Free Speech Dead on Liberty University Campus in the Age of Trump

Free Speech Dead on Liberty University Campus in the Age of Trump August 20, 2018

This is my obligatory disclaimer, informing readers that I am a Liberty University alum, before I launch into another piece addressing the absolute dereliction of duty by LU President Jerry Falwell Jr.

Falwell Jr. is a devoted foot soldier for the Trump tribe, and not only has trashed the notion of Liberty University as a Christian college, through his rabid defense of every vile thing said or done by Trump, but also has gone out of his way to put a boot on the throat of the free speech of Liberty students. In particular, he has heavily censored the voices of those who oppose being connected to Trump by association.

During the primaries for the 2016 election, Donald Trump only got 8 percent of the LU student body vote. Florida Senator Marco Rubio got the grand bulk of the vote, with 44 percent.

You would think that kind of vote would send the message, and as a good college president, Falwell would step back, tone down the rhetoric, and then take into consideration just why these Christian college students felt so strongly against being connected to Trump the candidate.

The tensions really ramped up after the reveal of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, where then-candidate Trump boasted of his wealth and celebrity being the key to committing gross acts of misogyny.

The students objected. Falwell Jr., as well as a host of other evangelical leaders, greeted the news with a hearty wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

But it went further.

Falwell Jr. actively worked, in his position as school president, to shut down any articles in the school newspaper, the Champion, that spoke critically of Donald Trump.

Further, student journalists were discouraged from speaking out on their personal social media pages against Trump, as well.

Tension between the newspaper and Falwell emerged in 2016: To the dismay of some Champion staffers, he strongly endorsed Donald Trump. Falwell began reviewing prior to publication Champion articles that mentioned Trump. On one occasion, he made Champion editors end opinion pieces with a note on how they were voting. Opinion writer Jordan Jarrett chose not to and found a note under her published article: “The writer refused to reveal which candidate she is supporting for president.”

I’m trying to think of any society that would put those kinds of conditions on their journalists.

Yes. I know it was just a college publications, but Liberty University is a community within the wider Lynchburg, Virginia community.

After the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, sports editor Joel Schmieg wrote an opinion column, criticizing the characterization of the talk as being “locker room talk,” an excuse that Trump’s defenders tossed around during the ensuing turmoil.

Falwell told the editor of the paper to shut the piece down.

Frustrated, Schmieg posted it on his Facebook page, and Champion graduate assistant Nate Haywood approached Schmieg on behalf of Champion adviser Deborah Huff, warning him not to do anything like that again. Instead, Schmieg resigned: “I didn’t feel comfortable being told what I couldn’t write about by President Falwell.”

That’s what character looks like. Good for young Mr. Schmieg.

Throughout 2017, Falwell and faculty members buried story after story, crafting a specific image of what the school paper – and by extension, the student body – stood for.

Meanwhile, Liberty junior Jack Panyard was writing lots of bylined articles—but one he wrote did not have his name on it. Early in 2018 he interviewed the director and producer of a film, Commander, planned by Liberty’s Cinematic Arts program. Based on a 2017 book, the film was to tell the story of Mark Taylor, who spoke of his vision that Donald Trump would become president. Panyard’s piece indicated some uncertainty about Taylor’s descriptions of talking with God. When his article came back from vetting, those reservations were gone. Panyard took his name off the piece.

That’s right. The movie featuring the dubious “prophecy” of Trump’s ascension to the throne of America. It’s enough to test the gag reflex of anyone not part of the Trumpidian cabal, but for the true believers, just one more sign of Donald Trump’s god-emperor status.

Stories regarding Trump weren’t the only stories to get stepped on.

Several stories regarding the Red Letter Revival were squashed.

I get it. The Red Letter Christians are left leaning “Christians” that only study the words of Jesus from the Bible, but basically discard everything else.

It’s not unusual to hear them refer to God as “she,” even though I’m pretty sure they’ve never seen Jesus’ words refer to his Father that way.

In an emergency conference call with the staff of the paper, Falwell laid down the law.

Falwell then called and told them the newspaper had been “established to champion the interests of the university, disseminate information about happenings on Liberty’s campus, as well as the positive impacts of Liberty in the community and beyond. And as such, the publisher of the publication, which is the university, is responsible for content decisions, to find stories to be covered by Champion personnel and makes all of the calls on the articles, photographs and other content. … We’re going to have to be stricter in the future if these protocols aren’t followed.”

In other words, the school faculty would tightly control what was printed. There would be no more acts of student journalism, seeking out stories, formulating editorials or opinion pieces. They would be told what to write about, then they would write.

To that end, several positions were abruptly cut out.

Panyard lost his gig as editor-in-chief, effective from the moment they broke the news to him.

Erin Covey lost her role as news editor.

Both lost the scholarship money that came with the positions.

Bruce Kirk, dean of the School of Communication and Digital Content played prominently in those firings.

The firings had repercussions for the whole organization. Four staff members resigned from the Champion, two right before they graduated. Kirk offered the open positions to two students: One declined and one accepted.

Kirk told the new staffers, “Your job is to keep the LU reputation and the image as it is. … Don’t destroy the image of LU. Pretty simple. OK? Well you might say, ‘Well, that’s not my job, my job is to do journalism. My job is to be First Amendment. My job is to go out and dig and investigate, and I should do anything I want to do because I’m a journalist.’ So let’s get that notion out of your head. OK?”

The LU reputation, I’m afraid, has been tossed down a deep, smelly sewer drain, thanks to Jerry Falwell Jr. and his unfortunate grab for position in the Trump orbit.

 

 

 

 

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  • Mitch Vortex II

    go to a different school

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Thanks for another good take on the depravity of Trump sycophants Susan.

    Falwell Jr was (unfortunately) able to do at LU what Trump tried to do nationally – gag and control everything printed by the media.

    Fortunately, it appears that many of the journalists at LU refused to bow to Falwell’s intimidation and resigned in protest. Given their options, resigning is far preferable to surrendering their principles. It’s unfortunate that the University administration has so little respect for the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that they would misuse their inherent authority as the university management to “manage” and silence the voices of the student body – and all for political gain.

    The more stories like this that get published, the more inhumane the Trump cult looks and the worse the chances of Trump maintaining his ability to pass agenda items become after the midterm elections.

    OT: I saw a report from the Washington Examiner that Trump’s trade negotiations with China are going nowhere fast and that Trump will be applying more tariffs on Chinese goods with “a view to the long game”. The reason I bring this up is that there was also a recent article about polls and interviews with farmers from at least 2 different “soybean states” on the economics of soybean production. The article was lauding Trump for “perfect timing” of his tariffs where the promised “quick win” would happen just before the next soybean harvest to raise soybean prices. There was a caveat to the article that should the trade war with China go into 2019, it’s likely the US would lose a large percentage of our overseas markets permanently as China and others switch to other producers.

    My point is that “soybean states” were some of Trump’s staunchest supporters – willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, even though it put them at financial disadvantage because they trusted Trump to “win” his trade war before they lose their farms and businesses. I think the latest news of Trump’s failure to negotiate with China in time for an agreement before the election will result in many of those Trump supporters re-thinking their support for the guy that may become responsible for them losing their farms and businesses with his trade war. They will not be the only industry rethinking support for Trump and the GOP that continues to support him.

  • Ellen Elmore

    What a sad commentary on a former top Christian university. The key word here is “former.” Jerry Falwell, Jr. sold his soul to the devil when he jumped on the Trump train and became part of the Trump cult. Thankfully Jerry Falwell, Sr. is no longer alive to see his son destroy his legacy.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Do you have another Christian, liberty-oriented school you can recommend ? Do you have one that won’t be subject to attacks on student rights by a politicized University President that decides to shut down free speech for purely personal and political purposes ?

    Can you provide a reason why Christians and freedom-loving conservatives should abandon this fight and NOT stand up for those that applied to LU in good faith and with an expectation of a non-politicized education ? Are you willing to refund the monies already spent by current students and parents on the school for an education that Falwell Jr is now corrupting ? How about a justification why Falwell should be allowed to “get away” with his suppression of free speech on campus or by the student body in a student newspaper ?

  • Max Imo

    “Are you willing to refund the monies already spent by current students and parents on the school for an education that Falwell Jr is now corrupting?”

    Just last week an acquaintance was debating even considering a daycare center when they saw that it was run by a person with LU credentials. The name is getting sullied.

  • GotMyLoveGlassesOn

    Well, too late for that, but as I’ve often said: I could have gone to Gardner-Webb for half the money and none of the embarrassment.

  • EMBuckles

    On the comments of another publication, here is what another former Liberty student said about Jerry Falwell, Jr. “Edward says:
    August 20, 2018 at 9:44 pm
    I’m the former Liberty student who posted above that it isn’t corruption because all incoming students were informed that there would not be full freedom of speech.
    Since some of the posters are attacking Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s character, I happened to be in the same freshman class as Jerry, Jr. (’80-’81). I only had a brief interaction with him (which was very pleasant), but I had many opportunities to observe him around campus. I also talked to other students who knew him. Based on this, I can state conclusively that Jerry, Jr. was very humble, kind, and honest. He never took advantage of the fact that he was the founder and president’s son.
    To those who are attacking his character for endorsing Trump: as Jerry Jr. said “We are electing a President, not a pastor”.
    For the record, I am no longer an evangelical Christian and don’t support or have any other connection to Liberty.” I agree with Edward that we were electing a President not a Pastor. And if the Democrats had gotten in with a Democrat Congress Christians probably would have become persecuted not to mention our taxes would have gone way up. Also, nobody would have dared to be critical of the government without consequences.

  • EMBuckles

    If Jerry Senior had been living there is no doubt in my mind that he would have supported Trump in order to oppose Hillary. You really do NOT understand politics and what can and will happen if the Democrats ever get into full control. Liberty is also supposed to be producing Champions for Christ, not wimpy, whiny limp wristed liberals.

  • Jessie Collingsworth Yao

    One really has to wonder where these once great institutions will go to get their reputations back. Under Jerry Falwell, Jr., it will never happen. What will life be like for so many after Trump is no more? Not just LU, but the nation as a whole . God is watching and He teaches us that a house divided cannot stand.

  • EMBuckles

    OK, first, I would take someone with Liberty credentials over someone with, say, Ivy League university credentials any day. The liberal colleges and universities are sullying the name of higher education and turning it into godless, liberal indoctrination. Also, when Falwell supported Trump he was supporting the only Republican who could, and did, WIN. If Hillary had gotten in, and particularly if she had gotten in with a Democrat majority in Congress, Christians and the churches would have been in big trouble. Also, there are many colleges and universities, as well as high schools, and both public and private, at which there is a LOT of control over what is published in student publications. This is nothing unusual.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    So how does your advice to “just go to a different school” play into your daycare example ? Would you have the alums of LU NOT fight for the reputation of their school ? Would you have them simply “roll over” for Falwell’s bully tactics while future students “go to another school” ?

    I’m really curious to know whether you have actually have a solution or were just spouting nonsense with your earlier “suggestion” to abandon the field and let Trump-style censorship and tyranny win the day…. …particularly what is being done by Falwell Jr IN THE NAME OF TRUMP.

