Conservative Christian students at Liberty University are feeling the Bern

Oh, it’s often even worse than that. One of my kids is currently looking at colleges, and for some crazy reason got herself onto the Christian list (how? we really don’t know), and the differences between how those schools market themselves versus actual institutions of higher learning is quite interesting. For example, they don’t use email --they only use the USPS to deliver their materials – and the materials are addressed to the parents of (student’s name) instead of the actual student (who is usually legally an adult when applying to college). It’s often a business-size envelope with a double-sided, single-spaced letter inside, repeating multiple times in each paragraph that the parents can be assured that the focus of education at that institution is always “Christ-centered”. If it’s cardstock instead, then all of the photos have religious clues in them…and it’s still addressed to the parents rather than the student.

I actually called one place after getting one of these letters every month for about 6 months. They didn’t know how to respond when I said that their institution stood out for not sending their materials directly to the student “who would be making their first important adult decision”…trust me, that did not compute!

The students going to these schools are young adults whose PARENTS have chosen their college. Don’t think they’re making the choice for themselves. They are being sent through a cattle chute.


I’m glad he did this. It speaks to his seriousness that he went outside his comfort zone and engaged with people who are assumed to be his enemy in the American game of politics.


I like this because I am SURE it provoked some interesting convos. :smile:

His answers to the Q’s weren’t bad - respectful, but not avoiding the meat of the issue too much, and acknowledging of differences. Trump or Bush II would not be so interesting to watch there.


I watched video of the speech in its entirety, including the prayer and even some of the godawful music prior. I encourage everyone to watch and formulate your own opinion. I have been on the fence about whether America is ready for Bernie. Not anymore. Bernie Sanders was Presidential up there. I have been paying very close attention to this election cycle, to see if something has changed in the American public. Let’s hope it has. The media are off on their own Trump trip and when they do cover Bernie, it is always prefixed with the rhetorical “he can’t win” device. Slowly that’s changing. Now we’ll start to see the tenor and tone of the attacks change as well: he’s too old, a communist, Hugo Chavez oil-taking, passed no bills, will cost us trillions, no appeal among minorities, etc. ad nauseum.

Obama really let me down, for many of the same ways articulated by Cornel West. Hillary is same old same old. Our oligarchy wanted to push a Bush v Clinton election. The groundswell we’re seeing for Sanders appears to be the long arm of the Occupy movement, an economic populism embodied by a socialist Senator from Vermont. But this is the right cycle for outsiders. The evidence is around us in the rise of Trump and Carson on the right and Jeremy Corbyn on the left. Most ordinary people don’t understand economics very well. Otherwise they wouldn’t continually vote against their own self-interest. But Bernie is articulating a cross-ideological message of economic populism and it resonates, perhaps finally now that we’ve seen Obama the HOPE bail out the banker class while unemployment continues to rise in the shadows and more people struggle to make ends meet. Maybe enough people finally understand that trickle down economics really is a stream of piss and lies from the top of the economic pyramid?

Sanders’ speech to Liberty University may go down as historical. It was that good! I’m a Buddhist and I can’t say that I fully understand the thought process of a young Christian of the type who would attend Liberty, but I can try. People on the left need to stop pillorying evangelicals. Many of them are good people with different ideals. Shrewd and effective move by Bernie to go there and deliver a hand-written speech. And he nailed it!

Bernie went into the lions den and spoke to the pride in their own language. It will resonate in many of those students as they reflect on morality and justice and what those words really mean. He solidified his base too. Anyone who was leaning Bernie or on the fence, could be easily swayed by the cojones and aplomb by which he went to Liberty and shared his message. There were enough crowd cut-aways to get a sense of the audience response. They warmed up. Surely the most booming applause were for the concept of the unborn children, but more than just Bernie’s crowd were clapping for him on different issues. His message about veterans certainly resonated. You can see it in the cut-aways and you can hear it in the relative volumes of the clapping. Often it is just his cheering section, but not always.

After watching that speech, I am now convinced that Sanders will be the next President. His appeal cuts across ideological lines and he owns most of the issues his opposition uses to try to smear him. The time is right. He’s easily one of the most intelligent and verbally nimble of any candidate in either party and his platform is part of his very being, so he’s able to easily share it when out campaigning. I fear for the future of humanity, but Bernie is one of the good ones trying to steer us away from the abyss before it’s too late.


That’s what most impressed me. The minds and hearts of young people in their situation are all too easy to dismiss or ridicule. Many of them are still ambivalent inside about their beliefs. Bernie probably changed some lives that day.


“Drunk Bible” needs to be Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s next project. It would be controversial as hell, but South Park has been at times so they may be used to it.


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I’m not convinced it’s useful to attempt dialogue with an audience like that, especially if it means you have to compromise yourself by flattering them as fair and open-minded thinkers.

