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23 May 2009

Liberty University Bans College Democrats Group

I'm having a tough time digesting the news about Liberty University banning a college Democrats club (link goes to a report). Upon reading the news, my mind immediately flooded with opinions, most of them negative where the college is concerned, but I know that it was a decision that wasn't made lightly, and I'm probably not privvy to details enough to make any solid judgment calls.

It's reported that the College Democrats club can no longer meet on campus and can no longer use the university's name in conjunction with its own. In an extreme "D-oh!" move, Jerry Falwell, Jr. has said that it was an "administrative oversight" that allowed the group to be approved in the first place. Oops.

In the story there was a line that leapt off of the screen at me: "[Jerry Falwell, Jr.] said he likes the group's members and knows they mean well, but that the university has received 'lots of complaints from parents and donors' about the club's existence."

I'd love to think that money wasn't the primary motivating factor in the decision -- and it may not have been. I'm just predisposed to think that any situation in which money becomes a major part of the equation is a situation where integrity is no longer the primary concern.

The privately-funded Liberty University has every right to ban a club whose parent organization not only supports, but adamantly pushes issues that the university staunchly opposes (for instance, "...we stand proudly for a woman’s right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay." -- from the Democratic Platform for America, way back in 2004).

Liberty University is in existence to educate people and provide them with a strong Scriptural foundation; not to win any popularity contests (which is a hugely good thing, because they'd probably lose).

Is this a case of the school denying a group of their right to express their political beliefs? If so, wouldn't they have every right to do so? The students paid to go to a private university.

It's the same as paying to go to a private grammar school and then complaining that the school institutes uniforms (essentially saying, "You may not wear those particular clothes on campus any longer."). Don't like it? Take your kids and money elsewhere. Maybe I'm just a cynic, but I see more and more where the love of money is, indeed, at the root of all kinds of evil.

Based on what you know, did Liberty University do the right thing?


Leroy said...

Just a general comment - as a nation, I think we have greatly confused our "rights" with our "pursuit of hapiness". For example...we hear about all the civil liberties that will be trampled on if we allow the airport to scan our person with an x-ray machine. If you don't like it, drive. You know a personal search may be required when you buy the ticket, so don't complain about it if/when it happens.

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