  • cajb11

    I too was in Jr’s class at at LU. I knew him well enough to visit him at his parent’s home (he did not live on campus his freshman year) and for him to sneak my girlfriend onto campus after curfew in the trunk of the car. We also had several mutual good friends. I will just say that your characterization of Jr as “very humble. kind and honest” is very different from mine although I did find him “kind”. Suffice it to say we took a few decided off-turns from the “Liberty Way”…and still do.

    I don’t believe for a second that Senior would have campaigned for Trump during the primaries like Junior did. There were plenty of good candidates that were viable options that could have beaten HRC. IMO Senior had enough influence to encourage other evangelicals to coalesce around a candidate with character. Would he have ultimately supported Trump over HRC had he won the candidacy? Possibly but he wouldn’t have given him a pass, nee, an excuse for all of his immoral nonsense that Junior has.

    Lastly, you seem to care more about helping God out to make sure He “wins”. But the Bible doesn’t call us to vote for economic security or even religious freedom. He calls us to put “Jesus First” and Christian principles. Religious freedom may not be God’s will as the church is arguably more healthy under persecution. Although I couldn’t do it I can understand those who legitimately had a hard time voting for Trump but did so only as a protest to HRC. But what I can’t understand is why they argue on his behalf and excuse his many wrong-doings. It’s hypocritical because 99% of us conservatives criticized Bill Clinton for less.

  • cajb11

    Training Champions for Christ, not apologists for pu$$y-grabbers!

    Training Champions for Christ NOT Training Champions for Trump!

    Character before politics.

  • Lee Kuriako

    Exceptional piece thank you Miss Wright. To those going with the line ‘we’re electing a president not a pastor’ I am reminded of what Mr Falwell Jr said when it came to Bill Clinton of whom Donald Trump is in the same mold of when it comes to ethics and morality. Falwell Jr insisted he should be impeached/resign because character matters.

    That position changed because of Trump when he switched parties. Let us be clear Donald J Trump has bragged about the affairs he had whether it was miss Daniels or others. He cheated on his wife before Melania with Melania, and then cheated on Melania with women while she was pregnant with their son. As he did with all his wives. This is not a man to whom any Christian should be emulating in anyway shape or form.

    This is also the same man who went out of his way to stand up not only for Bill Clinton but also Jeff Epstein, and Mike Tyson three men accused of SEXUAL ASSAULT and RAPE. That is not a pretty picture at all. It is also not a Godly picture.

    Christ tells us to have nothing to do with immoral behavior of any kind. He didn’t say it was okay to endorse someone if they are in your faction because he might be a lesser evil alternative, He said NO. Everyone who was a sinner who came to Him, He commanded to sin no more, or as was the case with the moneylenders in the temple Christ became furious at them for using the house of God to conduct business.

    The reason for that was simple. It was because the temple was a House Of Worship. It was not to be a place where money was made nor was it to be used for influence peddling as was clear when the pharisees grew angry over the money they got in turn from those same people or their own livelihoods being threatened as well as their personal power. Instead of following God in their hearts they were all about themselves and their anti-Roman stances until it suited them not to be.

    The same is true for his disciples. When they were teaching about Christ they were told to stop. And what they said was this: ‘We must obey God rather than man’. That pretty much sums up the fact that the laws of men and women here on earth are secondary. They are Not to superimpose themselves on us over God’s law. It is the same with politics. Yes Obama did a lot of things that were not kosher, as did Clinton before him but they were wrong and people spoke out rightly so. Just because Donald Trump changed his political faction from Democrat to Republican does not make him a saint. It also does not mean we should not hold him to a higher standard.

    Or those who follow him and are willing to overlook the sins in the man’s past, the affairs he bragged about, his comments regarding grabbing women by parts of their anatomy when it suits him, his lack of humility, his pride in himself first in foremost, his lack of compassion for others, his willingness to use eminent domain to steal (yes eminent domain IS theft), his going out of his way to praise brutal murderers such as Putin, Un and others while denigrating anyone who cares at least a little more about the rights of their citizens than said dictators do, his obvious continued desire to not take the moral high ground and instead trash everyone he dislikes whether through surrogates such as Pecker or others, his continued pouring of gasoline onto every divisive fire in the country instead of trying to calmly arbitrate and humbly try to work things out for everyone.

    Donald Trump just does not care to look to Christ, he has said that he has nothing to apologize in his life for, whether it was talking about his own daughter in appropriate ways, the things listed above, his trashing of Ted Cruz’s family, his trashing of Miss Amanda Carpenter claiming she had an affair with Cruz, the numerous sleazy business ventures he had with mobsters, the way he cheers people on inciting them to further violence against anyone he again does not like.

    It is a standard Jerry Falwell Jr has obviously cast aside along with his looking to God rather than men for not only solutions but policy. By muzzling the voices of dissent and enabling corrupt practices to go on through Liberty University he has effectively become what Christ warned again one of those brood of vipers and hypocrites who would claim they were faithful to God yet their hearts their spirit were very far from Him.

  • AJ

    I wrote the following as a response to another of Susan’s articles, but I wanted to repost it in response to your comment. I’m not going to edit what I wrote, so some of it may not make sense in relation to your post, but I think the gist is there. Here goes:

    —The following have been taken from a book review I wrote on David Barton’s “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White, ©2004. Though the book’s aim was to educate readers on America’s TRUE political record concerning the treatment of blacks, I found the book filled with timeless wisdom that even worked for the 2016 election. And I think some of the quotes I recorded also work to back up my above claim. I hope some or all will get whoever reads this comment of mine, thinking.

    (Oh, and, uh, for those who really think that we were “electing a president not a preacher,” please take note of what Noah Webster says on that subject. That would be the second quote given below. Since no one with modern conservative/Christian bona fides has been able to make you see the light, perhaps an actual Founding Father can school you better on the subject. Go ahead and try to argue with one of our Founders about how Trump didn’t have to be aboveboard morally because we weren’t electing a pastor!)

