Could Virginia Become a Christian Theocracy?

One of my recurring nightmares is that I wake up one morning to find Virginia and the U.S. transformed into a right-wing theocracy.

If I go to a public library, I find my Internet access is severely restricted to information that a government committee has deemed morally and politically acceptable. A bourbon and water in my home at 6 p.m. is verboten. Dancing: forget it. Bible study classes are mandatory. If I falter in any way from the proscribed “norm,” cultural G-men and women (“G” for “Government” and “God”) will remove me to a self-help and brainwashing group.

In the past couple of years, I will admit, this nightmare has been on the wane. Political fortunes have eluded Virginia’s religious right with the election of moderates such as Mark Warner, Jim Webb, Tim Kaine and, of course, Barack Obama who represented the first time the Old Dominion has gone Democratic presidentially since the mid-1960s.

The state Republican Party, following disaster after disaster, is still trying to get its act together, meaning that the radical, social and religious wing of the party has been on the run.

But maybe not. The GOP, meeting in Richmond over the weekend, nominated hard right former attorney general Bob McDonnell for governor and state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli for attorney general. McDonnell is a grad from Regent University Law School, a creation of televangelist Pat Robertson who has for decades projected his own version of Christ-driven government. Cuccinelli is a pro-life fanatic, who, according to The Washington Post, is unwilling to follow fellow Republicans’ advice and tone down any divisive social conservatism that turns off voters.

While this is happening, controversy rages in Lynchburg, where Liberty University, the creation of another televangelist, the late Jerry Falwell, is all but banning a Democratic Club for students. Incredibly, Falwell’s son, the school’s leader, says that the Democratic Party has immoral ideals, so the club is being done away with.

Religious schools have their place and there are many fine ones, indeed. But Liberty seems to go way over the top in policing student behavior. According to Kevin Roose, a Brown student who spent an undercover semester at Liberty pretending to be an evangelical Christian, students must follow a 46-page “Code of Conduct” that forbids drinking, smoking, dancing and “hugging” that lasts for more than three seconds (do they all carry stopwatches?). In an interview with National Public Radio, Roose says that the courses he took were difficult and informative. But he balked at one exam question: “Was Noah’s Ark big enough to accommodate various species of dinosaurs?”

That reminds me of a story the Richmond Times-Dispatch did long ago, back when it actually did some reporting rather than just holding Phil Donahue-style encounter groups and calling it community service. At one class infiltrated by a TD reporter, the professor was ranting against rebellious Danish philosopher and theologian Soren Kierkegaard, but the professor had badly misspelled his name on the blackboard. At the time, founder Falwell was moving the school from some temporary mobile homes to real buildings. But the reporter noted that in admissions brochures, the pamphlets showed the multi-story Virginia National Bank building downtown but with the VNB logo airbrushed out. The idea seemed to be to pretend the building was part of the university.

From these humble beginnings, Liberty is now banning the Democratic Party.

There’s another school in the category. Patrick Henry College in Purcellville in far western Loudoun County has a conduct code very similar to Liberty’s. It was founded in 2000 by Michael P. Farris, a right wing constitutional lawyer who gained fame pushing home schooling.

Loudoun, some of you may remember, had some controversies about seriously restricting the Internet at the county’s public libraries because some little Pugsley feeling his teenaged hormones might pick up some porn. It was quite a tussle. And now we find that Patrick Henry grads have been interning in the library system.

That’s not all. Taking advantage of its proximity to Washington and its government agencies, Patrick Henry has courses tailored to get “Christian” minded men and women to find work at the CIA, DIA, DEA, FBI, NSA, Homeland Security and so forth. Terrorism is a threat and patriotism is fine, but how do you know that some religious fanatics might go over the line and start monitoring your email and telephone conversations for information they consider ethically subversive and “anti-Christian?”

This is not to say that such schools produce Bible thumping robotons. The lifeguard at my neighborhood pool is a Liberty student who is very conscientious watching the little kids and has a knack for getting along well with them. I worked once with a Liberty grad who was good at what he did and had a sense of humor. We joked about moving to Lynchburg and starting an alternative newspaper titled  “Beelzebub.”

But it’s not the grads themselves that I really worry about. It is the bosses at these schools who wrap themselves in the American flag and then trash American principles of freedom of speech and political choice. All the while, they evoke the usual Virginia political thinkers such as Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison whose views are actually the polar opposite of theirs.

Peter Galuszka


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52 responses to “Could Virginia Become a Christian Theocracy?”

  1. Citizen Tom Avatar
    Citizen Tom

    Peter – It strikes me that you want it both ways. You want to insult people, but you do not want anyone to think you have insulted anyone except Conservative politicians (I guess defaming politicians is politically correct.). For example, you just want to insult Liberty University, but not the students who attend the school. That is not logical. If Liberty University is an extremist institution, then the people who attend it must be extreme.

    As it happens, the Bible is pretty clear about individual rights and responsibility. Christians consider salvation a gift, a gift you must accept willingly.

    So you do not have to worry about being forced to attend Bible classes or being forced to behave like Christian by Christians. Anybody who has studied the Bible knows better than to propose such nonsense.

    To end your silly nightmares, I suggest you actually learn something about the people who give you nightmares. Don’t be such a chicken.

  2. Perhaps Peter, your fears would be lessened if you based them in fact. For example you state that "From these humble beginnings, Liberty is now banning the Democratic Party." That is simple NOT factual. You can read on Liberty's website of their meeting with the Democrat Club. Follow this link:

    The club is not being "done away with."

    You may indeed have irrational fears. But they're not based on anything factual.

  3. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG recently asked if there were any professional economist aho questioned the wisdom of President Obama’s economic plans. I’d say this guy qualifies:

  4. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Citizen Tom (Is that as in “Jefferson?”)

    As far as insulting people, the late Jerry Falwell was an expert. He’d insult and then apologize profusely.

    As far as Liberty and the Democratic Club — I gather the Republican club is OK, but not the former? Maybe you can explain.Sorry, but I don’t get this neat little cleavage you are tring to make.

    Peter Galuszka

  5. James Young Avatar
    James Young

    The nice thing about reading the insults of the moonbat far Left is that they make it utterly clear that they don’t have the foggiest idea about the beliefs of the people they smear.

  6. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Oh and Mike,
    Regarding your URL, you seem to be spinning for Liberty that the whole thing is a big misunderstanding, that no ban ever existed and some mid-level administrator got out of line.Yet Falwell Junior wants apologies from Liberty kids professing to be Democrats?
    Do you really expect me to buy this?

    Peter Galuszka

  7. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton – that appears to be a broken link.. no dice…

    try again..

    I’d have to say that I’d liked the photo of that gals back side that the front side of this guy.

    re: ” So you do not have to worry about being forced to attend Bible classes or being forced to behave like Christian by Christians.”

    r i g h t …that’s why we have these so called Christian idiots demanding that we have Christian Prayer at the beginning of Govt meetings.

    I never understood these zealots. My GOD.. doesn’t tell me to demand that my prayers be forced on others… and my Country says the same thing

    but the wingnuts at Liberty think otherwise… and teach otherwise

    from the link:

    ” “Clubs using the school’s name are subject to more oversight and review by the administration because these clubs are representing the university,”


    does the formation of any association of students at any University “REPRESENT” the University?

    I doubt it seriously… and a simple statement by the University can say – ” no association of students represents the University but instead their own views”.

    but this how Christian folks act when there are people among them that have different views.

    Like their kissin cousins – the Republican Party – either you toe the dogma line or you get out.

    We can rename Liberty – Intolerance U.

  8. Citizen Tom Avatar
    Citizen Tom

    Peter, you can find an explanation of my moniker on my website. See the About page.

    I must admit I made a mistake. In addition to insulting institutions and politicians, it appears you also feel it okay to insult the dead.

    The Bible makes it all too clear our inability to control our tongues is the source of much strife. Undoubtedly Jerry Falwell was an imperfect human being. So I expect he must have insulted someone at some time. You may rest reasonably assured, however, that Falwell is not currently insulting anyone still alive. At least, I do not think he is doing so in their hearing.

    Anyway, by the logic you have employed you are justified in insulting Falwell or anyone you wish — except perhaps those unable to speak or write. Nonetheless, baseless insults serve as a poor excuse for dialogue.

    It seems you and Larry are also confused about what rights involve. Just as you are entitled to believe as you wish, so are Christians. What you are not entitled to do is to force others respect your beliefs or pay for exercising your “rights.”

    Now lets look the issue that started this discussion. Late term abortions are almost certainly murder. Early term abortions are dubious propositions at best. Since it is ungodly to force taxpayers to pay for such a thing as the premeditated murder of a baby, it is immoral to insist that taxpayers should pay for abortions.

    A private university — because it is private — is entitled to authorize clubs as it sees fit. Since the Democratic Party wants to use public funds to pay for abortions, the party is immoral — to say the least. Thus Liberty University has a good reason for wanting nothing to with it.

    BTW – Groveton’s link works just fine.

  9. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    if this is the link:

    I’m getting an “invalid article”

    how about making the link a TinyURL ?

    re: abortion and Liberty U and the Democrats

    what a bunch of bull snot Guy.

    in your opinion it is “ungodly”

    but how do you get to decide what is or is not “godly” in the first place much less impose it on others?

    this is the problem.

    Ya’ll don’t want to Govern… you want to rule – to impose your beliefs on others.

    it’s the same logic that we hear from the folks that want THEIR prayers in public meetings and schools…

  10. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Citizen Tom (and the TJ allusion is a bit of a stretch),
    I think that the late Dr. Falwell is open game because he was such an ambitious political player. It is the same as discussing Richard Nixon or FDR or Hitler or George Washington anyone. I can understand how you feel sensitive that your party is having its troubles, but since the late Falwell spent a good part of his life making his own controversial statements and insulting others (Gays, women, minorities, etc.), I have no ethical problem whatsoever discussing him. And, frankly, I really don't need you to be my guide here.

    Peter Galuszka

  11. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    James Young,
    “Moonbat far left?” Do you actually get away with this style of arguing in court?
    Peter Galuszka

  12. Anonymous Avatar


    Your post above brings to mind concerns about the "black helicopters coming". Really, you are quite the conspriacist.

    "moderates such as Mark Warner, Jim Webb, Tim Kaine and, of course, Barack Obama "

    Now that's proof of your unhingement from reality.

    You have nothing at all to fear from the likes of McDonnell, Bolling, or Cuccinelli bringing in some form of Theocracy in the US. In fact, they would be the first to defent against such a thing! It's the Dems who are trying to force us all into their accepted view of society.

  13. Citizen Tom Avatar
    Citizen Tom

    Larry, it seems to me you may still need to learn how to cut and paste. That is not the complete link.

    Similarly, it may be you are confused about whose rights are being abused. When you force your fellow citizens as tax payers to pay for something, you subject them to a threat. When people don’t pay their taxes, we throw them in jail. What good reason do you have to force people to pay for abortions?

    Does it make you feel better to force others to participate in what they think sinful? Why? Do you want to live in a society where everyone is accustomed to being forced to do what they think horribly wrong?

    Consider your own hypocrisy. You whine and moan about prayer in public. What terrible suffering you must feel as you listen to men ask for succor from God. Then you have the unmitigated gall to put the burden of proof on those who don’t want to pay for the murder of unborn babies. That is perverse. In an earlier era, if someone was so disturbed by prayer, people would have wondered what evil spirit possess him.

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry, I tend to be fairly libertarian on most social issues. I think that abortion, private relations between consenting adults, etc., are generally best left to the individuals involved. So, to some degree, I can agree with your concerns about not imposing moral beliefs on others.

    But let's be fair, the left does a helluva lot more belief imposing than even the Falwells of this world. Let's take health care. Many on the left argue that it is a moral imperative to raise taxes and regulate this, that and everything else to ensure that no one in the U.S. lacks health care. There sure is nothing in the Constitution about a right to health care. So its impetus comes from somewhere else. National health care is imposing some one's moral beliefs on someone else.

    How about ROTC in high schools or military recruiting? I don't hear people arguing that their sons and daughters should be exempt from ROTC or listening to a recruiter. They want to impose their views on the rest of school or the community.

    How about affirmative action? One could make a reasonable argument that America owed descendants of African slaves something, but why Hispanics or why black immigrants? Isn't that imposing one's moral views on society?

    How about those who argue on moral grounds against immigration raids or deporting illegal immigrants with children or other family members who are lawful residents? Isn't that imposing moral views on others?

    I'm not here to argue whether any of these policies are right, wrong or indifferent. But they sure represent some people's moral views that are imposed or are being pushed to be imposed on the rest of society. I don't see the difference between some who want to outlaw abortion and others who want to take more of some one else's paycheck in terms of attempting to impose moral views on others.


  15. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    "What good reason do you have to force people to pay for abortions? "

    the same reasons that we kidnap and torture people who have never had the opportunity to prove their innocence and have killed our own – in the gas chamber…

    Our country was founded as a Representative one where for better or worse – we use elections to decide these issues.

    I don't agree with many of the policies that I feel our government uses against other humans.. including abortion.

    but we have a system for resolving these issues and it's called government and elections.

    The same folks who are opposed to abortions seem to be also opposed to contraception.

    and if they had their way – they'd outlaw both..

    which is very unchristian according to the God I talk to.

    but then … see.. in your mind your God is right.. and therefore you are entitled to impose on others your beliefs of right and wrong.. regardless of their beliefs.

  16. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    TMT – I think the left is just as whacky as the right… in many respects.

    except for two important points:

    1. – they know about the election "thing"

    2. – they know that you cannot really IMPOSE anything – permanently on an unwilling majority or it will result in change at the next election.

    Here's the link that yields an "invalid article"

    if someone can tell me the title of the article – I can do a site search and find it.

  17. Citizen Tom Avatar
    Citizen Tom

    LarryG – I have a limited notion of what government can and should do. Because we have no business deciding a great many things for each other, our government was founded as a republic, not a democracy.

    Consider your own words.

    I don't agree with many of the policies that I feel our government uses against other humans.. including abortion.

    but we have a system for resolving these issues and it's called government and elections.

    In fact, we do not "have a system for resolving these issues." The government cannot resolve the truth of most such matters. What government can do is force the will of the most powerful political constituencies on everyone else.

    When a powerful political constituency forces its will on everyone else, there is only one good justification. People rights are protected more than they are abrogated by the use of government force. When the taxpayers are forced to pay for abortions, the rights both of the unborn child and of the taxpayers are ignored. Such is disgusting behavior.

    Note that I did not say I favored a law against abortion. What I complained about is being forced to pay for abortions. My reason? To be of any use, a law must be enforceable. In most cases, any law banning abortions would result hung juries. For that reason and because the Federal Government had no right to involve itself, I think Roe v. Wade should be overturned and state governments allowed to find a solution.

  18. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    " The government cannot resolve the truth of most such matters."

    but neither can you Tom.

    we can only agree or not through the governance process of a Federal constitutional republic to whit:

    " John Adams defined a constitutional republic as "a government of laws, and not of men."[1] Constitutional republics are a deliberate attempt to diminish the perceived threat of majoritarianism, thereby protecting dissenting individuals and minority groups from the "tyranny of the majority" by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population.[2] The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who are required to legislate with limits of overarching constitutional law which a simple majority cannot modify."

    short answer – a bad as it is – it's way the heck better than living in a country governed by people who think they are the ones that know the truth.

    We've been through this.

    We know how it ends up.

    The founding fathers had this in mind when they sought to guarantee each person the right to practice whatever beliefs they had – at the same time not allowing them to impose them on others under the guise of "government".

    If not mistaken the current President was supportive of letting the states decide the abortion question but I think the world has changed….if this perceived method of resolving issues has "worked" for gay marriages and the like.

    What do we do next?

    Push it to the local county level?

    on the other hand, we deal with the "other" death penalty this way.

  19. Citizen Tom Avatar
    Citizen Tom

    LarryG – Why so convoluted? Why quote Adams and then ignore the fact the Supreme Court amended the Constitution by judicial fiat?

    Why do we have the Defense of Marriage Act (which by the way is clearly Constitutional)? The citizens of the various states did not want runaway courts in other states dictating their marriage laws.

    If you want have sex with another man, nobody is stopping you. Just don't expect anyone to pretend you need to be married to your boyfriend. Nobody should be forced participate in your sins and vices.

  20. Groveton Avatar

    Sorry for the confusion. Here is the shortened link:

    The question, asked by LarryG in a prior article was whether there were professional economists who disagreed with the economic policies of the Obama Administration. Thomas Sowell is one such economist. There are many more.

    As far as the questions in this article – they are a bit disingenuous. Why do liberals always go to Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell when they want to make a point? It would be like conservatives constantly harping about Keith Olbermann and Timothy Leary.

    Liberty University kicked out the Democratic Club. The city of Berkeley (packed with liberal students and professors) tried to kick out the Marine Corps recruiting station in that town. The extremely courageous residents of Berkeley still vandalize the facility on a regular basis. Oddly, these heroes of the modern left never seem to deface the Marines’ recruiting center when the Marines are there. Isn’t it time that we stopped listening to the mindless radical fringe (of all political stripes) on US college campuses? Who cares what these idiots are doing? And certainly it’s a real stretch to go from Liberty University kicking out the Democratic Club to Bob McDonnell turning Virginia into a Christian theocracy. I mean, we had Mark Warner as governor and we all didn’t become pathological liars. And we had George Allen and we all didn’t become dime store cowboys.

    I am guessing that the Commonwealth will survive Mr. McDonnell or Mr. Deeds or Mr McAuliffe. As for Brian Moran – I am a bit less sure. He’s probably a nice guy but even Obama would have ti crane his neck to the left to see Mr. Moran.

  21. Groveton Avatar

    And speaking of censorship … Did Jim Bacon just restrict his “retirement crisis” blog to invited readers only? Maybe he just put me on the “no fly” list. When I tried to log in I got a banner saying that the blog was for “invited readers only”.

  22. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    I can’t get into the Booergeddon thing either.Maybe Bacon’s looking for a better class of blogger.
    Peter Galuszka

  23. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Note to Groveton, Peter and anyone else who has tried to access the “Boomergeddon” blog. No, you haven’t been singled out for restricted access. I have shut down the blog. There are some articles that I’d like to save, so I used a Blogger administrative tool that restricts access rather than deleting it outright. My apologies.

  24. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Finally! Thanks for the link.

    Okay…so Thomas Sowell is a real economist… who then proceeds in his article to say as part of his complaint about Obama policy…

    ” We seem to be moving steadily in the direction of a society where no one is responsible for what he himself did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did, either in the present or in the past.

    The famous editorial cartoonist Herblock could write as well as draw. In one of his books, he said something like: “You too can have the soothing feeling of nature’s own baby-soft wool being pulled gently over your resting eyes.” I think of that every time I see Barack Obama talking.

    We have now reached the truly dangerous point where we cannot even be warned about the lethal, fanatical, and suicidal hatred of our society by Islamic extremists,
    Perhaps the scariest aspect of our times is how many people think in talking points, rather than in terms of real world consequences.

    Barack Obama’s favorable reception during his tour in Europe may be the most enthusiastic international acclaim for a democratic government leader since Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1938, proclaiming “peace in our time.”

    sorry Grovteon – this does not count towards valid criticism of the specifics of the Obama Economic policy…

    this guy is opposed to Obama.. and has the same problem that other lovers of Bush have – they lost the election and they are inconsolable so they bleat like lost lambs in the wilderness beseeching the dire affairs of our country that has lurched away from Conservative Values.

    Citizen Tom has a similar problem.

    Same Church..different pew.

    economics: the theory of the economists that support the policies of the current administrations are that if we are to avoid the Liquidity Trap that a bunch of money needs to be dumped into the economy as fast as possible..much like water on a fire and that the slower it is and the less of it… we could be drawn into a depression

    … which is what they think caused the depression and the problem in Japan in the 90’s.

    One can disagree with the analysis and the administrations solution.

    name the legitimate economists (not the politicos who are addressing this argument as opposed to Sowells generalize blather ?

  25. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    ” Why so convoluted? Why quote Adams and then ignore the fact the Supreme Court amended the Constitution by judicial fiat?”

    in your opinion…obviously…

    you apparently want a country where the rules are written down and can never be changed or if they are changed they can only be changed according to the way you think they should be.

    so you really don’t want a pluralistic Democratic government at all but instead a government where it “has been decided” what is right and what is wrong and the transgressors will be delt with.

