A Catholic college recently banned students from hanging a pro-life poster with the words “Unborn Lives Matter” on campus, claiming that the language could “provoke” other students.
The DePaul University College Republicans created the simple black and white poster to advertise their club meetings and recently submitted it to administrators for approval, according to the Daily Wire.
The poster design was passed all the way up to university President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider who rejected it for being too similar to “Black Lives Matter” and linked the pro-life message to “bigotry that occurs under the cover of free speech.”
“Once again, DePaul University has shown its true colors,” club Vice President John Minster told The DailyWire. “Rather than standing up for the pro-life and free speech ethics this ‘Catholic’ university claims to uphold, administration has bent the knee to radical leftists, banning more speech despite the pro-life message.”
In a statement, Holtschneider responded to the criticism that he is restricting free speech on campus.
“Nothing can be further from the truth,” the university president said. “As we experienced last spring, it’s not difficult to agree that there is a difference between a thoughtful discussion about immigration and a profane remark about Mexicans scrawled in the quad, or between a panel on racial climate and a noose — a powerful symbol of violence and hatred — outside a residence hall. In both recent cases, the first, we encourage; the second, we abhor.”
Inside Higher Ed reports university administrators said they are open to considering a poster with different pro-life language.
Holtschneider also sent letter to the whole campus body on Friday explaining his decision.
“By our nature, we are committed to developing arguments and exploring important issues that can be steeped in controversy and, oftentimes, emotion,” Holtschneider wrote. “Yet there will be times when some forms of speech challenge our grounding in Catholic and Vincentian values. When that happens, you will see us refuse to allow members of our community to be subjected to bigotry that occurs under the cover of free speech.”
Minster noted that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, has described DePaul University as one of the worst schools for free speech in the U.S.
DePaul also has come under fire for going against Catholic values by promoting abortion. Last fall, a Cardinal Newman Society report found that DePaul and a number of other Catholic universities promoted or had connections to the abortion chain Planned Parenthood. DePaul later responded to the report by removing/changing the information on its website that promoted Planned Parenthood, according to the Cardinal Newman Society.
Back in 2013, the university also threatened a pro-life student with expulsion after his pro-life display was vandalized and he tried to expose the students behind the vandalism, according to Cardinal Newman.
More recently, the university faced criticism for censoring conservative pro-life speakers Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos after liberals staged violent protests and threatened to harm the speakers.
Though a Catholic university, DePaul also has at least one student abortion advocacy group on campus.