Here’s the story from The College Fix.
Members of the LGBT community at Missouri State University are demanding the school retaliate against a student leader for her off-campus activism against a local ordinance that could harm religious freedom.
[…]A petition posted Wednesday on Change.org, originally titled “#TakeLindseyOffCarrington” but since changed to “#AccurateRepresentationMSU,” asks the school to remove a banner from its signature building, Carrington Hall, depicting “university ambassador” Lindsey Kolb.
As of Sunday night, the petition had 873 signatures.
Providing little context for its subject or a clear articulation of its demand, the petition was posted the day after Springfield residents voted to repeal a city council ordinance that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender.
Proponents of repeal have argued the ordinance did not provide substantial religious exemptions for businesses and individuals.
Removing the banner of Kolb would “send a message of cultural competence and not advertise someone who has no respect for a culture different from their own,” petition author and MSU student Connor Hayes wrote at Change.org.
Kolb told The College Fix her opponents have mischaracterized her beliefs and her faith.
“I advocated for repeal because I believe in religious freedom,” said Kolb in a statement. “A Church should not be forced to host a LGBTQ wedding. A cake shop should not be forced to make a cake for a LGBTQ couple’s wedding.”
Kolb wears many hats, according to her LinkedIn page: state chairman of the Missouri Federation of College Republicans and president of MSU’s chapter, receptionist for the dean of students and office of admissions, member of the student government cabinet, and even “campus ambassador” for a clothing brand.
What’s scary about this is the response of the gay activists:
She initially came under fire after taking issue with a satirical op-ed in The Standard by Caleb Hearon, which mocked Christians who favored of repeal of the Springfield ordinance.
“Repealing this protects religious freedom. It is my God-given right to hate whomever I want. Can I get a yee-yee?” Hearon wrote.
Caleb? What kind of name is Caleb for a secular leftist? That’s just weird.
Though Hayes’ petition says its goal “is not to make Lindsey a scapegoat for the way the [Springfield ordinance repeal] vote turned out,” it continually returns to Kolb, calling her unfit to represent the university.
“Her remarks in the past do not exemplify an ethical leader by ostracizing and discriminating against current and prospective students who identify as member or ally of the LGBT+ community,” it states. “For Missouri State to continue to endorse her discriminatory views is effectively showing that they do not in fact value ethical leadership.”
Kolb told The Fix she feels “bullied” by the petition.
“The people who started this petition did not personally know me, my convictions, and completely took my views out of context,” she said.
Her opponents have taken to Twitter, using the hashtag #TakeLindseyOffCarrington and labeling her an “awful individual” and a “bigot”among other slurs.
I feel badly for her – trying to stand up for religious liberty using your real name is a disaster these days. It’s not safe. I do think that it’s extra good when a woman stands up for religious liberty, though. In my experience, women are more likely to want to hide their conservative beliefs from their peers – or even get rid of them completely in order to fit in. I feel really bad when that happens – I want to get in there and reinforce her so that she doesn’t feel pressured to change her values in order to fit in.
Look how tough Lindsey is:
And while Smart’s intervention on her behalf suggests Kolb’s banner will remain on Carrington Hall, “If it ever comes down to me having the freedom of speech and religion or having a banner on campus, I choose my faith and freedom every time,” Kolb told The Fix.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending so far:
University President Clif Smart decried those attacking Kolb in a Wednesday night blog post.
“In the same way that discrimination will not be permitted at Missouri State, we will also not permit retaliation based on someone’s political or religious beliefs or advocacy efforts on this or any other political issue,” Smart wrote.
He said the university’s “public affairs” mission – the petition’s stated rationale for removing Kolb’s banner – “is not a weapon to be wielded when we work or study with those who have different ideas, beliefs or values than our own.”
Discouraging people from speaking openly is not what Missouri State is about, Smart continued: “We do not behave as ethical leaders when we seek to stifle free expression or punish those who advocate for particular viewpoints.”
And there is a counter-petition for you to sign to support Lindsey, as well. I posted this because my heart just went out to her trying to do the right thing and taking flak from the secular leftist mob. She is a very, very brave girl – I’m sure this experience has hurt her some. It’s scary – so many of our young people are like Crazy Caleb – even the ones raised in Christian homes. And there are so few Lindseys. The university is a very dark place right now. And yet it has so much influence in our society that we can’t abandon it, we have to keep trying to get a foothold.