Friday, May 29, 2009

Where's The "Liberty"? Liberty University Bans Campus Democratic Party Club

Do you think of a university as a marketplace of ideas where free and open discussion is encouraged? That vision doesn't jibe with Liberty University, founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell, where the Democratic Party club has been banned:

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.

...According to the e-mail [that notified club president Brian Diaz], 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.

...Part of [vice president of student affairs Mark] Hine’s e-mail said, “The Democratic Party platform is contrary to the mission of Liberty University and to Christian doctrine (supports abortion, federal funding of abortion, advocates repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, promotes the “LGBT” agenda, hate crimes, which include sexual orientation and gender identity, socialism, etc.)” LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Maria Childress, the staff advisor to the club, was right on target: “[Hine's] bottom line was, ‘You can’t be a Democrat and be a Christian and be a university representative.' "

University president Jerry Falwell Jr. (top left) let it be known that his school expects its students to tow the ideological line: “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 school evidently has a fine sense of irony. They clamp down on free expression while retaining the name "Liberty." In addition, Hine states, “We are in no way attempting to stifle free speech.” 

Do those who run Liberty criticize the theocratic ways of Iran? Does the Liberty administration believe that they stand for American freedoms? Do they also criticize what they see as "political correctness" on liberal campuses? Is there a liberal campus in the country that has banned the Republican Party club? I would guess not; that would contradict the very term "liberal."

No comments: