Liberty University's New Policy
Did you read the news of Liberty University (founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell) removing the Democratic club as an offiicial Liberty club because the national party's platform goes against the values of the school?
As I've shared before, I'm neither a Democrat or a Republican. I'm an independent voter/thinker and attempt to look at things issue by issue. But in regards to this news from Liberty, let me first say that I get where their administration is coming from. They have certain convictions and are trying to honor them, and as a private university they have the right to do so, right? Especially since students sign the Liberty Way policy:
It is the duty of every student to respect Liberty's Statement of Doctrine and Purpose. They may not engage in any activity on or off campus that would compromise the testimony or reputation of the University or cause disruption to Liberty's Christian learning environment.
In a letter addressed to the student body, the chancellor of Liberty wrote:
No student club or organization shall be approved, recognized or permitted to meet on campus, advertise, distribute or post materials, or use University facilities if the statements, positions, doctrines, policies, constitutions, bylaws, platforms, activities or events of such club or organization, its parent, affiliate, chapter or similarly named group are inconsistent or in conflict with the distinctly Christian mission of the University.
Among other things, Liberty University stands for the sanctity of human life. The loss of human life through abortion is a great tragedy and we cannot remain silent when the political policies or politicians promote the destruction of innocent human life. While students may meet on campus, debate, and discuss important and controversial issues of the day, Liberty University will not lend its name or fund organizations whose stated purpose is to promote and advance issues that are contrary to its Christian mission.
But here are some of my concerns:
- Why would they grant the "Democatic Club" permission last year ... only to pull the rug out right underneath them? Why inform them via e-mail?
- While I appreciate and deeply respect Liberty's stance for the sanctity of human life ... umm ... how about its stance on war and some estimates that over a million Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S. led invasion of Iraq?
- These are college students and not middle schoolers. They are adults, right? Of age to enlist themselves in the armed forces. Let's give them the freedom to engage the larger marketplace of ideas, philosophies, and worldviews -- even in a Christian college. Their faith in Christ will be stronger as a result (and their ability to engage the larger world).
- Here we go again: this idea that Christians have to be Republicans in order to be good Christians. It's old ... and it's the same thing when people say that Christians that love justice and mercy must be Democrats. Here's my recommendation: Be neither. Be independent. Follow Christ and your convictions ... issue by issue. And finally, be someone that cares about more than the issue and actually cares about the people behind the issues.
Alright. Your turn:
What do you think about Liberty U. kicking out removing the Democratic Club as an official club?
Eugene Cho, a second-generation Korean-American, is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and the executive director of Q Cafe, an innovative nonprofit neighborhood café and music venue. He and his wife are also launching a grassroots humanitarian organization to fight global poverty. You can stalk him at his blog or follow him on Twitter.