    1. “[T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them…Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently.… Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it—and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course [Christians] take [in politics]468”—American revivalist, Rev. Charles Finney (135).

    2. “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular [party] of the candidate—look to his character.…It is alleged by men of loose principles or defective views of the subject that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct [in Exodus 18:21] that rulers should be men ‘who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness470”—Founding Father, author of Webster’s dictionary, and anti-slavery leader, Noah Webster (136).

    3. These pages also include admonitions from Rep. Robert Brown Elliott, Frederick Douglass, Rev. Charles Finney, Dr. Benjamin Rush, anti-slavery Noah Webster (of Webster’s dictionary), Rev. Francis Grimke, and Rev. Matthias Burnet, who each implore American voters, both black and white, not to vote for color or party affiliation but for one’s character. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., put it; “Not the color of one’s skin but the content of one’s character.” Elliott basically said to “align with political candidates [who] conform to what he called ‘the injunctions of Christianity” (134). Douglass felt “citizens must vote righteously—and this first assumes that they are voting” (134), which is both a privilege and a right. As Finney, Elliott, and Douglass believed: “So when voting, no vote should be cast solely on the basis of any party; the values of each individual candidate must be examined using the standard of Biblical righteousness cited by Frederick Douglass, the principles of Christianity as cited by Robert Brown Elliott, and an awareness that voters will answer to God for their vote, as pointed out by Charles Finney” (135).—

    You posted an article of someone named Edward who stated that Falwell, Jr., back in his stint as a student at Liberty, was humble, honest, etc. But his character back then has nothing to do with his character today. People can and do change. Some for the good. Some for the bad. Just because he may have been an upstanding man back in his college days does NOT mean he’s still that same man. And we can’t elect someone who lacks character (as Mr. Webster said) simply because the other side runs a candidate whose character seems worse. To elect someone because the other side is worse is to act in fear, and God tells us that He has NOT given us a spirit of fear.

    As to our taxes going up under a Democrat, voting your pocketbook is also voting in fear. Fear that your money will run out. Plenty of Christians voted in Bill Clinton (in revolt against “read-my-lips” Bush, Sr.) because they feared for the economy and thought Clinton would be better for it. Yet taxes were raised and military funding cut, and what they feared would happen under Bush, Sr., happened anyway. And worse. Christians shouldn’t be looking to the government as their source anyway. God is our Source. We’re to trust Him with even our pocketbooks. As long as we honor Him, He will take care of us. But that’s where trusting Him comes into play. And too many Christians are willing to trust Him with everything BUT their money.

    And electing a Democrat could very well have landed us in hot water if we dared to be critical of the government, but how is that any different now under Trump? Plenty of people have dared to be critical of him and the way he’s “ruling,” and they have met with plenty of hot water. But electing Trump because “the other side could/would be worse” is to live in fear, and the Bible tells us we’re to live by faith not fear. To live in fear, we run the risk of ending up as Job, who said that what he feared came to pass anyway. So, you feared Obama and then Hilary, and you gave us Trump. Unlike Falwell, Jr., there are plenty who would say that what you feared is coming to pass anyway. Slowly, perhaps, but the foundation has been laid all the same.

    Maybe next time, we should all vote as if we WERE electing a pastor and not a president. Perhaps Falwell, Jr., wouldn’t be pleased, but I think Founding Father Noah Webster would be.

  • GotMyLoveGlassesOn

    Somebody could start out so well, in their youth be the picture of virtue, but somewhere along the road to adulthood take a wrong turn and end up being true creeps.
    The same goes for those who start out horribly, but have a change of heart and grow to be genuinely good people. We all know how that works because we all likely know somebody who has been on one of those roads, in our life. In fact, some of us may be that person.
    It would appear access to power has twisted Falwell Jr. and turned him into something resembling the Renfield to Trump’s barely coherent Dracula.

  • Steven Andrew

    I feel for you, and you’ve certainly done a great deal of good work here. I hope you can go a little farther and realize that what was once called the Christian Right or Moral Majority or whatever term is being used now, it hasn’t been about religion for a long time. It’s about cutting taxes for wealthy individuals and corporations and cutting regs at the expense of so-called ordinary people. That’s it, and a cynical fellow like myself might argue that that’s all it was really ever about, and that the creation of socially conservative universities and thin-tanks was done to purely consummate that marriage. Religion is merely an incidental by product that, as we now see, falls by the wayside very quickly if it gets in the way of those tax cuts for just an instant

  • Lee Kuriako

    Except Dracula had standards lol.

  • Polarbearpapa

    Jesus knew these peoples hearts …

    27 “How horrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed graves that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and every kind of impurity.

    Matthew 23

  • cajb11

    And you know “Trump was the only Republican that could win” how? That’s an opinion, hardly a fact. My opinion say’s a number of other Republican candidates could have beaten HRC if they got through the the primaries. But fact, Trump had a huge advantage with $2B in free advertising from the networks and some people just loved how he “told it like it is” which is ironic since he prevaricates daily. Now those same people tell us how bad it would have been if HRC was elected. If they were sincere, they would have showed up for a Cruz, Walker, Rubio, even a Kasich to beat her.

  • Carlos Santiago

    Exodus 18:21 is a very good blueprint on the selection of a leader.

  • Rudy Schellekens

    With all due respect, free speech also died on campuses where supporters of Trump were rejected,,,

  • CelestialChoir

    Oh–I get it. There ain’t no liberty at Liberty U, nor does the bill of Rights apply to you!

