The oft-cited Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News said before a student audience at Minnesota State University that not only “Catholics are right about everything,” he called upon them to “think about some of the things Christianity brought to western civilization.” Speaking on December 15 in Mankato, Yiannopoulos said that without the Catholic Church women would be “married off to the highest bidder.”
 
Yiannopoulos explained, “In the twelfth century, marriage came to be counted as a sacrament by the Catholic church." He added that  “As a sacrament, it does not require a priest, only the agreement of the man and woman, which is the greatest protection ever given to women in a system of marriage: by the Church’s argument, women cannot be married against their will, they and their bridegrooms must both say, “I do.””
 
Addressing himself to the women present at the secular campus, the outspoken journalist said, that "without the Catholic Church getting smart hundreds of years ago, you’d be married off to the highest bidder by your family” he continued, before adding “That’s one of my fantasies by the way.”
 
Yiannopoulos then compared the Catholic faith to Islam. “In the Islamic world, girls are married off as little girls in some cases, and share a husband with other women in others” declared the English controversialist. “And once you are married, heaven forbid you bring shame to your husband, or you might get caned, stoned, or suffer an honor killing. “Even if we strongly dislike woman’s studies departments, we should all be thankful that they don’t involve proper burka maintenance” he said. “And that is due to the Catholic  Church."
 
Yiannopoulos told the audience that at one time he thought that the so-called War on Christmas was a fabrication devised by Christians to gain attention. He has since been swayed by reports of anti-Christian government that panders to Islam. He has been a forthright admirer of Donald Trump, urging gay and lesbian voters to vote for Trump. As for the current occupant of the White House, Yiannopoulos spoke of how President Obama has noted the holiday. "Donald Trump has made no bones about liking the phrase Merry Christmas, he said it in front of Christmas Trees as part of his victory tour. Contrast this with President Obama, whose traditional presidential Christmas cards don’t even say Christmas on them this year. President Obama is also only the fourth President to have his own picture on the Christmas card. The previous ones are Herbert Hoover, FDR, and Bill & Hillary Clinton. It figures that Obama and Hillary would be two of the most egotistical people in what is already, let’s be honest, a pretty ego-driven job. If Hillary had won the presidency, her Christmas card would be her and her entire medical staff. All 58 of them."
 
Yiannopoulos called the United States the “greatest country in history of human civilization.” However, he said that “social justice warriors” are threatening  the country.
 
Denoucing efforts to suppress Christmas cheer in the name of political correctness, Yiannopoulos said, “In their rush to placate anyone and offend no one, especially our friends from the Middle East, the left wants to shoot down Christianity,” adding, “From the liberal reaction to Christmas, you would think Santa and his reindeer took down the Twin Towers.”
 
Christmas, Yiannopoulos said,  is a “vital part of American culture” while anti-Christmas fervor “is just about the only concept held sacred by the progressive left.” The focus on the part of lefts for inclusiveness ends up oppressing Christians, he said. “What the secular soulless left fail to understand is not everyone is as eager to take offense at everything as they are,” he said.
 
Yiannopoulos' visit sparked opposition from some quarters, including LGBTQ advocates. The Column - an online publication that describes itself as an LGBTQ nonprofit media organization -- described him as "an anti-immigrant white nationalist, professional misogynist, and openly gay anti-transgender activist..." He has been lionized by his supporters, but has met with cancellations and protest at several universities At Minnesota State University, College Republicans who sponsored the event hit a snag earlier this year when campus authorities demanded $1000 for security for the Yiannopoulos event. The College Republicans balked, setting off a firestorm that eventually forced the institution to allow the talk on campus. 
 
In response to critics, which included groups such as Mankato United, Minnesota State President Richard Davenport issued the following statement in response to the protesters via the Mankato Free Press:
 
“As a public institution of higher education, Minnesota State Mankato is committed to being a university where free speech along with diverse thoughts and ideas are valued and explored, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. This includes allowing expression of ideas by speakers that some persons may find offensive. We seek to build an actively engaged and inclusive learning community based upon civility, trust, integrity, respect, and diversity in a safe, welcoming physical environment — and that includes the event on Dec. 15.”
 
Supporters of Yiannopoulos filled the hall where he appeared, but his critics were few. One man jumped on the stage and screamed "Fascist!" at Yiannopoulos before being escorted away. Another person screamed obscenities at the speaker before running from the scene. 
 
Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter -- the social media platform where he -- as does Donald Trump -- frequently posted his quips. The ban came after his issued a mild criticism of a black actress's performance in a reprise of the "Ghostbusters" movie.
 
 


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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