Franklin Graham has said the president of the University of Notre Dame should have "ripped up" the diplomas of the students who walked out of the commencement ceremony Sunday in protest of Vice President Mike Pence's policies.
Graham, the head of the humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse and son of evangelist Billy Graham, shared his thoughts on the incident in a heated Facebook post.
"Just rip them up! Maybe that's what the president of University of Notre Dame should have done to the diplomas of the students who so rudely got up and walked out of commencement as the Vice President was speaking this weekend," Graham asserted.
According to the New York Times, the walkout was planned in protest at what organizers called Pence's policies that "have marginalized our vulnerable sisters and brothers for their religion, skin color, or sexual orientation." The outlet notes that at least 100 students walked out, many of them wearing LGBT rainbow or flag pins in protest.
However, Graham argued the group of students at one of the nation's most prominent Catholic universities "must not have been taught the meaning of respect."
"They knew well in advance who was going to be speaking at their commencement; and if they didn't like it, they shouldn't have come," he said. "To get up and walk out on the Vice President of the United States of America, who was gracious enough to come speak at their graduation, that's just insolent! Maybe they need to take another class before they graduate-one on civility and respect."
Graham went on to praise the VP: "This country is so fortunate to have a Vice President like Mike Pence. He's a great man and a strong leader who isn't afraid to speak the truth. I thank God for him."
Protest organizers said in a statement that they were also protesting that Pence had "rejected the Syrian refugee resettlement program, supported an unconstitutional ban of religious minorities, and fought against sanctuary cities."
The students who participated in the walkout were praised on Sunday by several left-leaning national groups, including the gay media group Glaad and the group that organized the nationwide Women's March in January, according to the Times.
As reported, despite the interruption, Pence resumed his speech, unflinching, and praised the school's recent stance for religious liberty in the face of persecution presented by Obamacare.
"Just as Notre Dame has stood strong to protect its religious liberty, I'm proud that this president just took steps to ensure that this university and the Little Sisters of the Poor could not be forced to violate their consciences to fully participate in American civic life,"
He also addressed President Trump's earlier meeting in Saudi Arabia with 50 Arabian and Muslim leaders, commending how Trump "...spoke out against religious persecution of all people of all faiths and on the world stage he condemned, in his words, the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians."