Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine turns political as LU takes a stand

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Liberty University decided last week to remove its financial support of the LU College Democrats group, a move that seems in keeping with the pro-life and pro-family principles the college espouses. In fact, the university appears to be bending over backwards to make some accommodation for the group, but, apparently, to little avail.

    The chancellor of LU, Jerry Falwell Jr., has made a proposal to allow the group to have a modified charter if it affiliated itself with the Democrats for Life of America. Among that organization’s goals is to specifically oppose abortion, and to not endorse those who would be pro-choice. But the group seems hesitant to accept that offer.

    While the abortion issue is at the center of the controversy, politics is making its way in as well.

    Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, also the Democratic National Committee chairman, weighed in on the issue this week, stating: “I urge the leadership of Liberty University to reverse this attack on the liberty of its students and allow the College Democrats to have the same rights on campus as their counterparts, the College Republicans.”

    He went on to say that most Democrats are people of faith.  “Democrats are active in faith-based institutions across the country.  My own work as a missionary in Central America inspired me to become active in public service.  That spirit of public service has been a hallmark of the Liberty University College Democrats. ...” The issue is not in service, but rather what issue is being served.

    Kaine’s weighing in on the issue appears to be nothing more than political, if compared to his relative silence a couple of years ago regarding a controversy at William and Mary.  That was when the new president of the college chose to remove the 100-year old Wren Cross from the college’s 274-year-old school chapel in order to make it “more welcoming.”

    Like most universities, William and Mary was founded, at least in part, to train up men for Christian ministry. The best Kaine could muster up to say on the cross issue, concerning a state-supported school, was this: “My basic feeling about it, though, is look, this was built at William and Mary as a chapel. And I think to respect what it has been, the role it has played in the college, and to have the cross there certainly did not offend me.” He chose to stay out of the controversy by saying he didn’t want to “micromanage” the school’s affairs.

    But not now. “For Liberty University to deprive the College Democrats of the same opportunity as College Republicans to associate and be a recognized as a campus organization violates that fundamental principle of fairness and teaches the students the wrong message about civil life as they move from college into the broader world.”


    So, according to Kaine, a private university that opposes abortion on religious grounds should use funds from its donors to support a group that endorses candidates that fight vigorously against that. LU did not tell the College Democrats that they couldn’t have a voice, but rather that the group would not receive funding from the school. That stand appears to be perfectly in line with the university’s goal to train up young men and women to have a Christian worldview.