Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Liberal Media Pounce on Evangelical Liberty Univ.

As politicians emphasize the need for "higher education" in America, one university is poised to receive only criticism from the liberal media.  Dr. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, now with the largest enrollment in the state of Virginia, is seen as a threat to the near-monopoly power held by America's liberal intelligentsia.

-- From "God a Click Away as Web Courses Fuel Falwell’s College" by Michael McDonald, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 2/27/13

Three times a week almost 13,000 students at Liberty University assemble for an hour of singing and speeches, evoking the spirit of a revival meeting that also attracts Republican politicians and Christian celebrities such as New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.

For Liberty, using technology to reach the masses is in its DNA. Falwell was one of the original televangelists, starting the Old Time Gospel Hour program shortly after founding the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg in 1956. Liberty’s Home Bible Institute began in 1976 and in 1985 the school started an external degree program using videotapes, which morphed into the online operations about five years ago.

[Jerry Falwell], who founded the Moral Majority and helped elect Ronald Reagan president in 1980, vowed to build a standard bearer for evangelicals akin to what the University of Notre Dame is to Catholics and Brigham Young University to Mormons.

Amid the rapid growth, Liberty has stuck to its evangelical roots. In order to graduate, everyone must take creation studies, which balances the teaching of evolution with the view that God created the world, including fossils that only appear to be millions of years old. Residential students can be fined or expelled for drinking, smoking or having sex out of wedlock, among other infractions.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Virginia’s Liberty transforms into evangelical mega-university" by Nick Anderson, Washington Post 3/4/13

. . . Liberty figured out how to recruit masses of students via the Internet years before elite universities began ballyhooed experiments with free online courses.

Turbocharged growth inevitably raises questions about quality, and Liberty’s academic reputation has not risen as fast as its enrollment. . . .

Liberty is well known as a stage for politicians seeking to reach an evangelical Christian audience. Mitt Romney delivered the 2012 Liberty commencement speech soon after sewing up the Republican presidential nomination, and he carried the campus precinct in the November election with 93 percent of the vote.

Three times a week, students and staff pack the 10,000-seat Vines Center arena for a one-hour convocation featuring Christian music, prayer and speeches — all streamed online. Pro football quarterback Tim Tebow is scheduled to speak Friday.

On campus, students are prohibited from drinking alcohol or having premarital sex. They also are barred from watching R-rated movies, with exceptions sometimes granted upon request. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "In Virginia’s Hills, a Football Crusade" by Bill Pennington, New York Times 11/10/12

At Liberty, once a tiny Bible college but now a budding giant, the plan is for college football — big-time, always-on-television college football — to do for evangelical Christians in the 21st century what Notre Dame football did for Roman Catholics in the 20th.

The university has a motto for the cause: “Champions for Christ.”

Jeff Barber, the Liberty athletic director, concedes that the university’s [Christian] rules turn away some athletic recruits.

“But if we were playing at the highest level of football when Tim Tebow came out of high school, he might have been really attracted to the Christian environment of our campus,” Barber said. “There are a lot of talented football players in Christian high schools or elsewhere who want that lifestyle in college. And so do their parents.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ivy Leaguer 'infiltrates' Falwell's conservative Liberty University" by Eric Tucker, Associated Press 4/23/09

Kevin Roose managed to blend in during his single semester at Liberty University, the conservative Christian college. He attended lectures on the myth of evolution and the sin of homosexuality, and joined fellow students on a mission trip to evangelize partyers on spring break.

. . . [Roose's undercover] book about his experience at the school founded by fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell [is] The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University.

Roose researched the school by joining as many activites as possible. He accompanied classmates on a spring break missionary trip to Daytona Beach, Florida. He visited a campus support group for chronic masturbators, where students were taught to curb impure thoughts. And he joined the choir at Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church.

Roose would duck away to the bathroom to scribble down anecdotes or record them during lectures. He never blew his cover, even ending a blossoming romantic relationship rather than come clean. He revealed the truth on a return trip to campus. He grappled with guilt during the entire project, but said he ultimately found forgiveness from students for his deception.

. . . Once ambivalent about faith, Roose now prays to God regularly — for his own well-being and on behalf of others. He said he owns several translations of the Bible and has recently been rereading meditations from the letters of of John on using love and compassion to solve cultural conflicts.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

To read what passes for "higher education" these days, click labels: