Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Liberty University IS a Joke



Liberty University is a hoax in the world of higher education, and the title of university should be taken with just as much weight as the designation of college in the title ‘clown college’. Founded in 1971 by televangelist Jerry Falwell, the tax-exempt institution teaches creationism, Christian revisionism of American history, and intolerance. Liberty claims to be the biggest Christian college in the world. Obviously they are ignoring other larger Christian schools such as Notre Dame, but as you will see facts do not hold much esteem at Liberty. Iindoctrination is more important to them than education, as the institution barely is an educational establishment.



                                          

"Knowledge Aflame"

In 2010, Kevin Roose, an undergrad at Brown transferred over to Liberty University for a semester. His book documents some fascinating phenomena that may not be not too surprising depending on how familiar you are with the institution: homophobia, arcane rules surrounding facets of personal life especially male and female interaction, a masturbation support group entitled “Every Man’s Battle”, and a list of rules called “The Liberty Way” that student must adhere to which include a curfew, dress code, and restrictions on the media which one can consume. If you check out that link, you will find a lot of baffling and confusing stuff. For example, students can be fined $500 for having an abortion, or receive a $25 dollar fine for going to a dance, which raises the question of why does this video exist?


“They say we're close minded saints from the south /
But if you're too open minded than your brains will fall out”’
What to look for in an institution of higher learning.

This is also the video where they claim that they are “the biggest Christian school on the planet”. The most unfortunate aspect of this video is that it creates an unrealistic image of Liberty. Liberty does not make it's Liberty Way policy or code of conduct publicly available; so besides Roose as a primary source, it is hard to find a lot of strong sources against them on the Internet. Imagine the poor sap that didn't do his research and found out on the first day of university that he is not allowed to listen to contemporary music, or that his first amendment rights are not valid on campus!

In May 2012, Jerry Falwell Jr. released a statement in regards to comments Bill Mahr made on his on Real Time regarding the school. A point Mahr brings up is worth mulling over. "Liberty Cheapens my degree from a real school." And he has a point, if your school is under the jurisdiction of the
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (there is no such legitimate thing as national accreditation in the U.S.), this means that if your school is in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee or Texas, then your degree is just as valid as a liberty degree in the eyes of the state.

This was Falwell Jr.'s statement:
    “Maher is a comedian whose words aren't meant to be taken seriously, and he's proven by his parody, once again, that they shouldn't be.  Unfortunately, though, some people do take the man seriously and will likely be deceived by his false statements.

    "In reality, Liberty is a fully accredited liberal-arts university. With over 90,000 students, it is the largest private, nonprofit university in America, the largest university in Virginia, and maintains more than 275 programs of study, including a fully accredited School of Law, and a forthcoming School of Medicine.  The same science textbooks are used at Liberty that are used at other major universities.  Liberty teaches the theory of evolution as well as the Biblical account of creation (including that the universe could have been created with the appearance of age just as the first man and woman were created as adults) and students make up their own minds on the issue.
    "Liberty is proudly an institution that adheres to the Judeo-Christian values upon which our nation was founded and upon which millions of Christians have based their lives and beliefs.  It is sad that Obama donors like Maher seem to fear debating the issues on the merits and instead resort to ridiculing their opponents deceitfully.”

Almost all of these statements are true. As mentioned earlier, Liberty University has full regional accreditation. Their large enrollment base not only comes from the scholarships they are able to dole out due to the amount of grant money they take in, (it is not unusual for students to receive unsolicited scholarship offers from the school) but also their online enrollment which contains over 60,000 students. Roose's book, as well as accounts online, state that there are instances where students' parents would not help them with college financially, or in any way, unless they attended Liberty or a school like it. For the record, as far as I know, no other schools report online students as full time students. However as long as online students are lumped in with full time students, it does technically make Liberty the Biggest school in Virgina. 

Things to Consider When Soliciting a Creationist Medical School
(Doonesbury, 12/18)
ALL of the statements Falwell’s son made are all statistics that have been inflated specifically so that whenever somebody questions the legitimacy of Liberty's curriculum, he can say something to the effect of “sixty thousand students can’t be wrong”. Little Falwell is the son of a bigot bullshit artist whose actions when alive were akin to selling doves outside of a temple. Should we expect any less from him after assuming the position of his father? His mention of a school of medicine opening at his creationist institution should emanate an equal feeling of worriment from you. Would you feel safe having a practitioner that rejects a fundamental process in how pathogens develop? If it's any consolation this problem is not exclusive to the United States.

Then again, reality doesn't matter to ideologues. Falwell was infamous for invoking the "Christian values that America was founded on". To paraphrase Orwell, they don't just believe that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian values, they know that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Anyone who has read the treaty of Tripoli wold know otherwise. Or you know...

"It does me no injury formally neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

- Thomas Jefferson

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church."
- Thomas Paine

"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
- Abraham Lincoln

Once again, our reoccurring motif that facts don't matter at Liberty.

The concerning thing is that Liberty isn’t some lone weird school where students aren’t allowed to dance. Institutions similar to it exist all over the country: Wheton in Illinois, Bob Jones University in South Carolina, Brigham Young University in Mormon Country, Oral Roberts University in Tusla, and Pensacola Christian College in Tusla all have similar rules and because they are institutions of higher learning students can use federal aid to attendI am not saying all of these places are creationist, or as backwater as Liberty. But I am saying that if you need to treat your students like children, maybe YOUR establishment should not be considered a higher institution of learning for adults.

My final point I would like to make is that Liberty is still a prejudice place. In the Liberty University School of Law’s Notice of nondiscrimination is this gem:
"In its employment practices, the School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but does discriminate on the basis of sexual misconduct, including, but not limited to, non-marital sexual misconduct, homosexual conduct, or the encouragement or advocacy of any form of sexual behavior that would undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the University. This policy statement is neither intended to discourage, nor is it in fact applicable to, any analytical discussion of law and policy issues involved in the regulation of sexual behavior, or to discussions of any recommendations for changes in existing law. Discussions of these matters are both practiced and are welcomed within our curriculum.”
Essentially Liberty University does not discriminate based on sexual orientation, unless it violates their code of sexual misconduct, which involves being homosexual. A few years ago, the school had a panel on the discussion on the word “gay”:
“‘Gay’ is a left-wing sociopolitical construct designed to create grounds for fundamental rights [based on] whimsical capricious desires. Gay identity does not exist.”
and later on:
"Sorba proposed alternatives to the word “gay” that received unanimous approval from the 40 audience members. His suggestions included the words “same-sex attraction,” “same-sex intercourse,” “sodomy,” and “unnatural vice.” Later it was suggested that gays should be referred to as “anti-Christian"."
This is what counts as scholarly at Liberty... and this behaviour isn't new. At this point the only thing Liberty University has going for it is that they allowed interracial dating before 2000 (see: Bob Jones University).


The fact that these establishments of incognition receive any sort of accreditation is a drollery, and makes the United States an international laughingstock for providing places like Liberty an ounce of legitimacy. Furthermore it cheapens the authority of the regional accreditation boards that are responsible for legitimate universities. These institutions are babysitters for adults, yes institutions, not ‘schools’, do not actually want to be centers of learning, their whole point is to promote their distorted fantasy of what a moral adult is supposed to be. The people running these institutions don't like universities, so Instead they provide an artificial substitute.



2 comments:

  1. Someone went to a lot of trouble to create a site for one baseless, angry opinion. Hate God much?

    ReplyDelete