Liberty University students row online over Romney commencement speech selection

The Boston Globe explains why he’s making the symbolism imbued pitch to evangelical Christians, “The speech at Liberty University on May 12 will allow Romney to make both overt and subtle outreach to evangelicals and other social conservatives suspicious of his faith, and who typically did not make him their first choice in the primary.”

“It also is sure to renew focus on his own religious beliefs – he is vying to be the first Mormon elected president – as well as the checkered history of Falwell and Liberty in Republican politics.”

“In 2000, then-GOP candidate John McCain labeled Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, and fellow evangelist Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, as “agents of intolerance” aligned with George W. Bush.”

Former Reagan adviser Doug Wead writes, “They announced in the morning that Governor Romney would be the commencement speaker at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. The school founded, by Jerry Falwell, is touted as the largest Christian University in the world. And in the afternoon they announced that openly gay, Richard Grenell, would be Romney’s new national security and foreign policy spokesman.”

“Students at Liberty were in an uproar. Not over Grenell, but over the University choosing Romney instead of their beloved Ron Paul. The firestorm began on the University’s own website, where the thread hit 700 comments in a couple of hours. The discussion was promptly censored and then shut down proving that the University is not very aptly named. But the discussion moved onto Facebook where it continues to spread.”

Given the school’s doctrinal statement it’s likely those present will receive Mitt’s address courteously and a good many will no doubt exhibit their contempt in a way that remains unpredictable.

A list of “recommendations” on Liberty University’s facebook page continues to see an influx of Ron Paul supporters, former students and current students alike discussing the issue at length.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. If it walks like a Christian, and talks like a Christian…

    National Study of Youth and Religion, 2005, UNC, Chapel Hill (U.S. Adolescents Ages 13-17)  — The Study  found that Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) youth were more likely to exhibit Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group) 

    A national 2010 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history:  on questions about Christianity and the Bible, Mormons scored the highest.  They also scored second only to Jews in knowledge of Judaism.  [Overall, Mormons understand their own doctrines and the Bible better than other Christian denominations.]

    2012, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, “Mormons exhibit higher levels of religious commitment than many other religious groups, including white evangelical Protestants… Looking at basic, core religious beliefs, 98 percent say they believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ… While previous surveys have clearly established LDS agreement with certain key Christian doctrines — 90 percent of Mormons believe in God, 91 percent believe the Bible is the word of God and 98 percent believe in life after death… 

    2012 – A new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University- When it comes to the time they spend volunteering, the average adult American LDS member contributes as much as seven times more than that of the average American.  The published findings further indicate that these “prosocial behaviors” are reflective of Latter-day Saint teachings, which emphasize Christian service and charity to others.

    2011 edition of the Princeton Review of the Best Colleges in America rated BYU as number 1 in both religious and sober students categories.

    “…by their fruits ye shall know them…” (Matt 7:20),


    “…for whoever is not against us is for us…” (Mark 9:40)