    …like they were at Liberty…which is just a microcosm of how our State and Federal Government would be operated under their control.

    In other words, we could only vote on the things that we were allowed to vote on.

    Everything else would be in a rule book kept by the people in charge.

  26. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Let’s see:

    The news this morning is that the conservative National Association of Scholars, which goes after left-wing “political correctness” and diversity and other things it doesn’t like, has castigated Liberty University.
    It says that by denying recognition to the Democrat club, Liberty is showing its timidity in dealing with ideas, failing to prepare its students for future debates and showing that it is acceptable for a university to silence particular points of view.
    And let’s review lawyer James Young’s complaint:

    “The nice thing about reading the insults of the moonbat far Left is that they make it utterly clear that they don’t have the foggiest idea about the beliefs of the people they smear.”

    Mr. Young, do you care to comment on the NAS? And please explain how I haven’t the “foggiest” idea of what I am talking about.

    Peter “Moonbat” Galuszka

  27. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    I think TMT and Groveton are both confusing the difference between advocacy of a system where inviolate rules imposed from on high verses radicalized actions by associations of students – actually opposition to authority – virtually the opposite of repression.

    Here’s the question for you.

    Do you believe that there should be rules/laws that cannot be changed – EVER?

    Because that’s in essence what Citizen Tom is advocating.

    He wants the rules of his GOD to be the inviolate/never alterable laws of the country.

    If his GOD says that killing an innocent child is murder then that would become the law of the land.

    this is way different than a bunch of radical students disrupting a Marine Recruiter – a defining act of defying authority.

  28. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Socialists believe in government ownership of the means of production. Fascists believed in government control of privately owned businesses, which is much more the style of this government. That way, politicians can intervene whenever they feel like it and then, when their interventions turn out badly, summon executives from the private sector before Congress and denounce them on nationwide television.”

    Groveton – did you do your research on Thomas Sowell?

    He’s a fellow at the Hoover Institute.

    founded in 1919 by future U.S. president Herbert Hoover.”

    hey… isn’t he that guy that poo pooed the idea of a Liquidity Trap?

    and this:
    “A number of Hoover Institution fellows had connections to or held positions in the Bush administration..”


    okay Groveton .. your credibility here is waning fast…

    better bring up the other economists names… cuz this one is retro in the extreme…

    How about this.

    Find me an economist who was NOT a Bushie lover… an independent type… who whacks on both Dems and Pachyderms with equal vigor… doesn’t pull any punches…

    and acknowledges the premise behind the Liquidity Trap and soundly and effectively rebuts it.

    ready. set. GO!


  29. Anonymous Avatar

    “Since it is ungodly to force taxpayers to pay for such a thing as the premeditated murder of a baby, it is immoral to insist that taxpayers should pay for abortions. “

    So it is one thing to deny taxpayer funded abortions, but another to ban privately paid for abortions?

    “If his GOD says that killing an innocent child is murder then that would become the law of the land.”

    I don’t think that is what he said: He said it was ungodly to force taxpayers to pay for such a thing. Which leaves aside the idea that ungodly people have rights, too.


  30. Anonymous Avatar

    “Since it is ungodly to force taxpayers to pay for such a thing as the premeditated murder of a baby, it is immoral to insist that taxpayers should pay for abortions. “

    So it is one thing to deny taxpayer funded abortions, but another to ban privately paid for abortions?

    “If his GOD says that killing an innocent child is murder then that would become the law of the land.”

    I don’t think that is what he said: He said it was ungodly to force taxpayers to pay for such a thing. Which leaves aside the idea that ungodly people have rights, too.


  31. Anonymous Avatar

    “you apparently want a country where the rules are written down and can never be changed or if they are changed they can only be changed according to the way you think they should be.”

    Rule changes need to take into consideration those that have made financial investments based onthe previous rules. That does not prevent rule changes, but it makes them more expensive, except for the very best rule changes.


  32. Anonymous Avatar

    Are Moonbats responsible for murdering that Doctor?


  33. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    “rule changes” in a representative form of Government with 3 layers – legislative, judicial and administrative imply that ultimately rule changes happen and there is no such thing as a “rule book” that cannot change – whether it is God’s Word or someone elses.

    In the end – in a Representative form of Governance, there are no unchangeable rule books.

    Ray is correct:

    “I don’t think that is what he said: He said it was ungodly to force taxpayers to pay for such a thing.”

    My apology.

  34. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    I’m no fan of Liberty University. (Don’t get me started on the subject of Creationism). However, I do believe we need to get our facts straight. At blogger Mike’s suggestion I followed the link to the Liberty University web site wjere LU officials complain that the press misrepresented the facts of the controversy (what a surprise!). The facts:

    The University does not “endorse” the club, which means it cannot use the Liberty Baptist name. But the club remains free to meet on campus, and its activities are otherwise unrestricted. To imply that Liberty University’s action constitutes a “ban” is irresponsible, and it plays to paranoid, left-wing fantasies that evangelical Christians want to stomp out opposing viewpoints wherever the occur.

    Assuming the University is describing its action accurately and fairly (and I’m willing to stand corrected if it’s not), I don’t see the controversy.

