Leftists once again are distorting Liberty University after Sen. Ted Cruz spoke there on Monday. It is time for leftists to face the facts.
On Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Presidency of the United States. The first public venue for his candidacy was Liberty University; the world’s largest Christian University. Sen. Cruz received an enthusiastic reception from the over 10,000 gathered students when he spoke at the convocation held three times a week at the University; the largest weekly gathering of Christian students in North America. The Senator spoke on a number of issues regarding conservative principles being brought back to the White House. He also received a standing ovation when he spoke of unequivocal support for the State of Israel.
Immediately stories appeared in media outlets that the students were forced to attend Sen. Cruz’s remarks. Such statements from liberal media outlets are, as usual, grossly inaccurate when it comes to the whole picture of anything that reeks of Conservatism, Christianity, or both.
Liberty students have, since 1971, attended convocation three times a week. Convocation is not simply a requirement but serves as a venue where students hear from leaders in the Church, business, politics, sports, the arts, and other venues. It is one of the hallmarks of the University and the quality of speakers is something that students likely will never experience again upon graduation. Convocation speakers encourage, inspire, and often challenge students.
Liberty has a history of bringing in convocation speakers from all walks of life; even speakers that do not necessarily line up with every doctrinal point of the University. Such speakers have included democrats George Wallace and Ted Kennedy. In 2009 the University had a Jewish commencement speaker, Ben Stein who acknowledged some differences in his speech. In recent years, Senator Tim Kaine and others have spoken at Liberty.
Local candidates of both major political parties have campaigned on campus in years past seeking the students vote and the very person who was to speak at Liberty on the day of Sen. Cruz’s announcement was Virginia democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe. Governor McAuliffe chose to speak at the University in the future due to the Senator’s announcement, but you do not hear the detractors mention anything about students being forced to sit through Governor McAuliffe’s potential speech or the speeches of other democratic or other speakers in years past.
Liberty’s convocation contributes immensely to the esprit de corps of the University, and is a place where University officials regularly communicate to students about the direction of future academic programs, campus construction, as well as the spiritual atmosphere of the University and even the institution’s financial stability. These are items that many colleges do a poor job of communicating to their students, if ever.
Leftists just cannot stand the idea of an accredited conservative Christian university, especially one like Liberty that is enormously successful. Liberty University is not only the world’s largest Christian University, with 13,000 residential students and over 100,000 students total, but is the largest University in Virginia, the largest not-for-profit university in the country, and the seventh largest four year university in the United States. Liberty has world class facilities and NCAA Division I athletics.
Liberty University also is home to many military students, due to its ROTC, online programs, and extensive military affairs office. Military and veteran graduates are not just allowed but encouraged to wear their uniforms on commencement day. It is not uncommon during commencement to see, via video, a graduate receive their diploma in Afghanistan. As evidenced by the standing ovation given to Senator Cruz, Liberty students also support the State of Israel as both a Biblical and practical commitment.
Liberty teaches its students not be of the world and to stand by eternal principles yet while fully realizing they are a part of a fallen world; a world where each student needs their Savior just as much as anyone outside campus. Never are its students taught they are any better than anyone else. Being a Christian who stands on principle and being respectful are not mutually exclusive, despite what the detractors think.
Liberty students treat speakers from all walks of life with great respect, even those whom they disagree with. They do not treat speakers the way other campuses, supposedly bastions for tolerance, treat Conservatives and/or Christians. Liberty students don’t throw things at speakers, interrupt them, or act like children whether they agree with a speaker or not. They act like men and women of Liberty and for that they should be proud this week and always.