Ted Cruz

Liberty U. Students Forced to Attend Ted Cruz Speech, Make Stand for Rand [UPDATED]

'Stand for liberty!' presidential candidate demands of captive audience.

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Ted Cruz
Youtube

Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign at Liberty University this morning in front of a captive audience of nearly 10,000 students—none of whom had any choice in whether to attend.

That's because all Liberty students are obligated to show up for convocations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Absenteeism results in "four reprimands and a $10 fine," according to student Daniel Joseph Hayes.

Hayes complained that Cruz's decision to make his announcement at a Liberty U. convocation was "starkly deceptive," since it might appear to outside observers that throngs of students had decided to support Cruz of their own volition. He wrote, according to Bloomberg:

I strongly object to Senator Cruz's choice of venue for the announcement of his 2016 presidential bid: as is well-known by Liberty University students but considerably less well-known by the general public, all students are required to attend convocation every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Sen. Cruz is a friend of the Liberty University administration and has spoken at convocation in the past. As such, he knows that all students are required to be in attendance. I bear no ill will toward Sen. Cruz, but his choice to announce his 2016 presidential bid at convocation at Liberty University is a starkly deceptive one. Should the general public be unaware that all students are required to attend convocation, it would seem to the average viewer (as this will be televised and is already being widely publicized) that 10,000 supporters came to Liberty University to hear Sen. Cruz's announcement. However, every student in attendance has no say in the matter. Students will either attend convocation and lend to the illusion of widespread support for Sen. Cruz, or they will be subject to administrative punishment–specifically, four reprimands and a $10 fine–if they are absent. While Sen. Cruz has every right to run for president and to announce his candidacy, it is a highly deceptive, albeit politically savvy, move on Sen. Cruz's part to make his big announcement here. I do not support this action, and I am not alone in my belief that such deception is wrong.

Nevertheless, students who support somebody other than Cruz found creative ways to make themselves heard. Several wore "Stand with Rand" T-shirts during Cruz's announcement, and the campus's Young Americans for Liberty group canvassed for Paul—who is expected to announce his candidacy next month—before and after the event. Other students used Yik Yak, an anonymous texting app, to voice criticisms of Cruz during the event, according to Business Insider.

While Liberty University, a private organization, is free to compel its students to suffer through whatever soul-crushing campaign announcements it deems perversely essential to their education or moral development, there's still something vexing (to me, anyway) about an institution with "liberty" in its name requiring attendance at a political event. I emailed Liberty's press department to find out whether the university would have actually punished students for skipping the event. If I hear back, I will post an update.

Update: Liberty University released the following statement from President Jerry Falwell:

"Convocation is not a worship service. Convocation is Liberty's educational forum for students to hear from speakers with a wide diversity of viewpoints from all walks of life — entertainment, business, politics, ministry, and more — many of whom are globally respected as experts in their areas. It is no secret that Convocation is held three times a week and attendance is required, just like class is required for students. No one is expected to agree with every speaker on every point. In fact, Convocation speakers do not all line up with traditional Evangelical Christian viewpoints or even Liberty University's doctrinal statement. A fundamental part of the college experience is being exposed to a variety of viewpoints so students can better understand why they hold their own beliefs and be better prepared to defend them. Liberty intentionally gives every student this opportunity to become well-rounded on important matters of faith and culture.

The fact that some students attended the service wearing T-shirts supporting another potential candidate shows that our students are not indoctrinated; they are free — and encouraged — to form their own opinions about what they hear in Convocation and to express it.

I should, however, point out that standing ovations are not required. Students are free to cheer or boo as they see fit. I also think it is irresponsible to take anonymous social media posts and assume that they are students, or are representative of the entire student body.

It fills me with great pride, then, to see that our students consistently provide such a warm atmosphere for every speaker who comes to campus, regardless if they agree with them or not.

Right after Convocation today, a pre-med student, who is a Democrat, came up to me and shared his appreciation for Convocation and how we bring in such a diverse panel of speakers. He said that he appreciated the opportunity to hear from Sen. Cruz so close to his announcement to run for president. He appreciated that Liberty was chosen as a platform for such a prominent moment. The student told me that he enjoyed the speech and even found some common ground with Senator Cruz on many issues."

Watch Cruz's speech below.

(Edit: I initially misattributed Hayes' statement to YAL chapter president Eli McGowan. I also misstated the number of students at the event.)

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  1. I emailed Liberty’s press department to find out whether the university would have actually punished students for skipping the event. If I hear back, I will post an update.

    Does that really matter? If students are told they’d be punished for not attending, does it really matter if the institution later says “We were just kidding, we wouldn’t have really done that”?

    (yes, Liberty University is a private institution and yes, they have the right to do that. I have the right to say it’s a douchebag thing to do, and I also have the right to say that, assuming he knew of the required attendance (and I have no reason to think he didn’t), that Cruz is a dickhead for choosing to have his announcement there.)

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      1. When is Reason going to implement some spam filters? This is just embarrassing.

        1. Not soon enough, despite even my efforts in the way of ‘replies’… see my reply…

    2. Yes, it does matter. Currently it’s just the student’s claim (which I believe) against silence. This gives them the opportunity to either prove the student wrong (and document that), to admit to something potentially embarrasing for their guy Cruz, or to risk lying through their teeth. Full of win, from where I’m sitting.

      1. Currently it’s just the student’s claim…

        That convocation is mandatory and there are penalties for being absent? Is there some other claim being made?

        1. No, that’s the only claim being made.

          That’s because all Liberty students are obligated to show up for convocations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Absenteeism results in “four reprimands and a $10 fine,” according to student Eli McGowan, who is president of the campus’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter. [Emphasis mine]

          But AFAIK no member of the press has verified this either from the administration, other current or former students or from written policies such as a student handbook.

          1. A student subject to the reprimands verified it.

            1. They should have at least provided a safe place for traumatized students to seek safe harbor after being fored to listen to such hateful and hurtful words.

              Maybe there could have been a loop of Rand Paul quotes murmuring in the background to soothe rumpled feathers.

              1. They should have piped in quotes during his speech to endorse Mitch Mcconnell, that would have soothed their libertarian hearts.

            2. They should have at least provided a safe place for traumatized students to seek safe harbor after being fored to listen to such hateful and hurtful words.

              Maybe there could have been a loop of Rand Paul quotes murmuring in the background to soothe rumpled feathers.

            3. After hearing that speech, I’d need blankets and pillows, and a few shots of tequila.

          2. His announcement was technically first on social media…he just gave his first speech about it there. I went to Liberty and I’m a proud graduate! It’s a Conservative Christian school…they don’t hide that from anyone so people need to stop acting like it’s horrible that they believe what they believe. Convo is great and we always enjoyed them. Also, only students who live on campus are “required” to go all three days of the week. Students who live off campus only are required to go on Wednesdays.

            1. I’m not acting; I really think it’s all pretty horrible.

          3. See the [b]Convocation[/b] section of http://www.liberty.edu/media/1….._Guide.pdf to verify.

            1. That should be Convocation; that’s the problem with using fora that vary in their use of HTML vs. BBSCode.

      2. Google provides the answer:

        https://www.liberty.edu/media/1216/SAC Handbook 2010-2011.pdf

        “4 Reprimands + $10.00 Fine:

        – Absence from required meeting (Convocation, etc.)”

        LU makes no secret of the consequences.

        1. Actually, it could be worse:

          “30 Reprimands + $500.00 Fine + 30 Hours Disciplinary Community Service + Possible Administrative Withdrawal:

          – Abortion
          – Involvement with witchcraft, s?ances or other satanic or demonic activity”

        2. Thanks.

          LU makes no secret of the consequences.

          But also noteworthy that they didn’t own up to those consequences in the smug, self-congratulatory statement.

    3. When accepted, Liberty students sign a document agreeing to attend Convo three times a week. They also agree to keep their rooms clean, not steal from each other, and not drink alcohol. All of these engender consequences, which students are aware of ahead of time as they agree to this before they show up on the first day of school. This has absolutely nothing to do with any individual Convo speaker. They would have been penalized for missing Rand Paul’s Convo speech in 2013 as well.

    4. His announcement was technically first on social media…he just gave his first speech about it there. I went to Liberty and I’m a proud graduate! It’s a Conservative Christian school…they don’t hide that from anyone so people need to stop acting like it’s horrible that they believe what they believe. Convo is great and we always enjoyed them. Also, only students who live on campus are “required” to go all three days of the week. Students who live off campus only are required to go on Wednesdays.

      1. As a proud JMU grad who has several friends from Lynchburg, I can say that we generally found it hilarious when LU folks talked about how it wasn’t that bad at Liberty or the times they bent the rules (like drinking alcohol or GASP had a lady over for the night) while they were there, like they were kids getting away with stashing extra candy bars under their bed.