    I am an atheist, a Darwinist and a theological foe of fundamentalist Christianity, but I’m a lot more worried about the pernicious effects of inaccurate and slanted information peddled by the media in instances like this than I am about Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli foisting a Christian theocracy upon Virginia.

  35. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Jim Bacon,
    So it’s perfectly OK for Liberty officials to say they don’t “endorse” a club that deals with one of the two major political parties in the U.S. and the one that has the White House and both houses of Congress.
    And that’s just fine with you? The “media” should go along and split irrelevant little hairs with you.

    Peter Galuszka

  36. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Here's how the issue was initially reported in the Lynchburg News & Advance:

    cutline: " UPDATE: Kaine calls on LU to reconsider Democratic club ban"

    " Liberty University has revoked its recognition of the campus Democratic Party club, saying “we are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by” the university.

    “It kind of happened out of nowhere,” said Brian Diaz, president of LU’s student Democratic Party organization, which LU formally recognized in October.

    Diaz said he was notified of the school’s decision May 15 in an e-mail from Mark Hine, vice president of student affairs.

    According to the e-mail, the club must stop using the university’s name, holding meetings on campus, or advertising events. Violators could incur one or more reprimands under the school’s Liberty Way conduct code, and anyone who accumulates 30 reprimands is subject to expulsion.

    Hine said late Thursday that the university could not sanction an official club that supported Democratic candidates.

    “We are in no way attempting to stifle free speech.”

    Hine said the university had recently completed a policy that would govern clubs and organizations on campus.

    “We looked at each club and organization to determine where it stood and unfortunately this one kind of got in the sights of policy, if you will,” he said.


  37. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G


    bit by the 4096 limit…

    Hine’s e-mail mentioned that he had expressed a concern to Diaz about the national Democratic Party’s platform during a meeting earlier in the semester.

    Last fall, Diaz said, Hine had complimented the club for being a faith-based organization working within the Democratic Party.

    Jan Dervish, secretary of the club, and Maria Childress, its staff adviser, said they met with Hine after the revocation and asked for a further explanation.

    “He said it wasn’t us. It was the national Democratic Party,” which the campus club’s constitution supports, Dervish said. The campus club also opposes abortion and supports the traditional view of marriage, Dervish said.

    “His bottom line was, ‘You can’t be a Democrat and be a Christian and be a university representative,’” Childress said.

    Hine denied saying that.

    Part of Hine’s e-mail said, “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.)” LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

    Mark Lawrence, chairman of the citywide Lynchburg Democratic Party, called The News & Advance Thursday after he learned about the revocation.

    “My issue with this is the statement that the Democratic Party platform is contrary to the mission of Liberty University and to Christian doctrine,” Lawrence said. “They are essentially saying, ‘you cannot be a Christian and a Democrat.’”

  38. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G


    Lawrence said he doesn’t personally support every plank in the party’s platform, and many Democrats also have their own differences with the document, which is assembled every four years for the national convention.

    Hine’s e-mail said, “The candidates this club supports uphold the platform and implement it. The candidates supported are directly contrary to the mission of Liberty University.”

    The goals of the Democratic Party and LU “run in opposite directions,” the e-mail said.

    LU has had a College Republicans club for several years.

    Claire Ayendi, who was chairman of the Republican club last year and graduated this spring, said she didn’t regard the university’s disbanding of the Democratic group as a political act.

    “I think it’s more like a moral issue,” Ayendi said. “Letting a club like that exist goes against what the school is founded on,” she said.

    Democratic Party club adviser Childress, an administrative assistant in the university’s honors program, said she sees her role as supporting students, especially their academic status.

    “I love and support the university,” said Childress, who earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from LU in 2004. “But my support is to the students as well. My number one goal is protecting them,” she said.

    Dervish said he asked Hine whether LU would let him work off campus in Democratic Party activities. Dervish said Hine told him and Childress that students’ activities outside the school were not affected by the university’s decision to revoke the club’s recognition.

    In a written statement sent to The News & Advance Thursday night, Hine said, “Among other things, Liberty University stands for the sanctity of human life. The loss of human life through abortion is a great tragedy and we cannot remain silent when the political policies or politicians themselves promote the destruction of innocent human life.

    “While those who are members of the LU Democratic Club are well intentioned and honorable, the platform and policies of the national Democratic Party and the candidates supported by that party, and thus the student organization itself, are inconsistent with the mission of the University.”

    while I agree that the use of the word "ban" is technically incorrect… the net result of it… to threaten members who violated " the club must stop using the university’s name, holding meetings on campus, or advertising events." with expulsion

    is in my mind.. the same as a BAN…. because they are threatening expulsion for "violations".

    Ya'll can defend this and claim the press misrepresented it… but I think they got the essence of the actions that LU took…

    they amount to a de-facto BAN in my view.

    and they put out a clear message about LU's tolerance of views that differ from theirs.

    come on JAB… this is the LOCAL newspaper that is quoting from the email traffic…

  39. Anonymous Avatar

    “They are essentially saying, ‘you cannot be a Christian and a Democrat.’”

    That could thin out the Christians.

