Free Speech

The recent decision of Liberty University to not recognize the college’s democratic club is frightening. Here is a clear example of religious belief trumping free speech and free inquiry. For this to happen at a flagship school makes this all the more frightening. Liberty University’s policy, which was included in the e-mail to students of the club informing them of this decision, reads, in part, as follows: “All such clubs or organizations and their activities or events must be consistent with the University’s mission, and must be and remain in compliance with the Liberty Way, the Honor Code, and any policies or procedures promulgated by the University.” And the Democratic Club, according to the e-mail, is an arm of the Democratic Party Platform which “is contrary to the mission of LU and to Christian doctrine (supports abortion, federal funding of abortion, advocates repeat of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, promotes the ‘LGBT’ agenda, Hate Crimes, which include sexual orientation and gender identity, socialism, etc.).” Sounds an awful lot like “free speech is not allowed here” but “bigotry is welcomed” to me. Colleges and universities that fail to support free speech and promote discrimination should lose their accreditation. It’s as simple as that.


Anonymous said...

I dunno, Joe, your post sounds both overblown and bigoted. First, if you are "frightened" by Liberty's policy, you must be easily frightenable. Second, you are claiming with absolute assurance that Liberty is wrong in its policies. Now, Liberty thinks it has God to back it up. What gives you the standing to speak with just as much absolute assurance as they are speaking with? Mind you, I'm not a particular fan of Liberty, but freedom of religion also happens to be in the Constitution.

maestra said...

Brigham Young University’s Idaho campus recently had both its Democratic and Republican student run clubs dissolved under the pretext that the university wanted to remain politically neutral. This ironically came from a school affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, which last year spent billions of dollars in advertising to get Proposition 8 passed in California to deny GLBT community members a civil liberty which should be guaranteed for all U.S. citizens under the Federal Constitution-the right to marry. And, in response to the dissolution of the clubs on campus, the Vice President of Student Affairs even went so far as to state: “we are in no way attempting to stifle free speech,” Now we have another private religious based university, which ironically calls itself Liberty University, depriving a minority group of students on their campus the same basic freedom-the right to freedom of speech guaranteed by our First Amendment. One now has to ask whether the separation of Church and State clause of the constitution gives a private university the right to deny basic civil liberties? To me, it does not. The purpose of a higher education, whether it be public or private.is exposure to diverse points of view and learning how to determine whether there are merits or flaws in these viewpoints. Any institution of higher learning, which does not enable its student body to graduate with such analytical skills, is failing in what should be its primary purpose in existing. It should not only lose its accreditation, but should also be denied any federal funding.

AVToolman said...

Joe, the truth of the matter is that Liberty is not expelling the members of this group, nor are they ostracizing them. They are simply saying that by becoming part of the student body one is taking on Liberty colors. If you can't wear Liberty colors with pride and conviction then Liberty invites you to either find a place where you fit better, or at least know that you won't be held up as model Liberty representatives.
I applaud Liberty for staying true to it's convictions. By indicating they are bigoted or villainous by utilizing their own freedom of speech is the pot calling the kettle black.