Right wing blogger's speech at Baylor sparks controversy

Flyers such as this one promoting the speech have been placed around the campus. (Staff photo)
Flyers such as this one promoting the speech have been placed around the campus. (Staff photo)(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 1, 2019 at 5:52 PM CDT
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A speech next week at Baylor by right-wing blogger Matt Walsh sponsored by the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom is sparking some controversy.

Walsh is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. on April 9 in McClinton Auditorium on “The War On Reality: Why The Left Has Set Out To Redefine Life, Gender, And Marriage."

One Baylor graduate has launched a petition asking Baylor to reconsider its decision to allow Walsh to speak on campus.

"I started the petition to raise awareness about something that I perceive to be blatant and harmful hate speech,” Patrick Hill II of Austin said Monday.

“My goal is to have our concerns reach Baylor officials so that they could reconsider having Walsh's anti-LGBTQ+ message as an official Baylor event,” he said.

Hill's petition on Change.org has drawn 1,500 signatures

Ben Allen of the Baylor Young Americans for Freedom admits Walsh will "stir the pot" with his speech.

"We're not trying to stoke controversy but we figured it might get controversial, yes."

Flyers promoting the speech were placed around the campus that the university approved including one that includes a rainbow-striped flag with a hammer and sickle on it.

"The left is using tactics like in Russia years ago, trying to silence those who don't agree with them,” Allen said.

"He's going to be coming and we're going to be having a great event,” Allen said.

Baylor, for its part, doesn’t appear to be inclined to rescind its approval.

“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,” university spokesman Lori Fogelman said in a prepared statement.

“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."