Christian conference Q Ideas has disinvited journalist Andy Ngo, editor-at-large for The Post Millennial, from speaking at the TED Talk-style forum after an activist, who works with an Antifa sympathizer, had complained to the organization's president.
Ngo, known for his coverage of the far-left Antifa movement, was set to speak at the large Nashville-based event later this month on April 22 and 23 in Nashville, but then Ngo received an email uninviting him to the annual "culture summit" for civic-minded Christian influencers.
He was then dropped from the list of speakers, which includes megachurch pastor Matt Chandler and Christian apologist John Lennox.
The talks, ranging from three to 18 minutes long, focus on an array of perspectives and opinions that fit the seven channels of culture, including media, government, and the social sector. "No topic is off limits," the organization's site declares.
Ngo told Fox News that he wasn't given further clarification on the reason he was dropped, although he was "looking forward to speaking to the conference about the threat to liberal democracy and free expression from far-left extremists who seek to normalize political violence."
"I'm not Christian, but I admire Christianity's theological pillars of grace and forgiveness," Ngo said to the conservative network. "That is something that is prohibited in Antifa's worldview. Unfortunately, the organizers ultimately decided that their attendees should not hear my message."
Ngo was slated to lead the session, "What Is Fascism?" The conference's leadership said that Ngo's writing on the subject of understanding Antifa in his New York Times bestselling book Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy "made him someone of note who had a perspective on this group and its motivation and ideology."
Organizers said they planned to also invite an expert on "[a]lt-right motivations and tactics" so that the conversation would focus on two political extremes, although no such pundit appeared on the distributed list of speakers. "However, after more consideration, we've decided not to include this discussion as part of our program this year," conference heads explained.
Q Ideas responded on Twitter to the controversy to dispel "false claims" and "wrong assumptions." The press release on Thursday, titled "Why Andy Ngo Is Not Speaking," begins: "Our goal is to expose and equip our participants to multiple views of relevant topics in culture—even when it may challenge or offend us."
"Both positive and negative reactions are expected when we fulfill our mission of convening difficult conversations and trying to help leaders think well in a polarized culture," the memo reads. "There are few places where this is possible anymore which is why we believe we need this time and space now more than ever."
The letter emphasizes that the decision to not move forward with Ngo's appearance was made by the Q Ideas team using the same process "implemented dozens of times over the years."
"We were not successful in booking an acceptable alternative voice that would present the other side of the conversation," the statement continues, "detailing the tactics and motivations of the alt-right."
Based on that missing factor, Q Ideas said organizers had determined the conversation could not be "well-balanced" on this topic at this time.
Q Ideas alleges that organizers had communicated the purported rationale to Ngo. "Any other assertion is simply untrue," the response concludes.
However, rapper-turned-activist Jason "Propaganda" Petty, who derided Ngo as "trash" multiple times on Twitter, has spoken at the summit in the past and reached out to Q Ideas president Gabe Lyons in advance about the scheduled speech to urge Ngo's removal.
Perry tweeted that Religious News Service's original report on the matter misquoted him to suggest that Lyons and other organizers have not "done their homework" on Ngo. "Don't let this misquote distract from the fact that Andy is trash," Perry wrote in another since-deleted tweet.
"Sorry for the confusion," Perry added to the Twitter thread. "What I was trying to say is That Gabe is a professional and that I do NOT assume that were [sic] irresponsible. But still i felt in [sic] necessary to chime in." He reiterated the "[m]oral of the story" that "Andy is trash."
In an email to RNS reporter Bob Smietana, screenshot by Petty, he penned: "I love Q and Axiom. I see them as really of the last reasonable voices in evangelicalism. [I] would hate to see them hoodwinked by this guy who for all intents and purposes is a con- artist. A healthy culture needs to hear a varity [sic] of ideas, however this dude is, in my opinion trolling the right wing of our country then hitting them in their wallets. Their [sic] are plenty of strong reputable conservative voices that would be a way better choice. So I'm glad they did the right thing."
On social media, Ngo confirmed Tuesday that his invitation was revoked via email after organizers received pushback from Petty, who had called Lyons his friend.
Petty has collaborated with pro-Antifa journalist Robert Evans of Bellingcat who defended the burning of the Portland Police Association last year. Evans, who endorses Antifa and covers the Portland riots, expressed unwavering support. He exalted the act of terrorism, glorifying the burning of the police union hall as an "intelligent, deliberate and successful action by well organized activists."
Leftists on social media insisted that law enforcement or conservatives launched the July 18 arson attack on the police building, alleging that the culprits set the property ablaze to frame Antifa rioters. This conspiracy theory was peddled despite the fact that Antifa had admitted to committing the crime.
"Don't take this away from them," Evans tweeted, arguing that the torching of the "well chosen" and "valid target" was "justified" by protest rights.
When the PPA trended nationwide, Evans called the occurrence the "single biggest win of any action in the Portland Uprising so far."
Petty and Evans appeared together to co-host Behind the Police for multiple episodes on the special mini-series podcast, comparing the dark days of slavery to George Floyd's death and "the mass violence American police meted out to their citizens" last summer.
In the wake of the Capitol Hill riot, the duo have since teamed up again to examine "fascist insurrections throughout history," maintaining that the federal breach that took place on Jan. 6 was just the latest of "fascists attempts to take power."
At the time of publication, Q Ideas has not responded to The Post Millennial’s request for comment asking if the rapper's complaint influenced the organization's decision to drop Ngo and if the conversation's contingency on an alt-right voice to present another political extreme opposite to Antifa was ever communicated to Ngo when he was invited and then disinvited. Petty has not answered whether or not he also sympathizes with Antifa.
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