Liberty University Revokes Student Democratic Party Club Charter
by Faithful Democrats, Fri May 22, 2009 at 09:00:58 AM EDT
By: Robert Lalka
Cross Posted from FaithfulDemocrats.com
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:
"The Democratic Party platform is contrary to the mission of Liberty University and to Christian doctrine (supports abortion, federal funding of abortion, advocates repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, promotes the "LGBT" agenda, hate crimes, which include sexual orientation and gender identity, socialism, etc.)."
This partisan, anti-democratic move by Liberty's administration comes during the same week when Faithful Democrats has launched Vote Your Values, where each of the Democratic candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor have reached out to voters directly to discuss their values and share their backgrounds, beliefs, and visions for the common good in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Contrary to what Liberty University's decision would imply, the Virginia's Democratic Party has created a welcoming environment for people of all faith backgrounds to stand for their values; and as Levar Stoney, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, commented earlier this week, "It is only fitting that the first candidates on Vote Your Values are members of Virginia's Democratic Party, considering our Faith in Action efforts." Here is the part of the 2008-2009 Virginia Democratic Party Platform, which echoes Mr. Stoney's sentiments in the Faith in Action section:
"We believe that what unites us is much greater than what divides us, and that our trust in the common good is the way to honor our sacred beliefs. While partisan rhetoric seeks to separate, we Democrats believe strongly in our faith and are guided by our values. We believe that faith extends to addressing poverty, being good stewards of our environment, and making sure all Americans have health care. We remain committed to working with faith communities to organize around our shared goals."
If the Virginia Democratic Party is this welcoming to the values and principles that Christian believers stand for, then how can Liberty University's administration allow for Republican-affiliated groups to organize on its campus while banning those from the Democratic Party?
As you can see for yourself, the current list of student organizations approved by Liberty University no longer includes the Democratic Party club, whereas this cached version of the page from a few weeks ago has Mr. Diaz's organization listed. The News and Advance ran a wonderful story about Mr. Diaz's group where he stated that "It's not like one party's the Jesus party. We want to show them that," and from this cached page, you can also read the charter of the organization:
In order to promote a better America, with equality, opportunity, and freedom within a just and strong society, we dedicate ourselves to organizing the participation of Democratic college students at Liberty University. In this mission, we call for full participation of all Liberty students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, physical handicap, or socioeconomic status. Understanding the importance of participation in the Democratic Party to the preservation of our values and principles, we, Democratic college students, do hereby associate ourselves and adopt this Constitution as the Liberty University Democrats.
We at Faithful Democrats believe that the only way to address the moral challenges of our time is by having people of goodwill from all parties openly discuss their values and engage in the political process; and so we call on Liberty University to restore the charter of the Liberty University Democratic Party club and issue a formal apology to Mr. Diaz and the members of his organization.
If you are interested in supporting Brian Diaz and encouraging a more open and honest dialogue on how strong Christians can stand for their values, please sign our facebook petition.