  • Christopher Iliff

    Was this written in English? If you cannot make the font legible with all of those wacky symbols, then you should stop writing. E.g.:’t followed.”
    What does that mean?

  • GotMyLoveGlassesOn

    Dude, I’m just noticing this today. I have no idea why it’s there. It wasnt when the story first went up. It’s gotta be something with the site.

  • Awww, poor liberal, illegal alien-hugging snowflakes! Rubio is the original “gang of eight” turncoat who sided with the democrats for amnesty! Good for Falwell Jr. for NOT caving in to a bunch of malcontent students who are there to learn … not to dictate the opinions and policies of the owners and managers of the university! Not a peep out of these alum over the fact that ALL conservative political opinions are simply not allowed on most of the major colleges and universities … not on those campuses. No, Falwell has nothing to do with the devil. On the contrary, the to-the-devil-soul-sellers are the Trump-hating students and alumni. Those students should transfer to Berkley.

  • Praise God! Liberty is STILL a Christian University. It is the Trump-hating students and Alumni who have departed from any and all things decent and pro-American. Trump haters cannot possibly be true, Bible believing Christians. People who are anti-Trump are obviously “pro” everything the leftist, liberal democrats and auxilliary democrats (Rubio, McCain, Flake, etc.) stand for.

  • EMBuckles … Very well said! And how sad for the truth of it all.

  • Dream on queeny. The ONLY thing hindering Trump’s totally pro-American agenda, are the hateful, lying, hypocrite democrats and wimpy, posterior-kissing republicans in DC and all the rest of the terminally stupid, Trump-hating pretend-christians on the east and west coasts. Thank God for the Electoral College!

  • Polarbearpapa … What a totally perfect description of all liberal democrats and rinos in this country! Matthew chapter 23 … I must write that down.

  • Nice try Lee. You are couching your idiotic hatred for Donald Trump in your silly little spiritually constipated pretense of moral outrage. What a steaming crock!

  • EMBuckles … You say you are no longer an evangelical Christian. What does that mean? Changing from an evangelical to some other “brand” of Christian is one thing. But if you are saying that you are no longer a Christian, then I suggest you review the Epistles of John and you’ll see that there is really no such thing as an ex-Christian. If you are not now, you never really were. And if you “no longer” believe that either, then that is simply further proof of what John so clearly said on that subject.

  • Those “love glasses” don’t do too much good on the face of someone who is totally blind.

  • So, AJ … please, tell us, which of the candidates on the democrat side would be like voting for a pastor? Hillary Clinton? That idea is too stupid to even mention. What is your alternative to Trump? You seem to be saying (with all your unrelated proof texts) that anyone who votes different than you is voting in fear and not trusting God. Mike Huckabee on the republican side would have beeen the closest thing to a pastor we could have voted for. I preferred Trump’s vision for America, and I still do.

  • Oh, for Christ’s sake! Shut up! The students at ALL institutions of higher learning are there to learn … they are NOT there to demonstrate, protest, and raise hell about issues they don’t know a thing about. IF any student is a liberal, open-borders, amnesty-democrat … they can go to the polls and vote … if they are old enough to do so. But ON the campus they should shut their stupid little mouths, attend their classes, and earn their degrees in a subject that will actually benefit their communities. OR run for public office and try to do something to change the things they don’t like. If they don’t know WHY they don’t like the things they want to change, the democrats will welcome them with open arms.

  • Max Imo … Can you please elaborate on just exactly how “education” is being corrupted by Falwwell Jr.? Please, be specific and offer some kind of compelling evidence. NOT just the usual idiotic blather about him favoring Donald Trump.

  • I have an authenticated list … gleaned from videos and plenty of clips from the pro-Obama mainstram press … a list of Obam’s blatant, bare-faced LIES! Now, you provide a list of Trump’s so-called, “lies,” and let’s compare them. You say he prevaricates daily … so getting this list should be no problem for you. The real gutless liars are those who accuse Trum of lying, but NEVER able to give even one verifiable example.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    You need to take some valium Komrad. Your posting today is totally without merit unless your intent is to sow hated and prove that the cult of Trump is totally without reason, decency or sanity.

    It’s people like you that would make people like me (a lifelong Republican voter and US Veteran) vote for Democrats to try to put civility back into Wash DC.

    We have not forgotten the GOP betrayals of the past decade. We see Trump funding and defending PP and Obamacare, we see Trump supporting abortion and the gay agenda in his policies. We see that there is no wall and no attempt by Trump to pass mandatory E-Verify or to do anything about birthright citizenship or visa over-stays.

    We see the unemployment participation rate still way too low and continuing to affect the unemployment numbers in the say way it did under Obama when Obama claimed falling unemployment rates.

    We are not blind to Trump’s antics antagonizing our allies nor Trump’s kissing up to our enemies and capitulating to their demands for US polices. We see Trump advocating to lift the sanctions on Russia and resisting the imposition of additional sanctions. We see the Mueller probe getting closer and closer to Trump and his family.

    Unless you have an argument as to why we should listen to you or to believe that Trump or his policies are in some way good for this country on a long-term basis and you can provide proof of your claims, then you have nothing I wish to hear.

    Susan makes good arguments in support of her points and conclusions. All you seem to have is bumper-sticker sound-bytes and hatred. Between the two, I’ll go with Susan and disregard Trump’s campaign to destroy America through his destruction of American government and his failing attempts to destroy our justice system and our free press.

