Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Liberty at Liberty

You would think that an institution known as Liberty University would be big on stuff like freedom of thought. After all, the word "Liberty" is contained in the very name of the institution itself. Surely that would imply a large degree of, well, "liberty" to express one's views on the issues of the day, as well as the ability to formulate your own political opinions.

And if you believed any of that, boy, would you be wrong.

Yes, there really is a place called Liberty University. It was founded by the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, a major figure in the Christian right until his death a few years ago. I'm embarrassed to say that the school is located right here in Virginia.

In an apparent effort to redefine the meaning of the word liberty, last week university officials banned the student Democratic club from campus. So what was the problem? One too many keggers? Out of control toga parties? Hiring a donkey sex show for pledge week? Nope, it was something far worse: Democrats support ideas that run counter to the Christian school's principles.

Apparently those principles don't include things like freedom of speech.

Needless to say, the decision has proven controversial. Virginia's politics have been swinging increasingly towards the Democrats. The state went Democratic in the 2008 presidential election for the first time in 44 years. The majority of Virginia's congressional delegation is Democrat as are both U.S. senators. Virginia has also had Democratic governors for the last seven years.

Well, intellectual freedom is bound to suffer when you let the Christian Taliban run a college.

0 thoughtful ramblings: