Some of you may recall, not all of the students at Liberty University were happy to board the Trump Train:

The group, Liberty United Against Trump, released a statement earlier this week arguing that the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., had linked the school and Trump. The group noted that any member of the school’s faculty would be fired for bragging about kissing and groping women the way that Trump has.

“A recently uncovered tape revealed his comments bragging about sexually assaulting women,” the statement, which also serves as a petition, reads. “Any faculty or staff member at Liberty would be terminated for such comments, and yet when Donald Trump makes them, President Falwell rushes eagerly to his defense ― taking the name ‘Liberty University’ with him. ‘We’re all sinners,’ Falwell told the media, as if sexual assault is a shoulder-shrugging issue rather than an atrocity which plagues college campuses across America, including our own.”

ipad_retinaJunior Fallwell responded diplomatically. There have, however, been other incidents surrounding the schism between Falwell and the rest of the school. The first involves a former regent who opposed Trump and later resigned. The second involved a newspaper column the university pulled for “redundancy.”

This lead to some calls about college political correctness and “Why aren’t the anti-SJW people condemning this!!!!!”

The regent who quit is a non-issue as far as this goes, but the newspaper column story is pretty sketchy (as it pertains to free speech). I guess I do hold Liberty to a lower standard because, contra its name, you know what you’re getting when you’re going there. It’s not Pensacola Christian College or anything, but it is what it is. And it’s private. Yes, I also hold Oberlin to a lower standard for those reasons. State universities, and elite future-leaders-of-our-country universities, though, deserve more scrutiny.

All of that said, I’m totally cool making Liberty University the exemplar of the Safe Space mentality. When the University of Michigan does something questionable, we can call it “Acting like Liberty U.”

Sound fair?


Category: Newsroom

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

7 Responses to Doing a Liberty

  1. RTod says:

    “All of that said, I’m totally cool making Liberty University the exemplar of the Safe Space mentality. When the University of Michigan does something questionable, we can call it “Acting like Liberty U.” Sound fair?”

    Not really. But I’ll make you a counter offer:

    When the University of Michigan expels kids for having the “wrong” religious belief, expels kids for their beliefs about evolution, expels kids for dating outside of their own kind, expels kids for watching R-rated movies not approved by the president, revokes official recognition of a student-run club backing a mainstream US political party, encourages students to arm themselves with handguns because un-apporved houses of worship exist in the Ann Arbor, removes a board of Trustee member for supporting a presidential candidate different from the the University president — when all of those things happen, then sure, I’m willing to call equating the two institutions regarding these free speech and thought matters as fair.

    Until them however, I’m hard pressed not to roll my eyes every time I hear about how places like Michigan shut down Freedom.

    • trumwill says:

      Hmmm, this is fair, for at least some of them (forgot about the Democratic Club, where I assume they worse reasons than mine did for disbanding the Republicans). But the “conservatives aren’t complaining about this” relates to more specific actions that are less PCC-like. (My impression, at least, is that some of those are more PCC than Liberty, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you knew more about LU than I do.)

      I think a part of me just liked the idea of using Liberty as the standard-bearer for such things and so missed the potential for false equivalence.

        • trumwill says:

          Pensacola Christian College, a fascinating and terrifying school (at least, to people like us). But now accredited, at least.

        • RTod says:

          As you likely know, I think most of these debates are more a sign that we get bored easily than there’s something wring with higher education.

          I actually have not problem with LU being LU, just as I have no problem with Berkley being Berkley. As I’ve noted before, there are over 5000 accredited higher learning institution with millions of staff and faculty and even more students. Any attempts to make them all uniformly anything can’t result in anything but something very creepy looking.

          I’m simply making the point that when conservatives complain about academic freedom, they’re not actually talking about academic freedom. They don’t really even *care* about academic freedom. You take any conservative opinion outlet, from Breitbart all the way to the Buckley club, and I bet we could find countless “academic freedom” complaints about how there exists liberal-thinking teachers that teach liberal ideas — and not one single complaint about LU, a place that’s Draconianly dogmatic and where every national conservative wanna-be leader had to go to beg for conservative bona-fides.

          What conservatives really care about is there are students, faculty and admin see things from a different political point of view, and they want someone to step in and forcibly stop it. Which is pretty much the opposite of academic freedom. (See also: concerns about freedom of religion, freedom of the press, etc.)

        • trumwill says:

          I hope to pick this conversation up again after the election.

  2. fillyjonk says:

    What’s Liberty’s status in re: tax exemption? I think that if a pastor, speaking from the pulpit, told his (or her) parishoners whom to vote for, that church would be in danger of losing its tax-exempt status.

    Frankly I have issues with any large institution – public or private school, religious institution, workplace, hospital – pressuring its staff to vote a certain way, but that might just be me being cranky, I don’t know. I’m the one who once hung a “no politics discussion please” sign on her office door.

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