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Christian university blocks Ben Shapiro from speaking

A private Christian university in Arizona has canceled a planned appearance by conservative writer Ben Shapiro, but said the decision is not "a reflection of his ideologies or the values he represents."

Grand Canyon University (GCU) said in a statement on Saturday that members of the campus community indicated they were "disappointed and offended" by an initial decision to allow Shapiro to speak.

"It was not our intent to disappoint or offend anyone," the Phoenix university said. "It was, rather, to use our position as a Christian university to bring unity to a community that sits amidst a country that is extremely divided and can't seem to find a path forward toward unity."

The school pointed to its "unique and united community" on campus as an antidote to a "divided America," and called for a "focus on opportunities that bring people together."

Shapiro, the editor of conservative website The Daily Wire, has been blocked from speaking on a number of college campuses, with several citing concerns about the potential for violent protests.

Quoting the Bible, GCU suggested in its statement that officials are taking on the role of "peacemaker" by canceling Shapiro's appearance. 

"If you look at America's history, the Church has been at its best when it has worked to achieve the kind of peace that Jesus commended: 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God' (Matthew 5:9, ESV)," the statement read. "Making peace in a way that honors Christ is something we will continue to try to do."

The Hill has reached out to Shapiro for comment.

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