A Michigan high school has apologized for bringing in an outside speaker who supposedly made some students and parents “uncomfortable.” Unfortunately, it appears that the true objection to the speaker had nothing to do with what he said and everything to do with who he was.
Friends of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation will remember Ryan Bomberger as one of the keynote speakers at our 2018 Legislative Day event in Albany. Ryan is a media professional and pro-life advocate, and he inspired listeners with his personal story as an adopted son. Ryan’s multimedia presentation also equipped listeners to think about sanctity of life issues in new ways.
Some days ago, Ryan spoke at Vicksburg High School in western Michigan. According to Ryan, his talk was “‘not political in nature. There was no religion. There was no mention of abortion, no mention of pro-life or pro-choice. Or LGBT. None of that at all. It was an apolitical, very life-affirming message…’” However, one student disagreed, stating that “‘we figured out who he was on his website and everything that his organization stands with…’” The Superintendent of Schools added that “‘we ended up bringing in a speaker where if you go beyond what was heard and look at the website, lots of people are going to be very alarmed.’” In a recent op-ed, Ryan asserts that “it wasn’t what was said at the assembly that caused the negative reaction. It was that some, who took to social media to protest me, discovered (gasp!) that I’m a Christian with a Biblical worldview…”
Being a Christian with Biblically-based beliefs does not disqualify Ryan—or anyone else—from speaking at a public school. It is Ryan Bomberger who deserves an apology.