        I think a lot of people went to that school because of family or community pressure, not because they loved the idea of an all-Christian school. Students who chose to study in a more independent environment had a lot of other choices throughout the state.

        Aside from that, Jerry Falwell Sr. was a blight on that town when he was alive, going so far as to force a high school to rescind a “cutest couple” vote that ended up nominating two gay girls and buying and renaming Candlers Mountain to “Liberty Mountain” and putting a giant LU on it like some kind of Hollywood sign. Cruz’s choice of venue is very telling, I think.

        1. You couldn’t be more wrong, and you are speaking YOUR opinion, not fact not the opinion of Liberty students. There is a big difference. I will pray for you as it sounds like you really need it.

  2. Isn’t this interesting:

    What was not well reported in the American media is that President Obama and his allies were playing in the election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu,” John McLaughlin, a Republican strategist, said in an interview on John Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” radio show broadcast Sunday on AM 970 in New York.

    “There was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through non-profit organizations. And there were various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu,” McLaughlin said.

    http://thehill.com/policy/inte…..n-reported

    Not OT, because Cruz:

    “I think the president, Tuesday night, felt like he lost,” said Zeldin, who along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has questioned the Obama administration over OneVoice’s funding and nonprofit status.

    1. It’s stories like this that convince me that it’s impossible to undo the mess that we call the US Gov’t without a top-down reset.

    2. Obama was unknowingly Netanyahu’s closest ally in the election. Everything that Obama touches, turns to shit, everyone he comes out in support of, loses. This time he even managed to fuck over the person he was supporting without anyone knowing it. I really hope he endorses the democratic nominee in 2016.

    3. And, to a (mythical) smart GOPer, US interference in Israeli elections can be made into a Hillary issue.

  3. Seriously, how could anyone who choose to attend Liberty University be surprised that they were forced to attend some sort of right wing political indoctrination? The whole reason people go to the place in the first place is because they like their indoctrination right wing and don’t want to be subjected to the left wing indoctrination going on at most other schools.

    It is from the outside deeply weird to force students to go to a political speech. That fact calls into question Cruz’s judgement in announcing his candidacy there. It doesn’t make the students any kind of victims, however, because they clearly knew what they were getting into when they chose to go there.

    1. I think you can know that you’ll be forced to attend thrice weekly meetings and still think it’s unsavory that a candidate uses those forced meetings to gain a captive audience.

      1. Especially a candidate who’s competing against other conservatives for the nomination — it’s not even like he’s the TEAM RED candidate in the general election and thus the default politician of choice for that group.

      2. I wouldn’t put it past any politician, but….

        Do you really think someone arranged this speech something like this?

        “Dear Liberty U. President Dickwad,

        I would like to address your students and announce my candidacy for POTUS at that time. Could you please provide me a time where it is mandatory for every student to listen to me?

        Thanks,

        Ted”

    2. Maybe they went to Liberty because they thought the sweatshirts were cool. Kind of like buying a Jeep Liberty for the wheel cover.

  4. all Liberty students are obligated to show up for convocations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Absenteeism results in “four reprimands and a $10 fine,”

    Sweet liberty.

    1. University life is apparently now just rape allegations, all the way down.

      1. Damnit, that reply was to Steve G below…

        1. Been on and off the interwebz (damn work), but it appears like the last nail is in the coffin. HOWEVER, it’s not going to stop Couric from having her little one sided rape epidemic summit after the press conference is over…

          1. Anything that happens on a lefty campus spreads like wildfire to all the rest of them. Suddenly, this is the most important thing everywhere, it’s like the universities are having a contest to see who can have the worst rape culture and be the most concerned about it. Group think, it’s a brain virus.

        2. I dunno, it seemed to work pretty well, here…

  5. OT: breaking news. 3 mins to UVA rape investigation report….
    http://news.yahoo.com/police-p…..13344.html

    1. Katie Couric is trying to get past all this “facts”-stuff and ask the more-important questions about “how can police make it easier for people to come forward and report sexual assaults”, which as we all know is the looming ‘silent problem’ . Basically, ‘lets not dwell on the fact that this ‘victim’ was completely full of shit. because girls don’t lie,’

      To her credit, she just asked a question about whether universities should be in the position to “investigate and adjudicate accusations of crimes”, and the cop was basically, ‘they’re not capable and it presents conflicts of interests….’

      wow = common sense. On TV no less.

      ah, now she’s bringing up the ‘black kid hit by ABC cops’. Implied Racism! Because context matters. Cops are yucky and they hate blacks *and* women.