Whereas writing them off as unthinking prisoners of their parental teachings is fair and open-minded? It’s true, Bernie has entertained the ‘radical’ notion that people who disagree with him are still actual humans capable of independent thought–clearly he doesn’t hang out in the comments thread!


Some dark shit starts to go down when you mix the bible with alcohol.

Dear Mr. Lot:My daughters got me so drunk I didn’t realize what I was doing” is not a valid excuse for incest.


The important distinction is that Jesus told told Christians and His Church to help the poor–not Caesar. This is why fundamentalist Christians are hot on charity but cold on government intervention for the poor.

Because of power. When churches get to allocate aid, they can choose the recipients and the conditions of that aid. They lose that ability when competing aid is granted by the state- Especially a state which guarantees equal treatment under law.


At the time Caesar wasn’t particularly interested in what Jesus had to say. He told His followers to help the poor because they were the ones who were looking to Him for advice on how to treat their fellow human beings.

Fast forward a couple thousand years and fundamentalist Christians have no problem whatsoever using the power of the State to carry out their vision of Christ’s will in all kinds of ways: banning gay marriage, fighting wars for theological reasons (both subtle and overt), putting the Ten Commandments in front of court houses, etc. But using the power of the State to feed the poor? NOOOOO that’s totally anti-Christian!!


I have a family member that lives and works in Lynchburg where Liberty university is located, so I know know 7 or 8 Liberty graduates firsthand, and while they may be the minority, they are all for gay rights, they smoke pot, they hated bush, they are for health care, etc.

I wouldn’t be so quick to write off the younger generations, there is hope for them yet. The biggest hope is that they can escape the path towards ignorance, hate, fear, intolerance, and judgment that the older generation before them took. Ignorance isn’t a position people make an informed decision to choose, they do so because they haven’t been exposed to alternatives. A single exposure to someone like Bernie Sanders might just provide the spark to change their lives forever. Many of these people have good hearts, and are leaving the nest of conservative upbringing that their parents created, now is the time to reach them if ever…once they are well into adulthood a course correction is much harder to make. just a thought.

Also, thank god that jerry falwell is dead, he was one horrible excuse for a human being and a bastion of hate, ignorance, and intolerance.

oh and @milliefink - thank you for your comment!


That’s exactly right… although I’m confused, with such an astute observation, why you were disappointed by Obama. He was quite obviously, from the start of his presidential run, a total corporate centrist, not that far off from HRC-land. The fact that so many Americans truly thought this guy was legit is what me so skeptical about our political future. Sanders has already achieved a lot more than anyone gave him credit for, and I am hoping / praying / etc. that he’s able to withstand the imminent attacks from all sides. You KNOW Clinton has some dirty tricks in line for the guy, no doubt about that at all.

I’ve never once voted for a major party, but this year will contradict that. Sanders is the first Democratic Party contender I’ve ever seen to be the real deal- I guess that, alone, is cause for true Hope.


It is true, theology is brutal on the evangelicals. I’ve experienced this first hand. This is partially because they believe that the bible hasn’t changed “one jot or tiddle” over time and is the infallible and literal word of god.

When they learn:
how many of the books had multiple authors in different time periods.
how many internal inconsistencies there are.
how much was edited and how many books removed altogether for political reasons.
the changes introduced during different periods during “translation”
that many of the myths/stories were lifted from earlier cultures.

etc.etc. basically that this is and always has been a changing work of fiction that has been altered to meet the needs of the time and is very obviously a work of man, that is a real shake them to the core realization. I’ve seen quite a few intelligent devout evangelicals decide they were no longer Christians while studying christian theology. The best way to escape any dogmatic belief system is to educate yourself about it.


Pilpul is annoying, evangelical Pilpul doubly so.

It works both ways. I have a nasty idea that String Theory and the multiverse are actually a religion, not science, but my physics isn’t good enough for me to defend the thesis. When it comes to the Bible, however, I was rated unsafe for evangelicals to talk to while at U. (“welcome to the club” said my Director of Studies.)
Don’t get me wrong; I’m strongly pro experimental physics. But String Theory just reminds me of Newton’s “non fingo hypotheses” aka “I don’t go in for guesswork.”

The good thing about scientists is that they are welcoming, even encouraging, of anyone providing new information proving a theory incorrect.

the quest to find a unified theory of physics that connects quantum physics and newtonian physics has been a real challenge. most of the die-hard proponents for string theory, will make passionate arguments for it, but they will also admit that until proven it is just a theory. the whole point of science is to refine and expand what is knowable, if anyone isn’t doing that then they aren’t doing science.


By “multiverse”, do you mean the many-worlds interpretation? If so, why do you suspect it of being a religion?

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Well…maybe it isn’t in this universe, but in some universe it must be! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Where Copenhagenist heretics mutter “Eppur si crolla” under their breath?