I want to clear up some misconceptions from an opinion article about our chapter that was recently published by the Creightonian.
We recently invited Dr. Mark Christian to offer his insight regarding immigration because he is an immigrant himself from Egypt. The editorial claims we invited Dr. Christian to shock and offend people, but shock and offense have nothing to do with Turning Point’s mission. Our goal has always been to be a home for conservatives at Creighton and to start conversations about the important issues that America faces today, such as immigration.
The only way to perceive our events as offensive is to perceive all conservative activism as offensive. We’re simply trying to do what most chapters of conservative organizations do, such as hold panels, discussions, debates, host speakers, or table.
For Dr. Christian’s speaking engagement, we invited three more immigration experts to attend and share their insight, yet the two speakers who were supposed to offer a left-wing perspective on immigration canceled a few days before the event for unspecified reasons, thus leaving us with insufficient time to invite other speakers. Would the perception of our event been different had they attended?
Furthermore, the panel was never meant to be a debate. Panelists were emailed that this event was not meant to be a debate, just a discussion of ideas on how we may solve immigration issues, such as how best to combat human trafficking at the border, how best to ensure the safety of Americans, how best to treat immigrants to our country with compassion.
The editorial also claims that panelists were paid to be there. This is a factual mistake. None of the panelists were paid. They attended out of a desire to share their insight and engage the Creighton community.
Furthermore, the editorial intimates that Dr. Christian is “the leader of a hate group.” Dr. Christian is no rational person’s idea of a hateful man. He is critical of militant Islamism. He respects Muslim people and made that very clear at the panel. There’s nothing hateful about criticizing an ideology, but you should always respect the person. Turning Point is critical of many aspects of left-wing ideology, but do we hate left-wing people? No.
Dr. Christian is deemed as a hateful person because he’s the head of the Global Faith Institute which has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC has been caught displaying their true intentions which isn’t to be a hate-watch group but rather an organization that smears anyone they disagree with and label them as “extremists” or “haters.” The SPLC has been throughly debunked and discredited and should not be taken seriously.
The campus community is, of course, free to say what they want about the events we’ve put on. But our chapter will continue to bring in good speakers and hold good events. What events have other political groups put on? I’ll see a tabling from the College Democrats from time to time but I don’t remember them holding any major speakers. Turning Point USA at Creighton held the largest chapter-hosted event in TPUSA history in February 2018 by bringing in the most popular conservative speaker in the country, Ben Shapiro, and also has held tabling events and hosted the founder, Charlie Kirk, for a debate last year. I look forward to great things the chapter will do in the future.