  40. Groveton Avatar


    Please follow the link below. It lists about 100 professional economists who strongly oppose Barack Obama’s stimulus plan. Many are affiliated with top universities. If you want to pick one for further review – please Google Ken Elzinga from the University of Virginia. Mr. Elzinga was my economics professor at UVA. Of course, as a acknowledged Christian, I am sure that his opinions will be discounted by many on this blog. If you try hard enough I imagine you can find some “human secularists” on this list of economists.

    As for Thomas Sowell – interesting that you heap disrespect on him. Dr. Sowell is an African American who grew up dirt poor in Norther Carolina and Harlem. He dropped out of school, cast about a bit and them joined the US Marines serving in the Korean War. During his time in the Marines he realized that he was not a victim and was perfectly capable of using his considerable intellect and talent to further his professional ambitions. Returning from Korea Dr. Sowell passed the GED and entered Howard University in Washington, DC. He transferred to Harvard graduating magna cum laude. He got his masters degree at Columbia and his doctorate at The University of Chicago. Dr. Sowell has taught economics at Howard, Brandeis, Cornell and UCLA. While I am sure he’s not in your league as an economist, Dr. Sowell does the best he can. You also seem to have forgotten that the Hoover Institition is part of Stanford University. Dr. Sowell holds a chair named after Rose and Milton Friedman.

  41. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Dr. Sowell has indeed an accomplished background. But he’s always a favorite economist for conservatives to trot out. While I respect his background, I often disagree with his ideas.

    Peter Galuszka (a Moonbat Christian who will never make it to heaven).

    PS: Larry Gross, Thanks for using the Lynchburg newspaper to shoot down the Big Bacon. He is such a shameless apologist at times.

  42. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    By the way, you might need new eyeglasses. But my post never said that Liberty “baned” the Democtratic club but “all but banned it.” I think that’s a fairly accurate description. You are wrong to say I said flat out “ban.”

    Peter Galuszka

  43. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    All but banned”?

    Weasel, words, Galuszka, weasel words!

  44. Anonymous Avatar

    Larry – are there laws that cannot be changed? Assuming that we are dealing with laws from the political sphere (and not laws of physics, chemistry or even religious laws (I’m not about to get into an argument with Moses about whether there should be an 11th commandment), I say that the answer is most likely “no.” Laws made by one group of human beings must be subject to change by another group of human beings.

    But the keys are: who gets to change the laws; and how are they changed? I certainly have no problem with this Congress voting to repeal or modify laws enacted by previous sessions of Congress. I might like or strongly oppose the new laws on their merits, but one Congress cannot bind its successors. Similarly, I’d have no problem with a Congress that meets in 2013 from undoing major actions of the current Congress.

    Of course, Congress and the president are bound by the Constitution. They cannot, for example, decide to tax only women or tax only men.

    But I cannot accept major fundamental changes made by judicial fiat or bureaucratic order. We need these fundamental decisions to be made by elected officials who can be tossed from office or reelected. Reading an opinion by the late Wm O Douglas where he divines new constitutional rights from penumbras and emanations offended me years ago and still does today. But then again, I don’t think that I would have liked edicts coming from King John either. The Magna Carta was a big step forward.


  45. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Peter and Larry, my personal view is that Liberty University made a mistake by withdrawing recognition of the Democratic Club. The action only reinforces the perception among outsiders that L.U. is a very narrow minded institution. Furthermore, the decision overlooks the fact that not all Democrats believe in the right to “choose.”

    I am merely protesting the loose use of language, which the newspaper apparently engaged in and Peter innocently picked up. The university’s statement is explicit: The Democratic Club has not been “banned”; it can continue holding meetings on campus. The university simply wants to disassociate itself from the club.

    While that may be a debatable decision (to repeat myself, I personallyl think it was a mistake), there is an order of magnitude difference between refusing to “endorse” a club and from “banning” it from campus. The debate in this blog needs to focus on the real offense, not an imaginary one.

  46. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    In all seriousness, the Lynchburg newspaper story says that the admninstration’s negative attitude about the Democrat party will have implications for whatever students choose to hold meetings anyway. It certainly creates a highly negative atmosphere for it and I do not think there is any loosness that I innocently picked up here. Liberty is obviously a tightly run outfit if they have a 46-page code of conduct and having the top tell the bottom Democrats are a no-no is anathema at any so-called university. One would safely assume that any student who defies authority and holds a Democratic Club meeting is going to fele some heat.
    You want to present yourself as a stickler for accuracy, but you are sticking your head in the sand at what is really being done here.

    Peter Galuszka

  47. Brian Avatar

    I think LU’s decision to revoke the Dem Club’s recognition is a bad one. However, claiming that the club was “all but banned” is at best disingenuous. The club can still meet on campus and use some campus facilities for its meetings. One cannot reasonably reconcile these facts with the claim that it was “all but banned.”

  48. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    Groveton – thanks for the link… I’ll look into it.

    What I’m looking for are economists who know and acknowledge what a Liquidity Trap is (or is not) and then put forth a different approach .. with no prejudice towards Obama… but rather the plan…

    Here’s one that meets my standards:

    Sowell fails the test because he launches into political and moral discussions without ever doing a simple analysis and how he would do it differently – as shown in the one that I provided.

    Your list of 100 economists is impressive and they do specifically address the Liquidity Trap concept but they fail (miserably) the alternative path … to wit:

    ” To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

    this is your standard 8-year old Republican PAP…

    It fails the Wendy’s Test.