      The cop is a political pro. He seems to have mastered the ‘repeat people’s question back at them in 6 different ways’-tactic that makes it sound like they’ve “listened’ even though they don’t actually answer any question.

  6. none of whom had any choice in whether to attend

    To be fair, they had a choice about whether to attend Liberty U. And they probably should have made a different one.

    1. It is exactly that Nikki. It is not like the place makes any secret about what it is. I wouldn’t want to go there. If I did, however, I would have no right to complain about this kind of thing.

      1. Completely anecdotal but when I worked on and off The Hill I worked with and even became friends with a handful of Liberty grads and I was shocked at how normal they were. But y’all’s point remains, they clearly know what they are getting into by choosing to study there.

    2. Regrets? Those people watching Ted Cruz bloviate about the future have a few.

      1. But – too few to matter….

        Or so I’m told.

      2. I would definitely pay $10 (and four reprimands) not to listen to Ted Cruz.

    3. Yes, they should have gone to McGill. We all should have gone to McGill.

      1. McGill, in Canada? THAT McGill?

        No, thanks – I wish I’d gone to Hillsdale. Actually private, as in accepts no gummint money, grants, scholarships, nothin’ – and big on the Constitution. Plus, Michigan, for the trifecta.

        1. Your math, where Michigan is credit rather than a debit, frightens and confuses me.

          1. It’s a credit on the liability side of the ledger.

          2. +1 the OSU

      2. My mom wanted me to go to Grove City College. Um…no thanks, Mom.

        1. You should have gone, you could have had more sex than when you were a boy scout leader.

          A former co-worker of mine went to SPU. Sweet kid, but he didn’t seem to be getting any. At all.

      3. College is a time for choosing among progressive meccas. You know, like Baltimore.

        1. We libertarians are taking over Balmer, there are 3 of us in the city now!

        2. Look Nicole, all I’m saying is that we all make stupid decisions. Like living in Chicago.

          1. IT IS SO FUN SNOW SNOW HAVING A BLAST

            1. Are you drunk yet? Because that makes it more fun.

        3. snicker

    4. I little hard to parse, but it looks like they had a choice between attending and getting a reprimand and maybe a $10 fine.

      1. Four reprimands plus a ten dollar fine. And I have no idea how the demerits (reprimands) are structured and how four of them compare to, say, being caught drinking.

        1. What would be the exchange rate of reprimands plus $10 to one Schrute buck?

          1. And check with Gore to see if they’re convertible into Carbon Credits, too…

    5. And it’s also possible that many of them are faced with the choice of a free (paid for by parents) education at Liberty vs paying their own way (including loans) at a godless, secular school. Which is still a choice.

    6. Well and if this particular convocation was just so absolutely objectionable, be absent, take your reprimand, pay your $10, and move on. It’s still a choice.

    7. Is it generally understood by Liberty U students signing on to attend convocation that in doing so they will be compelled to serve as props for politicians engaged in electioneering? I’m thinking no reasonable person would have any such expectation.

  7. there’s still something vexing (to me, anyway) about an institution with “liberty” in its name requiring attendance at a political event.

    If there’s one thing about the word “liberty” that is beyond argument, is that it’s most often used as a silk glove to conceal the iron gauntlet of tyranny.

    1. *punches FS in balls with silk-covered iron gauntlet*

      1. Your…methods….are intriguing, and I would be interested in subscribing to any newsletters you may publish….

        1. Oh, this wasn’t a thread on the social benefits of compulsory 50 Shades of Grey viewing?

      2. *punches FS in balls with silk-covered iron gauntlet*

        I know it hurt, but your hand feels very gentle so I accept that I deserved it.

    2. It would seem to me, those espousing liberty, typically would mean it. Those espousing government force, and claiming it’s liberty, are easily seen as lying hypocrites. Kind of like Obama’s “we’d have better government if everyone was forced to vote” which is obviously better for the ones forcing people to vote, as opposed to those who want to be free to do something else.

  8. I’m not sure what to think about this. It bothers me a little only because it seems sort of Obama like. I’m not saying that this was Cruz’s intention. I have no idea what they guy was thinking.

    But if he plans to take the youth vote from Rand, I think he’s going to fail in that. He could very well take the SoCon vote from Rand, though. Most of the more conservative sites that I’ve read comments on, most of them love Cruz and think that Rand is going to open up the gates and let all the Mexicans in, right before he let’s ISIS and Iran get nuclear weapons.

