Yesterday Senator Ted Cruze (R-TX) chose to announce his candidacy for the Republican Party presidential nomination at Liberty University, home of “The Liberty Way” (see below).
Liberty University is a telling choice. Liberty has grown to become the largest university in Virginia. But, as universities go… well, Liberty is not what Thomas Jefferson or the University of Virginia would recognize as a place of higher education.
Liberty is the creation of the late Jerry Falwell (1933-2007), the televangelist host of “The Old Time Gospel Hour” and father of “the Moral Majority,” the right-wing evangelical political movement that became a national platform for the Religious Right. In the 1950s and ’60s, Falwell was a severe critic of Martin Lutber King, Jr., the civil rights movement and school desegregation. Later, in 1993, he declared
“AIDs is not just God’s punishment of homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for a society that tolerates homosexuals.”
Liberty was not always Liberty. Jerry Falwell founded Lynchburg Baptist College 1971. The name was changed to Liberty Baptist College, and finally became Liberty University in 1984. Falwell. A graduated in 1958 from Baptist Bible College, an unaccredited Bible college in Springfield, MO, named himself Chancellor. His alma mater was later granted preliminary academic accreditation 43 years later in 2001. When Falwell died in 2007, his son, Jerry Falwell, Jr., followed in his father’s footsteps, much as Franklin Graham did with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
So, why would someone kick off a presidential campaign at Liberty University?
Liberty is the largest Christian university in the world, largely because of the more than 100,000 on-line students along with the roughly 13,000 who attend classes at one of Liberty’s three sites.
Liberty University’s colors are red, white, and blue. It’s patriotic. The cross and the flag go together at Liberty. And it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. Their on-line website’s tagline is “Training Champions for Christ since 1971.”
Senator Ted Cruz is a Texan. He could have chosen to announce his mission to take back “the promise of America” at the Alamo or the University of Texas, but he didn’t. He chose Liberty in Virginia.
Liberty requires students to abide by “The Liberty Way” code of conduct but doesn’t tell students what it is until after they’ve enrolled. Here’s all Liberty says about “The Liberty Way” on its website. The Daily Kos published “Liberty University’s The Liberty Way’ Exposed“. I wonder if the Senator signed before he chose Liberty.
We at Views from the Edge view “the way” a bit differently. A little Bible reading goes a long way:
“What does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, love mercy, and walk HUMBLY with your God?” [Micah 6:8]
– Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, March 24, 2015.