  • Wesley

    no one in a trade war wins. trade wars only destroy industries. all one has to do is look at the Chicken War with Europe where they decided to increase tariffs on chicken from the US to help the European poultry farmers. the US in turn increased tariffs on trucks from Europe. result Indiana had two counties economically destroyed from American auto manufacturers not having more competition in light weight trucks forcing them to improve production lowering costs. one county was devastated in the 1960s when the tariffs went down and the other two decades later. no one would have thought that within weeks of the start of the trade war with China that Republicans in Congress would have to put together a bailout for farmers to save their seats. we should have known when Trump was praising Smut-Hawley when all one had to do was read how devastating it was for the US economy in 1931 when it was implemented. unemployment just above 10% jumped to 25% by the time the election the very next year. they turned something similar to the Great Recession into a full blown depression

  • Wesley

    Chuck is already a diehard member of the party of Trump(Big Brother). i have decided to read 1984 and am amazed at how much of what was written nearly 70 years ago is Trump’s playbook. two minutes of hate. hyper-patriotism to where any descent from the standing with hand over heart during the anthem is seen as you hate America. making foreigners the enemies of the people(party/state).

  • Wesley

    here one way to help determine if they have a Democratic Student Association as well as a Republican Student Association and meet people from both groups for if they lack one or the other than stay away for they only desire one side of the political spectrum.

  • AJ

    Dear Chuck,

    First, let me apologize for not responding sooner. I don’t often check my G-mail account, so I didn’t see that you’d responded to my post.

    Second, if I gave the impression in my post that I was pushing for a Democrat or a pastor, then I apologize. If I did, obviously I was unclear. And I agree, looking for someone with a pastor’s character on the Democrat side IS too stupid even to mention (though you did mention it), which is why I didn’t.

    What I intended to say in my post was simply that, to those who say we’re electing a president and not a pastor, perhaps we should use the same criteria that we’d use in selecting a pastor for selecting a president, if, when selecting a pastor, we base our determination on character, integrity, morality. Using such criteria, it seems to me, could only help in selecting the leader of the free world, which is a very serious undertaking. One with only the most incorruptible moral compass and highest core values should be elected. I have never seen any of the preceding in the Democrat Party, so, no, I was not advocating electing a Democrat and certainly not Hilary. Nor was I advocating electing a pastor and certainly not Huckabee, of whom I know little and the little I do know wouldn’t have me nominating him for pastor either.

    Again, I simply meant that the standards we use for electing a pastor to one’s church should be used to elect a man to the highest office in the world. To me, character matters—not one’s party affiliation. And, to me, Donald Trump was at the bottom of the long list of men and women running. But, as to affiliation, for most of his life, Trump was a Democrat and a hard-and-fast liberal. I don’t believe his core liberal beliefs changed just because he threw an R after his name. (And, as he’s not only been a lifelong liberal but also was once BFFs with the Clintons, well, you’ll pardon me if I have my doubts about his sanity AND his character.)

    You heard Donald Trump speak and saw a leader, a man you could believe in, root for, stand behind. Before the election, I really knew nothing about him. If asked my thoughts on him, I would’ve said that I thought he was some sort of businessman. So, when the candidates began lining up, I really had no preconceived notion about the man. And when I heard he was going to give his “throwing-his-hat-into-the-ring” speech, I tuned in to Sean Hannity’s program to listen to what he had to say. It took less than fifteen seconds for me to decide Donald Trump was NOT a man for whom I could vote. My very words after hearing him speak for those short seconds, were: “This man is another Obama. I’ve never heard anyone say the words, ‘I, me, and mine’ so much in one paragraph before. I will NEVER vote for him.” (So, I guess you could say I was a never-Trumper before the never-Trumpers were a thing.)

    So, you see, when I heard Donald Trump speak, I heard another self-absorbed Obama. Ever since, I have heard nothing in his words to change my mind. But I have learned much about his character that has only reaffirmed my initial reaction. To me, marriage is the most important institution God created. Before you rail at me, let me say I’m a child of divorce. Because of my parents’ divorce, I value marriage and the vows one takes. Donald Trump has taken those vows THREE times, and each time he has broken them (and, it sounds to me, very cavalierly, too). That speaks volumes to me about his character. If he couldn’t be faithful to his three wives and the vows he made to them before God and man, how could I believe he could stand behind anything he utters on the campaign trail or elsewhere? I couldn’t. I find the man completely untrustworthy and is why I would never vote for him.

    You obviously don’t share my beliefs. You are entitled to yours as I am entitled to mine. You share his vision for America. I do not for one simple fact: I’m not certain what his vision actually entails. He said he would build a wall. Great. I’m for a wall as well as anything else we can use to decrease illegal immigration. However, he said Mexico would pay for it. In fact, I believe he promised Mexico would do so. I didn’t believe that, of course, but that’s to no avail. He’s since broken that promise and capitulated, saying now that Americans would pay for the wall. He said (and I believe he promised this, too) he only ever surrounded himself with/hired the best people. As he’s now on numbers 3, 4, or 5 in some positions, I suppose we’ve gone from “best” to “better” to “good” to “passable” to “eh.” All in less than two years.

    You like the man. I do not. You trust him. I do not. You believe in his vision. I do not.

    Did I wish for a pastor? No. Did I wish for a Democrat or, worse, Hilary? Certainly not. Do I wish for a man with integrity, a moral compass, core values and beliefs, whose word is his bond, who doesn’t sling mud or go off petty tirades? Absolutely. Before you say that no such man exists, well, perhaps you’re right, but surely one of the others running would have come a LOT closer to even ONE of those characteristics than Donald Trump ever could.

    You voted for Trump, I presume, because you thought he was a man you could stand behind, be proud of. I didn’t vote for him because I knew I couldn’t stand behind him and never would be proud of him. If you were to ask me for whom I voted, I would have to say, in all honesty, that I don’t remember. I liked several of the candidates, including Perry, Cruz, and Rubio, though I had my dislikes with each of them, too. But, in a matchup between Trump and Clinton, I saw very little that differed, character-wise.