    1. I was heartened that there was so much RP support at Liberty, at least among the students. I am somewhat hopeful.

    2. Ted Cruz isn’t going to siphon any more social conservative votes from Paul than Huckabee or Jeb Bush will. You’ve got a bunch of social conservatives ripping on each other to try and be the one to go up against Shrillery and Rand Paul in a sparse field of fiscally-minded, libertarian-friendly conservatives. I think the current slate of candidates lining up favors Paul more than guys like Cruz. That said, I still think it ends up being Scott Walker for the nomination…which isn’t my preferred candidate, but I’m alright with it being him since he destroys unions.

  9. “We don’t need no education!
    We don’t need no thought control!”

    Well, perhaps you do.

  10. Like others I don’t see any issue here. It’s a school founded by fundamentalist Christians, do you really expect them to be big on giving young people freedom of choice?

    It makes Cruz look desperate that he had to co-opt a mandatory convocation to make this announcement instead of doing it in his home state surrounded by supporters. I really would like to know what the logic was there.

    1. Come for the SoCon sop, stay for the captive audience.

      1. Exactly, Sug.

      2. Yep.

        Captive audience and a standing ovation.

        1. Is there a standing O provision in the reprimand handbook, or was that spontaneous?

      3. Come for the liberty, stay for the internment.

    2. Stupid to make the announcement in a setting that provides such an easy distraction.

      Color me unimpressed.

      1. Well, there are other settings that would provide easy distractions. Like a wet t-shirt contest during Spring Break. That would color me impressed.

        1. Seconded.

          “And then Senator Cruz went to a local margarita joint to do body shots…”

    3. Not just fundamentalist Christians. Fundamentalist Christians with a taste for politics and grandstanding assholery.

    4. It makes Cruz look desperate that he had to co-opt a mandatory convocation to make this announcement instead of doing it in his home state surrounded by supporters.

      This. A very inauspicious beginning.

    5. Yes.

      One of the basic tenets of fundamentalist christianity is that salvation is a persdonal choice.

      I think. I havent read The Fundamentals or anything.

      1. Nor Calvin, I gather

        1. Insert rush lyrics here.

        2. I am not very calvinist.

          However, I also see no contradiction between predestination and free will.

    6. He could have come out at Texas A&M and had 20k volunteer attendees.

      Anything to justify skipping class.

  11. What an asshole. But that’s politics. Making your announcement with a crowd of young people behind you is good imagery, but what an asshole thing to do.

  12. Absenteeism results in “four reprimands and a $10 fine,”

    If I ran a University, students who didn’t show up to a meeting would be subject to two turntables and a microphone.

    1. At Libertate University, all you have to do is pay your tuition. Whether you attend class or take tests is solely up to you.

      1. But, how are you going to ensure that 4 in 5 students are not raped? You could be the first to overcome this rape culture.

        1. I’m in the education business, not the rape business.

          1. But ProL, all you know is ball…and good…and rape.

            1. You’re thinking of Dean Warty.

              1. I dunno about making Warty dean, ProL. But as long as I get a lifetime tenured position teaching something I am just now going to make up, I guess I can live with it.

              2. A lowly deanship? Chancellor at a minimum.

                1. Look, he asked for Dean of Love.

      2. If no one is attending your classes, you have the wrong curriculum for aspiring young libertarians.

        You’re going to have to have at least a few requires on sweat shop operations, including selecting the right orphans for monocle polishing.

        I’m anxious to see the course line up.

        1. Wait, REQUIRE?!?!??! Isn’t that what we are all getting our panties knotted for, is universities requiring things that I may or may not want to do?

      3. Pay money, show up for lectures that interest you. When you want to take a test, take it. If you pass it, you get credits. Get enough of the proper credits you get a degree.

      4. Really? Because its one of the few schools I know of that has a mandatory attendance policy. The kids hate it, but they go there anyway. Maybe they figure its kind of like when they get out and have jobs …

  13. Why didn’t he announce in the same venue all the Democratic politicians do: On the Daily Show?

    1. I thought he announced on Twitter.

  14. I’ve been telling everyone that the Nazis are underground in South America, and not in the hollow moon, and now there’s proof!

    Nazis secret lair found

    1. If I were a Hollywood producer, I’d have such an erection right now!

      MORE TASTEFUL JOKE: I hate Argentine Nazis!

      1. That’s really just the lair entrance, now disguised to look like an abandoned ruin. They’re really all in their super fortress under Manaus.

