It must take a rather revolting occurrence to stir the me out of my hyper-prolonged blogging freeze. Frankly, I hadn't been truly inspired to write anything opinionated. Maybe work had deadened the political passion in me (save for the night of November 4th, 2008, when I was nearly brought to tears by the historic election of a certain man). However, tonight my sleeping giant has been re-awakened.
One of the things I always do when I open my computer, after having it closed for a prolonged period of time, is check the news on CNN.com. And boy, am I glad I did now, for I came across this headline on the home page: Liberty University Bans College Democrats (Click the link for the text...read it and then come back to the rest of this).
Now look, whether we like it or not (and I sure as hell don't), the school is privately funded and is therefore within its rights to ban the College Democrats from campus, but doing it because they believe in abortion rights and gay rights? It's not like they were staging protests and damaging university property. The administration of the university is making moralistic judgments, but by doing this, they are doing something fundamentally immoral: they are denying these students their voice. An institution priding itself on having the name "Liberty University" should know better than to deny those students of an organization where they can feel safe in having the freedom to have opinions that might be contrary to the administration's platform. It denies their right to openly express their political beliefs, and thus forces them to closet their true feelings about moral issues. As a former College Democrat, I'm pretty appalled by the whole thing.
However, this exposes something that is far more disturbing than the simple banning of a student organization (which was disturbing enough already). The school's Vice President of Student Affairs told the group's staff adviser that "you can't be a Democrat and a Christian and be a university representative." So then, by that path of logic, would that mean that being a Democrat is un-Christian? The university administration may have just roped all registered Democrats--be they liberal or conservative--together with the overall platform of the Democratic Party. They forget that there are plenty of Democrats who oppose abortion rights, and even more who still oppose gay marriage (including our President, unfortunately).
I find it interesting that these are the very kinds of people who preach the teachings of Christ--perhaps the greatest proponent of the "love thine enemy" way of thinking--yet don't live by them. This sets quite a negative precedent, as instead of taking such teachings to heart and allowing the students to express their political associations freely and without fear (no matter how they may disagree), the administration opts to ostracize and alienate these kids and tell them that being a Democrat at Liberty U is wrong and un-Christian. The school wants to breed an army of evangelical automatons (Republican evangelical automatons) who stick to the Book and don't think beyond it; who may only see the other side of the issue so they can flatly refute it.
College should be about finding your own answers; finding what makes the most sense to you. But at Liberty University, the administration says that the only answer in the political debate is to be a Republican.
I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like liberty to me.