    You seem proud of having voted for Trump. Good. You’re one of the few I’ve ever heard who voted for him FOR him and not because you were afraid of Hilary’s becoming president. If I made it sound that anyone who votes opposite from how I vote, is voting in fear, then I apologize. My comment about fear was simply that those I heard before the election, who were counseling everyone to vote for Trump, were pushing Trump solely because they FEARED Hilary’s becoming president. Every single voice I heard first said, “I’m voting for Trump…” and then said, “…because I’m scared to death of Hilary becoming president.” These were not votes based on approval of the man’s character or of his vision for America but solely done out of fear. I’m a Christian (and most of those voices I mentioned were Christians, too), and I believe what the Bible says about acting in fear. You may not be a Christian or you may not care too stringently what the Bible has to say about fear. That’s fine. But I’m entitled to my opinions, too.

    As to the quotes I gave, to me, they underscore the sort of criteria the Founding Fathers used in voting for a president. Character-driven voting was what they heralded. You may see nothing wrong with Trump’s character. I see a lot wrong with it. And, as a Christian, I take 1 Corinthians 5:11 seriously. Trump calls himself a Christian, yet he is the very man Paul warns about in this verse. Paul goes on to say we shouldn’t even associate with such a man. If I’m counseled not even to associate with someone who claims Christ but is sexually immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, and a swindler, then how in the world could I vote for such as he? I couldn’t, and that’s why I didn’t.

    So, Chuck, I hope I answered your questions. Again, I apologize if I didn’t make myself very clear. I hope I’ve done a better job this time.

    All the best to you…

  • cajb11

    I was going to post the 3,500+ list but I thought this would be better. It’s a white paper on covering the lies of Trump and also the need for integrity of the press. It’s very balanced. It also say’s the lying from Trump is unprecedented for a president.

    https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2017-10/Taksdal%20Skjeseth%2C%20All%20the%20President%27s%20Lies%20-%20Media%20Coverage%20of%20lies%20in%20the%20US%20and%20France.pdf

  • Like, there is any such creature as an Illinois patriot. Not since Abraham Lincoln. The capitol of Illinois should be Chicago.

  • Wesley … just another dumb-astard, drooling, bed-wetting parrot. NOBODY in the entire GOP has ever said that foreigners (or even immigrants) are the enemy of “the people.” Only the lying democrats and their stupid liberal voter base. Lying turds FAKE NEWS … ALWAYS leaving out the word, “illegal” before the word “immigrants.” Damnable fake christians and fools.

  • Wesley

    they are far smarter than opening calling them enemies of the people. no they are more subtle by painting them as opposing true American values where all people are created equal, justice for all under the law, and liberty. Trump and the alt-right “conservative talk radio” have already implied it. for years “conservative talk radio” hosts have painted the picture that the only useful immigrants come from Canada, western and northern Europe. Trump has in a way with his potty-mouthing Latin America countries, and many conservatives by defending these commits.

  • Wesley … I am not surprised. It is amazing though, how all the open-borders, abortion-loving, globalist idiots HATE hearing the truth. ALL immigrants should be USEFUL to the country they wish to move into. THIS country already has more than enough natural born citizens living off the hard-working taxpayers! They are called, liberals!

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Most liberals would agree with you that the Capital of IL should be Chicago.

    Truth is that IL is in such bad shape BECAUSE it is being run primarily from the corrupt liberals in Chicago.

    Fortunately, Chicago is quickly going bankrupt, there’s nothing they can now do to stop that and the rest of the state is VERY disinclined to bail them out (AGAIN).

    As to your liberal views (unless you live in Chicago), you have no bearing on how IL conducts our state government and I’m quite happy that you are powerless to do anything about it other than to make liberal noises on the internet in defense of your idol and cult-leader: Cuckold Jack@$$ Trump.

    You’re not the first to challenge the patriotism of those that do not think like you nor will you be the last. The world is full of fools like you.

  • Wesley

    boy you seem to be so close-minded in your views given that you paint all who oppose Trump as socialists. most Evangelicals are already socialists since they support public education aka government schools. all tax credits are another form of socialist wealth redistribution. besides abortion violates the 14th amendment of constitution of the United States. the GOP has been overtaken by socialists propaganda for socialists love a progressive tax system that Republicans keep in place.

  • Robert Fulton Jr

    You are so far off base here. You say you want soldiers for Christ but you resort to name calling and generalizations. There are lots of true Christian liberals but you would seek to paint them all with the “sub-human” paint brush.

  • Robert Fulton Jr

    Wow, Chuck. What a hate-filled diatribe. Do you actually read the New Testament? I think YOU are the one who is hate-filled, closed minded and who does not understand politics. I wonder how you will explain your hateful attitude before Christ’s judgement seat?

  • Robert Fulton Jr

    Find something productive to do with you life, Chuck. Go buy someone a meal or something.

  • EMBuckles

    Um, no, I did not say that I am no longer an evangelical Christian. I am still a Christian. Read John 3:16.

  • EMBuckles

    Donald Trump has become a born-again Christian, according to one of the country’s most prominent evangelical leaders. Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson said Trump has accepted Christ, a step towards salvation in most Evangelical faiths.

  • cajb11

    How thoughtful of you. LOL

  • cajb11

    You didn’t ask me but as a local resident and and alum, the education gained at Liberty is being cheapened at the expense of the reputation of the school. Max IMO shared that she knew someone who may not support a business because the owner or leader was a Liberty grad. That’s specific. In a manner it’s being “corrupted” is having screwball theology taught by the likes of Paula White and various prosperity preachers who’s only commonality to LU would be their relationship to Trump. That theology has been anathema to LU since the beginning in 1971. Now, poof, it okay. That’s specific.