    2. So what you’re really telling me is I’m not the only person who believes the moon is hollow?!

  15. If I had to guess, I’m thinking that Liberty started with a good idea – having the students go to regulate university-wide meetings to learn something useful – and then they allowed Cruz to exploit this captive audience for his own purpose – not to educate the students but to advance himself.

    1. *regular* university-wide meetings

    2. Liberty has always been politically oriented. To the point that they banned the Young Democrats in 2009 because “you can’t be a Democrat and a Christian”

      1. Interesting.

      2. This is just further proof of what I mean when I say that SoCons can go just as full on retard as progs. Most don’t, but some certainly do.

        1. Stop oppressing Eddie, Hyper.

      3. Liberty’s official brochure touts the school’s “strong commitment to political conservatism, total rejection of socialism and firm support for America’s economic system of free enterprise.”

        Totally shocking they would ban a Democrat club

        1. I know, rejecting freedom to the tyrannical altar of principles. That’s why I appreciate the Libertarian party, because I can be welcome whether I believe in free markets or top down income redistribution, amirite?

          1. Though to be fair, with the trajectory of the Rep. party, they should soon ban their clubs as well for similar reasons.

      4. Didn’t that happen after the Democrat convention voted to not include God, or a mention of God, into their Democrat plank or something like that ?

        The leadership just put it in anyway against the will of their electorate voters..

      5. That is an absolute outright lie – the school never banned the Democrat Club. There are both GOP and Democrat clubs. They both meet off campus. They meet off campus because the Democrat Club complained that the GOP had a bigger room (it had 50 X more kids.) The school made the decision to support both clubs but require them to meet off campus. I cannot get over the misinformation in the poster class after this story.

        1. Well, if it fits your preconceptions, why would you ever question whether it was something inconvenient…like accurate?

  16. The old joke asks the difference between a mailbox and an elephant’s asshole, and if the guy says “I don’t know,” the reply is “I won’t send *you* get the mail!”

    LIkewise, if Liberty can’t tell the difference between a political rally and an educational event, they shouldn’t be summoning students to educational events.

    1. An Elephants ass isn’t full of junkmail?

      1. What’s gray and comes in quarts?

  17. liberty university should lose their tax exempt status. something about keeping church and state seperate.

    1. You’re thinking of the Lyndon Johnson amendment to tax code, forbidding nonprofits – religious *or* secular – from endorsing or opposing candidates.

      Johnson sponsored his amendment, coincidentally, after a nonprofit in his state started campaigning against him.

      1. Funny enough, a case about whether that violates First Amendment restrictions on speech has never made it to the Supreme Court.

        There’s a pretty strong Constitutional argument that tax exempt status should be granted to religions anyway because of the entanglements such taxation would bring with the government and the respective churches…and that the law predicating it on a policy of keeping their mouths shut on policy should be thrown out.

  18. You know who else used to stand on stage in front of people and wildly gesticulate with his arms?

  19. Meanwhile, in related news…

    Hillary Clinton = Pretends to Care About Young Blacks in Traditional Pre-Election Liberal Ritual

    Will, like all candidates, promptly forget about them once elected. Because HA! like they donate shit. Also, Climate Change. Really important and shit = not like, jailing people for victimless crimes.

  20. How many universities don’t compel you to do anything?

    1. Um, you’re not even compelled to go to class at most universities. Yeah, you’ll probably fail the class and get kicked out if you fail enough…but that’s hardly compulsion to do anything.

    2. most because you pay them to be there…if you dont want to go to class then dont its your money….

  21. Liberty U is something out of an Orwell book.

    1. not unlike the PC non-free free speech zones at all the other universities.

      1. It’s borderline comically Orwellian when “liberty” is in the effing name, however.

        1. explain beyond the facile sense you are using

    2. like Reason mag?

      1. DRINK!

  22. That’s because all Liberty students are obligated to show up for convocations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Absenteeism results in “four reprimands and a $10 fine,”

    Can’t help but wonder if Eli McGowan phoned the media to complain about convocation last Friday since it clearly upsets him so much.

  23. When even the fascists say they are running to support liberty, is that a good sign or a bad sign?

  24. Mormon political pundit Glenn Beck, Hillsong pastor and anti-human trafficking activist Christine Caine, and the 40th president’s adopted son and conservative columnist Michael Reagan will speak as part of Liberty University’s spring convocation series.

