Liberty University Revokes Student Democratic Party Club Charter

By:  Robert Lalka

Cross Posted from

The Lynchburg, Virginia, News and Advance is reporting this morning that Liberty University has taken the brazenly undemocratic step of revoking the charter of the student-led Democratic Party club, with Mark Hine, vice president of student affairs, stating that "we are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by" the university. Brian Diaz, the president of LU's student Democratic Party club, has explained that "It kind of happened out of nowhere" without any forewarning from the school's administration or meetings with the student organization.  In the e-mail Mr. Diaz received, Hine wrote that:

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Step Up, Religious Left

It's time for the religious left to step up and stop letting these bigots speak for them.  Yet, that's not what seems to be happening.  A few months ago, a new site designed to called 'Faithful Democrats' launched to address the problem of 'values voters' and the underrepresentation of Christian viewpoints in the Democratic Party ('cept for all the black people and the majority of white Democrats as well, but anyway).  Here's who they are.

We are an online community of Christian Democrats - religious leaders, political leaders, writers, and regular Americans who are committed to the Gospel and the common good. We discuss, we debate, we take action. And we will make our voices heard in the 2006 election season and beyond.

We don't believe that good Christians have to be Democrats. Nor do we believe that one religion has a monopoly on faith. But we make no apologies for rooting our identity as Democrats in our faith as Christians. That is who we are. And we are eager to act on our beliefs to make the country we love a more just and compassionate place.

So apparently they want to make the country a more just and compassionate place.  Yet what is the response to Donahue's, a known homophobe and anti-semite?  

"Not only is [Donahue] an embarrassment who obviously doesn't hold himself to the same standards he holds for others, but his judgment of what counts as anti-Catholic is, to say the least, seriously suspect, and has a tendency towards, shall we say, ideological selectivity.

"Finally, as much as it pains me to say it, I think Donohue may have a point in this case. The blog posts mentioned in the story did speak of a deep-seated hostility to the Church as an institution."

Here's what Donahue said he wants the debate to be about.  

I have news for him--the Catholic League--not Edwards--will decide what the debate will be about, and it won't be about the nation. It will be about the glaring double standard that colors the entire conversation about bigotry."

So it's cool to Jesse Lava and Faithful Democrats to debate on the terrain set by anti-semites and homophobe?  Ok then.  Now I know that Faithful Democrats put a caveat in there about how Donahue isn't a nice guy, but that's really irrelevant.  This is very simple.  Donahue is using religion as cover for a political attack.  The only ethical response from anyone who actually opposes bigotry is 'Donahue should be ignored because of his record' or some variation thereof.  So until the self-described religious left decides to stop letting bigoted and extreme right-wingers talk for them, they are no different than the religious right they pretend to oppose.

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Child Predators: Silence on the Religious Right

One of the reasons that it's hard to make a story like predator Mark Foley and the House Republican cover-up stick is because there's no pre-set narrative that Republican leaders are very bad people.  Republican leaders are creepy, weird, and perverted, seeking an authoritarian political system so that they don't have to deal with personal demons.  

The religious right isn't religious, it is politically authoritarian.  It is a movement of morally and ethically corrupted individuals who refuse to tell the difference between right and wrong.

Faithful Democrats shows just how bad these people are:

Claiming to be a man of deep Catholic faith, Foley hasn't shied away from proclaiming his rectitude.  "At Sacred Heart, I was taught how to be a better citizen because of their focus on discipline and moral values," he said, referring to the school he attended in Lake Worth, Florida.

Foley also received an 84% approval rating from the Christian Coalition in 2004, the most recent year we could find spur of the moment.

Indeed, Foley made get-tough laws on sexually exploited children -- particularly exploitation over the Internet -- one of his primary crusades in Congress.  He was even Co-Chair of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus.

He also introduced a bill to ban online "child modeling" sites, claiming they are "nothing more than a fix for pedophiles."

"They don't sell products, they don't sell services," he said.  "All they serve are young children on a platter for America's most depraved. These sites sell child erotica and they should be banned."

On Bill O'Reilly's show this May, he said, "Our kids are precious. Their lives are vulnerable. The predators are winning as we speak."

Rarely has there been a clearer case of the kind of religious hypocrisy that Jesus condemned so passionately in the Gospels.

Foley rails against the depraved; he is the depraved.  Foley attacks the predators; he is a predator.

Our question: where are the denunciations from the religious right?  Where is Focus on the Family?  Where is the Family Research Council?  Do they only care about sexual misconduct when it's committed by a Democrat?  The hypocrisy doesn't belong to Foley alone.  The hypocrisy belongs to everyone who rails against sexual sin for political purposes then delivers a sermon of silence when the sinner happens to advance a right-wing, Republican agenda.

The Republican leadership is a group of psychotic Office Space type banal tyrants, and the right-wing media chamber is composed mostly of decrepit greed-driven whiny losers who follow them.  That's why they can't make this country work.  They are immoral, and they bring immorality and corruption everywhere they go.

I know there's a lot of bitterness out there about torture, and unlike Chris, I'm not really mollified with 75% of Democrats voting against torture.  They should have spoken out early and often, and they did not.  But at the end of the day, I'm not fighting for these Democrats, the ones in the House and Senate.  These are followers, not leaders.  We are the leaders.  The Democratic Party is millions of people around the country, millions who don't like our direction, and it is up to us to change the direction of the country and the party.  We can do it.  We can support great candidates who are willing to call out the right-wing moral perversion that is sweeping across our country, who will show that it is as much Dennis Hastert and Fox News as it is Mark Foley responsible for preying on children.  We will end the perpetuation and enabling of evil by these very bad men.

UPDATE:  As I was writing, Chris Carney demanded that his creepy and morally perverse opponent Don Sherwood cancel his upcoming fundraisers with John Boehner and Dennis Hastert.

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