Note from Dan: Christina Dietz lives in Blue Ridge.
By Christina Dietz
In response to your requests for “there ought to be a law” I propose there ought to be a law against tax- exempt religious institutions which receive federal dollars from proselytizing for a particular political party.
In particular I am talking about Liberty University. As a private, non-profit, religious (Christian evangelical, no less!) and therefore tax exempt institution with not just local and national, but international influence, you would think this college would strive to remain politically neutral. As the LARGEST beneficiary of federal funds in the state of Virginia you would think it would feel an obligation to stay away from politics altogether with the exception of teaching its students the basic workings of government.
Not so. Not only has Liberty University NOT remained neutral, it has welcomingly provided Republican politician after Republican politician a platform at its university. It has actually declared in front of television cameras:
“We will maintain an open podium policy for any conservative political candidate who wants to come speak here when they are running for office, but we will never allow a liberal candidate to cross our thresholds, with the only exception being President Barack Obama, someday maybe. (Has that invitation to President Obama ever been issued?)
I admit, as a born again Christian I am stunned that Liberty University has not embraced our born-again Christian president, who has actually used the “Roman Road” steps of salvation to witness to his audiences during his some of his campaign appearances (yet somehow that has never gotten passed around on You Tube!).
Instead LU has held its arms open wide to, among others: Newt Gingrich (who is now one of the university’s spokespersons!); to Sara-pay-attention-to-ME-lin , who proclaimed herself not-up-to-muster for office as governor (never mind VP or President!) by QUITTING HER JOB to make heaps of money for herself and her handlers via speaking engagements set up via temporary non-profit organizations they created (and solicited “campaign contributions” through); to Donald Trump (LU’s speaker at this month’s convocation) who is still somewhat unconvinced Obama is a U.S. citizen, yet LU won’t try to convince him otherwise; and to Mitt Romney, whose Mormon faith claims that Satan and Jesus are brothers.
Mitt was featured on the cover of LU’s magazine after being their guest speaker at their graduation last spring. (No doubt you noticed: millionaires all, but none of them what you would call good Christian role models.)
What has ultimately spurred this letter, however, is the copy of LU’s “Liberty Journal” which came as an insert in our Sunday Roanoke Times. Sure enough, on page 27 LU promotes the controversial and assumptive film by “popular Liberty speaker” Dinesh D Souza, “2016: Obama’s America.” Can LU even say the word PROPAGANDA??? (Interestingly, the article just below the one promoting the film says, “Congressional Democrats echo Liberty’s efforts to encourage students to vote.”
The obvious questions here are, How can this be legal? And what “truth” exactly does Liberty University stand up for?
As an aside if Liberty University realized how many people are rejecting Christ because of its political activism, would they stop?
Do they not realize that all of their alleged “good deeds” are seen by many in the public as “dirty rags” devised to gain votes for their favored political party?
Can’t they see how their political activism is creating a huge mistrust towards all Christians?
Do they care?
(Don’t God (OT) and Christ himself (NT) warn against political activism, saying instead to change the world by emulating them, demonstrating their love to others, and trusting in them?
Yet in her book, “It’s My Party Too,” Christine Todd Whitman describes how since 1979 the Falwells’ Moral Majority has been working through political institutions to use civil law to impose religious law, and they’ve been doing it by throwing their support solely to Republicans and dictating their mandates to them (pg 74,75).
The glaringly bright elephant in the room is that the Falwells themselves are multimillionaires and their Falwell Empire is worth millions. They are poised to gain even more wealth if the Bush Era tax cuts for the wealthy are made permanent by the Republicans (a sure thing if Mitt Romney is elected) and the Republicans remain in the majority so they can keep funneling federal funds to private schools.
The Falwells, through their school and church, are using the issues of abortion and religion to keep more money pouring into their pockets, but our tax dollars, via federal student aid, are helping to pay for promoting their agenda.
I know a lot of LU students and alumni. There is no question that they are awesome people and dedicated Christians. Yet I question why they have not stood up to their university’s political activism, especially given that it is so lopsided.
Doesn’t the Apostle Paul suggest we should “know Christ only and Him crucified?” Is it really the abortion issue that makes them think their school is justified? In reality, the word “abortion” doesn’t even appear in the bible, but God does warn over and over in His word about bringing His bringing judgment against those nations who bloat up their wealthy with power and even more wealth to the neglect and even harm of the rest of its population.
So why are they standing up for more welfare for the wealthy? If the Bush Era tax cuts for the wealthy were translating into jobs, why was U.S. job growth dismal even during the Bush administration, when they were enacted, and doesn’t the longevity of the current 8% unemployment rate provide proof enough those tax cuts are NOT getting used to create jobs — at least not in THIS country?
I will spare you my rant against LU’s not even standing up for the smallest of truths, that Obama is both a born again Christian and a U.S. citizen, and that LU has not held its favored Republican Party accountable for working since 2008 to spread slander that Obama is neither, despite the fact that the bible says God abhors liars and warns “ye shall not spread a false report” (Ex 23:1).
But it would be nice to see someone challenge the Falwells to cough up (like a hairball) a stance on the issue and hold THEM accountable for not standing up for truth — since TRUTH is allegedly what they are supposed to be all about.
I still run into Christians today that believe Obama is not a Christian, in a large part because the Falwells have supported the Republicans, who claim he is not! The bottom line is that the Falwells, through their University, are acquiring, via student financial aid, federal tax dollars to spread their own version of political truths, and both as a religious and tax-exempt organization that is unethical and should be illegal.
As a final point, here’s something to for LU to think about:
The entire Bible provides examples of how God is loving and wants to see the poor, the neglected, the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the homeless, the mentally ill, the widowed, the orphans, the laborers, those who are down on their luck — those who have any kind of true need — and the environment cared for and provided for and shown justice and compassion.
That applies to EVERY NATION — which would include the U.S. God also believes in small armies, not military might, and in striving for peace, not focusing on building defense. By that description that would make God a liberal, and as such he himself would not be welcome to speak at Liberty University.