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Liberty University Quashes God-Hating Democratic Party Activities

by: Johnny Camacho

Fri May 22, 2009 at 07:34:33 PM EDT

I've been accused by friends and acquaintances of being too tough on Liberty University. In fact, they say that I get a contemptuous scowl on my face every time I hear the words "Liberty" and "University" in immediate succession. I don't think that's true, but, if it is, perhaps it's because I've always seen Liberty University as just another moving part in the machine built by the late Jerry Falwell to assist in the demolition of the wall that exists between church and state in America.

Falwell believed that America would be at its best as soon it was run by a government full of overtly Christian public servants - elected by Christian voters and activists - who would make policy decisions based on biblical doctrine. Liberty University was founded, in large part, for the purpose of producing these future public servants, voters, and activists through Christian education.

The problem that I have with Liberty lies in the distinction that must be made between education and indoctrination. Education, by nature, frees and expands the mind, whereas indoctrination imprisons it. While Liberty may go out of its way to boast its accomplishments and endowments as an educational institution, it seems that the principles of indoctrination guide the administration at Liberty University.


Liberty University has revoked its recognition of the campus Democratic Party club, saying "we are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by" the university.


... The club must stop using the university's name, holding meetings on campus, or advertising events. Violators could incur one or more reprimands under the school's Liberty Way conduct code, and anyone who accumulates 30 reprimands is subject to expulsion.

Jerry Falwell Jr., the current Chancellor of Liberty, insisted that the school's decision wasn't a condemnation of the club's members, saying, "They are good, Christian kids who sit with me at ball games. I just hope they find a pro-life family organization to affiliate with so they can be endorsed by Liberty again."

The Falwells have such a way with words, don't they?

Johnny Camacho :: Liberty University Quashes God-Hating Democratic Party Activities
Of course, as you might have guessed, the Liberty University Republicans still have an official, school-sanctioned club, which I would assume is one of the "pro-life family" organizations that scorned Liberty Democrats have the option of joining up with. Let the indoctrination begin!

Look, I get it. Some schools have a reputation for being Liberal; some schools have a reputation for being Conservative. However, one doesn't hear stories of Republican clubs being shut down at Oberlin or UC Berkeley. Regent University has a Democratic club that, to the best of my knowledge, has not been quashed. The relatively unprecedented nature of Liberty's actions is what makes them offensive.

For egregiously political reasons, the administration of Liberty University targeted a student club, shut it down, and then threatened any members who might feel compelled to carry on the club's activities as usual with the possibility of reprimands. The administrative personnel who made the decision to behave in such a manner were not upholding Conservative Christian principles; they were being puerile, small-minded, and intolerant. As a result of this, they tarnished their own university's reputation and opened themselves up to an onslaught of much-deserved ridicule and criticism from the public.

It is certainly worth noting that my sharp criticism of Liberty University does not extend to its individual students, many of whom I personally know to be intelligent, open-minded, and decent people. Along those same lines, I would say that the Liberty students instrumental in the formation of a Democratic Party club at an institution which has historically catered to the Conservative philosophy demonstrated courage, strength of principles, independent thinking, and a desire to be civically active. Such qualities should be nurtured and celebrated. They should not be not stigmatized, nor should they be embraced only with certain ideological qualifications.

Someone should tell that to the horribly misguided people in charge at Liberty University...

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Re: Liberty University Quashes God-Hating Democratic Party Activities
That is a shame.  At this year's Virginia Young Democrats Convention, I had the opportunity to sit with some of Liberty University's Democrats.  It was a pleasant surprise to almost everyone in the room when the group won an award for managing to start a successful chapter during one of the most important elections in recent memory, despite ridicule from other students and a long history of conservatism at the school -- which just goes to show that religiosity and liberalism do not need to be mutually exclusive.  

That the group was able to make an impact, however, tiny, on Obama's campaign last year was impressive, but it should have only the beginning.  The Obama administration needs our support but also needs dissent when its policies go awry, and too many conservatives are only accepting the dissenting position.  I hope that these kids continue to meet and make a difference despite Falwell's crackdown.

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