Grand Canyon University is a private Christian school located in Phoenix, Arizona. Its mission statement proclaims the school “prepares learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders” by providing an “academically challenging” curriculum. This assertion is obviously an elaborate ruse, as the school recently cancelled a speech by Ben Shapiro, a highly popular conservative commentator. The university cited concerns over a “current high volume of rhetoric.” Rhetoric used to be taught as part of a college’s core curriculum. Now it frightens schools into muzzling accomplished speakers?
GCU went so far as to note the school’s aim often aligns with Shapiro’s message, especially as it regards Judeo-Christian values and the free market economy, but that it was banning him from speaking “to focus on opportunities that bring people together.”
A school is neither providing an “academically challenging” curriculum nor helping its students become “critical thinkers” or “effective communicators” by barring them from hearing someone effectively communicate their critical thinking.
By GCU’s “logic,” it is better to be unified in ignorance, amorality and intolerance than to risk having students throw a tantrum if they are exposed to ideas and opinions to which they may disagree.
Grand Canyon University is the largest Christian college on Earth. It takes its name from the largest natural ravine in the world. The hole in higher education’s soul today is deeper than the Grand Canyon itself. And just as real. Academia’s cowardly adherence to group-think and antipathy to the truth is shamefully sentencing students to a lifetime spent in a vast abyss of meaninglessness.
A Christian school should help to fill that hole, not commit the same sin.
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