States, with several citing “concerns about the potential for violent protests.”
To those familiar with Shapiro’s work, it comes as no surprise that some universities are hesitant to host him. Prior to serving as editor-in-chief for The Daily Wire, Shapiro was an editor-at-large of the far-right Breitbart News.
The New York Times described Shapiro’s views as “extremely conservative,” pointing out that the pundit denies that African-Americans are systematically discriminated, considers transgenderism a mental illness, and argues that abortion should be illegal.
“Enemy ‘civilian casualties’ OK by me,” reads the headline of one of Shapiro’s earliest columns penned for Townhall. In the op-ed, Shapiro describes feeling “sick” when people “whine” about “civilian casualties” in countries such as Afghanistan.
“When I see in the newspapers that civilians in Afghanistan or the West Bank were killed by American or Israeli troops, I don’t really care. One American soldier is worth far more than an Afghan civilian.”
Most recently, Ben Shapiro came under fire for using the example of baby Adolf Hitler to make a pro-life argument. As the Daily Beast reported, while speaking at the March for Life rally, Shapiro said that he was so pro-life that he would “not kill” baby Hitler.
The conservative journalist’s comments had an immediate financial impact. As Law and Crime reported, a number of advertisers announced that they would be pulling their ads from Shapiro’s podcast due to disagreements with the contents of his “baby Hitler” speech.