  • cajb11

    They did have a Democratic Student Association on campus but Jr. disbanded it six or seven years ago. The GOP one remains. I’m a Republican but don’t have a problem with the Democrats organizing.

  • Keith_22

    And the Washington Post has recorded over 5,200 trump lies since he took office.

  • Okay. If, as you say, Falwell Jf. and the theology of L/U has jumped the tracks in favor of Paula White, and any (and all) the phony so-called, “gospel of prosperity and material wealth … AND the totally UN-Scriptural bastards who are requiring “send me your thousand dollar seed” … lying, thieving S.O.B.s … then I DO agree with you. However, Ms. White has either a residence or an office in Trump Tower, but Trump has ZERO theological connection with the above mentioned doctrinal excrement. President Trump knows about as much on the subject of sound Biblical theology as any other U.S. president … but infinately MORE than did the former Muslim sympathizer Obama.

  • AJ … Okay, okay, okay! I GET that you don’t like Trump. But really! Calling him just “another Obama” makes no sense what-so-ever! Obama, and his America-hating cronies, were taking this country right down the toilet! His executive orders to our border protection agents to “stand down” and “catch and release” and the birth of (excuse me, not the birth of … but the bowel movements of) “sanctuary states” and “sanctuary cities” coming into being on Obama’s watch, and I could, but I will not, quote ALL of his outright, bare-faced lies, I’ll just close with, “you can keep your doctor.” No. Trump is NOTHING like Obama. But, if you would be so kind, putting aside the fact he might not make a good pastor (at least I doubt if he would ever say, “…God DAMN the United States…” like Obumnuts pastor did, can you articulate on the policies and accomplishments Trump has made? Maybe just ONE?

  • Okay Robert Fulton Jr. … Let’s take a look at just some of the things that the democrats in DC and their voter base folks support: Let’s start with abortion. And how about “open borders” and defiantly breaking the law by supporting and protecting illegal aliens from being deported? You obviously think … no … believe … that anything that has to do with obeying the law, and supporting the Biblical view of what marriage means (and what the Bible says about homosexual behavior), means, hate. How about multitudes of hate-filled, liberals shouting down conservative speakers on college and university campuses? You are such a lame, stupid hypocrite! So, please, don’t expect me to help you pretend that you even believe in Christ’s judgement seat!

  • Illinoise Patsy … You said the world is full of fools like me. No. It isn’t. ALL those fools you see are your neighbors. The look like you, they think like you, they talk like you and they, no doubt, smell like you.

  • Robert Fulton Jr. No! I don’t have to do anything productive with my life! I am retired now and I shall continue doing as I bloody-well please. You, on the other hand, should get yourself a much shorter enema nozzle. For the one you’re using now is causing irreparable brain damage.

  • Robert Fulton Jr

    Sorry Chuck, my fate is sealed with Christ and all the name calling in the world won’t change that. Jesus did actually say that we should love our neighbor, yes? And that includes refugees, immigrants, homosexuals, #metoo victims, and yes, even Trumpinistas. Take the plank from your own eye before you ask me to remove the speck. We all sin, and, of course there are consequences to breaking laws and to sin (abortion carries its own condemnation and guilt I don’t have to point it out to someone who suffers such a wrong-headed decision), but I refuse to condemn and instead choose to love. I will lead by example. Let God be the judge.

  • cajb11

    I think you are just a parody account. You are way too ridiculous not to be. 🙂

  • cajb11

    Paula White has been given a platform at Liberty University solely because of her and Jr’s relationship with Trump. You can add Mark Burns and Darrel Scott to the list for the same reason. It is only for these political reasons that their heretical theology has been normalized at LU.

  • cajb11

    First, it’s not really germane to the discussion. But second, Dobson backed off of that pretty quick and deferred to Paula White whom he has little regard for. Trump has yet to denounce, or act as if he doesn’t have anything to be forgiven for as he said in the campaign. Forgiveness is at he heart of Christianity. It’s why Christ died and rose again. He fails to show any fruits of the Spirit. He continues to lie blatantly. No one expects perfection by a long shot but one would expect the lies, insults and bullying to at least subside some. But they have not.

  • EMBuckles

    If you read the Bible you will realize that sometimes God uses someone who is not a Christian or not Jewish to “settle the hash”, so to speak, of some population who is offending Him. It’s kind of like the saying that “the school of experience has high tuition but a fool will learn in no other.” Our nation has been doing some things and some people trying to get it on a path which will lead, if not corrected, to our destruction. God may be, and probably is, using Trump to kick butt, to get us back on the path which will lead to our good.

  • I stand corrected. I have not followed LU but I was once a part of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority … He and Ronald Reagan (and my growth as a Christian) helped me out of the stupidity of liberalism and out of the democrat party. So sorry about LU … Very sad indeed.

  • Doing parody and ridiculousness comes natural when dealing with democrats in general and liberals in particular. Are you suggesting that I should try using things like truth and verifiable facts when dealing with them? Teaching algebra to a mushroom would yield better results.

  • Your problem Robert, is that you seem to think that loving our neighbors means that we must open our borders and allow anyone who pleases to just breeze in and take over. Nobody (not even me) is condemning anyone, in the Biblical sense, by expecting them to follow and obey the laws of this nation (that’s also in the Bible) and to be respectful of opinions that differ from our own. You started right off with accusations of hatred and ignorance of how politics work. That is how liberals always reply when they have nothing of substance to add to a conversation. “Loving” our neigbors does NOT mean that we let them move into our house and take the place over. “You disagree with me, therefore you must hate me” is the warped thinking of the left. Sorry, but I don’t see how a genuine, born-again experience factors into that.