    WHERE’S the BEEF?

    what they are offering as an alternative to a big stimulus is the same thing they offered before the economy went belly-up.

    These guys are your run-of-the-mill “crank turners”…

    If these guys were in charge, we’d be right smack in the middle of another Depression the same way that Mr. Hoover failed to act decisively … and Mr. Sowell is in this same camp.

    What these guys are basically saying is that we really don’t have to do anything any differently than we were BEFORE the meltdown…

  49. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    TMT – I think the forefathers knew that laws would be changed… they even allowed for changes to the Constitution and changes by judicial fiat if you will…

    but what they also did was make it HARD to enact a change and make it stick if it did not have the support of a strong majority of people.

    Changes to laws and Constitution.. the more fundamental they are..the harder the process for changing them is…

    all in all .. it’s not a fun system, in part, because laws that are wrong… even…are hard to change…

    it took more than a hundred years for us to recognize the poor treatment of black people that we had in effect “legalized” – even by the Supreme Court….

    In another 100 years.. we may well see abortion outlawed… and as well as the laws against gay marriage…

    Who would have guessed that in a nation that still has traces (some say more) of outright racism.. than a black man became President?

    The problem in Va.. in my view.. is that we do not have as citizens – the right of citizen-initiated Referenda.

    Some will say that such a thing in the hands of citizens is dangerous – I think the opposite myself.

    Good, bad or indifferent – our system of governance… as unsatisfactory as it is a revolutionary approach as compared to earlier attempts at governance…

  50. Groveton Avatar


    The conservative economists believe that the cure is worse than the disease. I think they’d say that the way you get into a liquidity trap is through mass overconsumption and excessive borrowing (by individuals and teh state). Right now the Obama Administration is continuing to artificially prop up housing prices and not just “double down” but “quadruple down” on debt.

    There is also a sizable minority of economists who feel that FDR’s programs during the Great Depression actually worsened and extended the depression. These people believe that America recovered in spite of the New Deal rather than because of the New Deal.

    In fairness, there are more economists who believe that the Liquidity Trap was the biggest problem facing the United States and that problem had to be solved. They see the increased spending as something of an adreneline injection to stop a heart attack. They argue (with some logic) that the adverse effects of the adrenaline are minor compared to the adverse effects of a stopped heart. The conservatives would remind people that too much adrenaline stops a beating heart.

    Back to the New Deal – Here are US civilian unemployment statistics by year:

    FDR was elected in 1932. Unemployemnt only really fell in 1942. I can understand how some people might say that WWII cured the Great Depression, not the New Deal.

    In addition, prices fell up to 10% per year during the Great Depression. Inflation for 2008 (per CPI) was 3.8%, up from 2.8% in 2007. There has been modest deflation so far this year although monthly numbers are somewhat unreliable. And please don’t tell me that Obama’s stimulus plan has checked what would have been a huge deflationary spiral. A lot has been discussed, a little has allocated, almost none has been spent. But has Obama’s plans helped consumer confidence? I think so. Consumer confidence rose pretty sharply in April and May as the stimulus plans were better understood. So, maybe Obama is on the right track. There are certainly many well respected economists – like Paul Krugman – who think so.

  51. Larry G Avatar
    Larry G

    okay. We have achieved communication.

    I agree with your analysis virtually in toto.

    It basically boils down to the fact that as Warren Buffet said – do you believe that we had/are having an Economic Pearl Harbor that slid us toward the Liqidity Trap ( major symptom = Fed Interest Rate goes to zero and cannot go any lower… so that technique as a way to stimulate the economy is lost and the private sector (including individuals) has/is hunkered down – basically strangling the money supply.

    … consumption falls.. jobs go away… how to reverse it?

    .. The answer I’ve heard is that you have no choice but to dump a huge slug of money into the economy.. and keep adding it until you start to see it circulating as opposed to hoarded.

    okay.. so if you “buy” the Liquidity Trap (which even some of the Conservative Economists do… see the conservative Weekly Standard article:

    okay.. so if you buy the trap theory and you’re opposed to/reject the “helicopter money”

    … what is your REAL plan – specific to this particular problem… which .. in my mind requires something more/different than the same advice the Conservatives were peddling before the Economic Pearl Harbor?

    The stated goal of the deficit spending is literally to re-inflate the economy… and yes.. there is major pain downstream…

    when/if the economy sputters back to life.. there will have to be budget cuts and tax increases out the wazoo.

    there’s opportunity here though…for a reform of our tax structure… do you hear the words “consumption tax”?

    I admit to being much more than head and shoulders below even your average run-of-the-mill economist but the Liquidity Trap idea is plausible in my mind and if that is what the Bushies and now Obama’s team with a 180 degree governance philosophy are attempting to carry out… and I don’t see a swelling tide of mainstream economists who are wringing their hands about “massive deficits” then I’ll go with the guys currently running that ship…

  52. edgycater Avatar

    It sounds like Peter believes Christians should have freedom of speech OR freedom of religion, but certainly not both. Whenever someone uses the term "theocracy" you know you are dealing with a loon or anti-Christian zealot. "Free exercise" is in a much more precarious position than "establishment."

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