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May 27, 2009

Democratic Club Attempting to Regain Status at Liberty University

Members of Liberty University's Democratic Club met with Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. today to develop a proposal that would let the club regain official status while promoting a pro-life agenda, according to the local newspaper.

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On Monday, Falwell wrote on the university's website that the club can continue to meet on campus but will no longer be officially recognized.

"Liberty University is pro-life and believes that marriage between one man and one woman provides the best environment for children," he said. "Liberty University will not lend its name or
financial support to any student group that advances causes contrary to its mission."

Ray Reed writes that the club is drafting an apology to the school and a retraction of some statements it made to the news media last week that accused university administrator Mark Hine of saying a person could not be both a Democrat and a Christian.

Comments

This take on things certainly raises more questions than it answers. From other news articles I have read Liberty is treading on dangerous ground. They won't recognize a democratic party organization, but allow a republican party organization (which seems like a violation of their tax exempt status). Although they also seem to have disbanded a secondary Republican organization that advocated a pro-choice position.

What doesn't make sense to me is that they are picking and choosing issues to make important. So pro-choice and pro-gay marriage are important enough to disband an organization. But pro-war, pro-torture, are not. Certainly not all Republicans are pro-war or pro-torture, but not all Democrats are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

Yet another reason Wheaton, not Liberty, is the flagship Evangelical university. In 2006, Wheaton engaged in dialogue with an aggressive a gay rights group that forced its way on campus; Liberty arrested them. Today, Wheaton has coexisted happily with young dems groups for a long while; Liberty wants to abolish its one-year old dems club, or at least control their issue stances - which is kind of against the point of such a group.

On the other hand, I'm not sure why a Democrat would want to attend Liberty in the first place, knowing how they signed a document stating they would abide by such and such restrictions, including perhaps some political stances (pro-life). That to say, if anyone attends a place like Liberty, they've got to give up some liberties; if you don't want to, why go there?

Brendan just to let you know the LU students don't see signing a document saying they will lead Godly lives as "forfitting their liberties", rather they feel that they are showing their obedience and love for the Lord by leading a Godly lifestyle. They believe living your life by paricipating in homosexual relationships, having an abortion or partaking in drugs would not be a violation of their status as a student as much as it would be a violation of what God has wanted or them and their lives.

Remember God's way are not man's ways. It really helps put this whole thing (and life in general) into perspective once you get a firm grasp on this concept.

Brendan: about the gay groups coming to LU, I do know that Falwell met with Mel White and Soulforce. No one was "arrested." I'm not sure why you think it's very Christ-like to be pitting Wheaton against LU. I think they are both great schools. Sorry you can't, or aren't able, to see that.

I'm an LU grad and a conservative. Of course, Big Media has done everything they can to lie, twist and distort the facts of this story, but at the end of the day, the school's decision was unwise.

It's not like the views of the Democrat party have changed over the years, so I'm NOT buying the school's explanation of their reversal from previously recognizing the club (i.e. the Dem's took a sharp leftward turn in 2008, so everything changed). That rings hollow. I do hope that they at least expected the media firestorm that would result of their decision. If not, then they are truly naive.

I hear Ray Reed and the members of the Democrat chapter are retracting some false allegations they used to get the media involved in all this. They owe Mark Haines and school administrators a BIG apology - in person, forget the letter. Their conduct reflects very badly on the college Democrats. You can fight the good fight and get the media involved, - I have no problem with that. But twisting the truth against the school and then we see all these misleading headlines? A betrayal, pure and simple.

The College Dems told the administration that they would only be supporting pro-life, pro-family candidates; it's in their charter. They went back on that promise, so the administration took action. Then the College Dems mislead the news media, seeking to paint the administration in the worst possible light, and lying in the process.

I'm not happy with the way the whole thing has been handled, but I'm starting to see that there's a lot more to this whole thing than we've been hearing. And I'm now having a very hard time feeling sorry for the College Dems in this case.

I so can't wait until God wraps up this mess. I'm getting so sick and tired of all this silliness.

Come quickly Lord Jesus!

So originally the Dem club was allowed to be created only because it agreed that it wouldn't support pro-choice candidates or anyone that for for gay marriage? That just doesn't make sense why would anyone agree to that? So is the republican group also bound by those rules? Admittedly it will come up less, but there certainly are Republicans that are pro-choice and for gay marriage.

I still come back to the picking and choosing of issues. What about global poverty or free trade or creation care? What about insisting that all candidates believe in seven day creation? Candidates should never be chosen on a single issue, that is how we end up with so many bad candidates.

Re: Mike, "about the gay groups coming to LU, I do know that Falwell met with Mel White and Soulforce. No one was 'arrested.'"

Contrast that with http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/6753:
"Twenty members of the Soulforce Equality Ride were arrested as they attempted to discuss the lack of equality for gay students at Liberty University."

And Mike, Wheaton has gotten its share of unfair press because of anti-Evangelical bias, but the Wheaton admin tends to handle press situations with as much tact as humanly possible; LU doesn't - i.e., arresting aggressive gay rights protesters. I want LU to be wiser dealing with these situations, and point to a good model for how to do that.

Re: Just Saying, I agree that willfully doing the right thing is not burdensome, and indeed is a kind of liberty. Yet, as Romans 14 puts it, let's not require everyone think and act the same way on everything, but leave room for their liberty.

Two of our four children have gone to Liberty and we have the highest respect for the institution and the administration. Parents send their kids to Liberty primarily because the university has NOT compromised its values or doctrinal statement. If you want to go to a Christian university that "dialogues" (read: compromises) with groups that have world views that are diametrically opposed to biblical Christianity, the list is as long as your arm! There is certainly no lack of evangelical colleges and universites that have modified their stance on social issues (read: caved in to pressure). Unless something has changed, ALL Liberty professors (from calculus class to gym class) are believers in biblical inerrancy. If that doesn't give an incoming student a clue regarding what they are getting into, they need to read the school's mission statement more closely. Oh, and comparing the influence of Wheaton to Liberty? Are you really serious? Given the relative size of the two institutions, it looks like a few more evangelical parents and students have chosen Liberty!

no lack of evangelical colleges and universites that have modified their stance on social issues (read: caved in to pressure). Unless something has changed, ALL Liberty professors (from calculus class to gym class) are believers in biblical inerrancy. If that doesn't give an incoming student a clue regarding what they are getting into,