    Among the roughly 80 people who spoke during the fall convocation included Patti Malette, mother of the singer Justin Bieber, and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. And the now-NCAA football analyst Tim Tebow hailed a packed house in the spring of 2013.

    While the school does not have an official process for selecting speakers, Moore said LU looks for student to administrator feedback when making decisions.

    http://www.christianpost.com/n…..on-112415/

    1. Convocation attendance is mandatory for LU students, but Moore says that is rarely an issue as students are often loathe to miss out.

      “In my experience, chapel services at Christian high schools and universities sometimes have a negative connotation,” said Moore. “At Liberty University students love Convocation. We have lots of Liberty students who choose Liberty University because of Convocation.”

      1. Very true. The kids love Convo. Moore is exactly right.

        1. If the Convocations are loved… then why the reprimands/fines for not going to one? Missing out on a lovely experience should be punishment enough…

          1. There are very few reprimands given out for missing Convo. The kids love the worship time, and the speakers. Like I said.

            It teaches them responsibility and accountability. They sign a document before starting school agreeing to attend all Convos. Kind of like when you have a job and have to show up, but lets not train children in living up to their commitments …

  25. Is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony of an institution named Liberty requiring students attend convocation or face punishment? And as this is a religious university, yet they still feel the need to require students to pray.

    In my most humble opinion, the terms “religion” and “liberty” are antonyms. They are absolute opposites. Everything about religion is in opposition of freedom of choice. Do not commit (insert any sin here) or else spend eternity in Hell. That does not scream liberty to me.

    1. nope and nope….

    2. nope and nope….

    3. I completely agree….religious leaders and institutions absolutely hate freedom in any way shape or form you must be obedient submissive dont think for self and do exactly as you’re told. you are not allowed even opinion…voice the wrong opinion its excommunication for you.

  26. A rousing (obviously from the heart) oration is given, from a perspective contrary to 50+ years of highly questionable outcomes from our progressive Great Society, and the deepest insight you offer is that students were forced to attend? An acquaintance of mine who graduated from Liberty, affirmed that yes, assemblies and convocations were mandatory, because they are considered part of the educational experience. Attendance is required; standing ovations are not. ELK

    1. Well, Ted Cruz != Rand Paul = FYTW

    2. what do you expect from an intellectually lightweight Reason writer?

  27. if it was a public school I’d care but since its not I don’t

    1. That’s the way I see it.

  28. I checked briefly into their speaker lineup – it’s pretty much evangelical and/or conservative oriented.

    But I like Jerry Falwell’s* academic-freedom language in his statement.

    *This is like a son of the original Falwell, right? Because I thought the older Falwell died.

  29. Sorry. I don’t believe that there is a Democrat pre-med student at Liberty.

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  32. This extremely disingenuous and inaccurate report coming from what I consider a trusted source. I have a Liberty student. All Liberty students are required to attend Convo 3 times a week. They are exposed to national, global and religious leaders in a way like no other college students. When they sign up to attend Liberty, they VOLUNTARILY sign a contract that includes agreeing to attend Convo. They ACCEPT the consequences of not attending, in writing, and therefore, accept accountability for their responsibilities as students.

    They would also have been penalized for skipping Rand Paul’s Liberty Convo appearance in October 2013. Whether you are a Cruz fan or not, this is very false report. You should be ashamed of yourself, Robby.

    1. Thanks for the clarification.

    2. disingenuous?!…from a snarky Reason “writer”…i’m shocked, absolutely shocked

  33. So the price of liberty these days is four reprimands and a $10 fine?

    1. No, one of the contractual agreements the students make with the school is that they will attend. Kind of like when you have a job. God forbid we prepare him for that level of responsibility.

      1. I get it.

      2. At this point I’m also favoring Ted Cruz.

  34. Actually only students who live on campus are required to attend all 3 days. Students who live off campus are only required to attend on Wednesdays. Also, those who go to Liberty know it’s a Conservative Christian University so it’s not like they are hiding it from the world.

  35. Convocation is not a worship service. Convocation is Liberty’s educational forum for students to hear from speakers with a wide diversity of viewpoints from all walks of life . . . attendance is required . . .

    Christ. Universities just do not *get* freedom of speech, do they?

    1. If you’ve got something to say from deep out in the left field you’re welcome to all the freedom of speech you’ve got at the vast majority of our mostly taxpayer funded universities. Of course, as a person who feels a natural urge to root for the underdog it’s pushed me more and more to the right over the decades. I really hate that.

    2. Well, unless they start kicking out all the bitching babies from the LU campus post-Cruz speech I would say they do?

      1. Do what?

        1. Censoring speech and requiring attendance seem two different things, so unless Liberty was going to punish people for speaking out against the Ted Cruz convocation, I would say that they are still fine with free speech.

      2. I do not consider *forcing* (with the disclaimer that this is a private university, conditions pre-agreed upon, they agreed to this regime) people to listen to speech as being in harmony with the principles of free speech.

        Basically the idea of an *attendance requirement* for a speaker’s forum is a problem for me.

        I will grant that the students bought into this when they agreed to attend the college but – its not a free speech friendly forum when you can not show disagreement/apathy by not attending.

        Again, private institution, blah, blah, blah they can do what they want – I’m just using *my* freedom of speech to show my dislike of this policy.

        Though its certainly orders of magnitude more free speech friendly than the mainstream college’s policy of ‘don’t offend anyone, ever – or else’.

  36. “none of whom had any choice in whether to attend.”

    of course they had a choice…they could choose not to attend

  37. Oh I get it. We’re supposed to vote for Rand Paul, even if he does pander to conservatives.

    1. Rand has never, by anything I’ve ever seen, claimed himself to be his father.

      1. Exactly.

        Rand has made it clear from the beginning that he’s a *Republican* with libertarian leanings, but still a Republican – he supports (in general) smaller government and reduced regulatory burden, along with a strict interpretation of ‘equal under the law’.

  38. In like circumstances, I have simply stood up and turned around to face away from the speaker. Imagine the photo op if half the audience had done that.

    1. I’d love to see the majority of the U.S. Congress do that to Obama. Image the photo op! It’d be international. It’d be boundless!

  39. Can’t black people go to “Liberty” “University”?

    1. There are tons of minority students, including hundreds of African scholarship kids. Have a look at Convo videos. And nobody there cares what color anyone is – they look at each other as just another child of God. There are no “color cliques.” Now, who’s the racist?

  40. Oh gee wizz gosh darn it.

    When I read the headline “…Make [a] Stand for Rand” I thought Reason was saying the students made a stand for AYN Rand.

    Guess not.

    Miss Rand is okay with not being drafted to run for president. She believes it is too early.

  41. College students will be college students. This is non-story. They would have been forced to attend if Hillary Clinton had announced there.

  42. Nice try for a drive by smearing, Mr.Soave. Typical liberal knee-jerk misinformation.

  43. What’s with that shout-out to Roosevelt? Doesn’t Ted know that son of a bitch kept us in the great depression until 1946?

    -jcr

  44. What’s with that shout-out to Roosevelt? Doesn’t Ted know that son of a bitch kept us in the great depression until 1946?

    -jcr

  45. I haven’t heard god mentioned so many times in speech since Saddam Hussein’s last public appearance.

  46. free! lol hahaha the one thing the religious hate the most is freedom…

    their version of freedom is doing what your told not doing what you want….

  47. Right after Convocation today, a pre-med student, who is a Democrat, came up to me and shared his appreciation for Convocation and how we bring in such a diverse panel of speakers.

    Kiss ass.

  48. They all have a choice, go to another school. By choosing to attend Liberty they agreed to follow the rules. The assertion in the article is nothing more than more Cruz bashing. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rand Paul is 100% right on 99% of the issues and would be a great President, but I think it is is ridiculous to attack a man whose only crime is trying to rein in the Federal government, respond to the will of the people and force the Senate to focus on governing rather than winning the next election. The attack here could be from any Establishment Republican which is really sad.

  49. A fundamental part of the college experience is being exposed to a variety of viewpoints so students can better understand why they hold their own beliefs and be better prepared to defend them.

    Meanwhile at a lot of other universities we have trigger warnings and “safe spaces” for fragile snowflakes who can’t bear hearing an opinion that conflicts with their own. Interesting…

  50. I am a senior at Liberty. The convocation attendance policy is comparable to class attendance policies or even various required high school assemblies. Every student is aware of this in-house policy when they CHOOSE to attend LU. The idea behind convocation is to give us the opportunity, which is unprecedented by any universities in the nation, to hear from some of the best minds in the world on a tri-weekly basis. I personally have listened to Dr. Ben Carson, FSU football Coach Bobby Bowden, Sarah Palin, New Orleans Saints Tight End Ben Watson, Sean Hannity, and presidential candidate Ted Cruz – just to name a few off the top of my head. Convocation is the epitome of American opportunity, not a “perverse essential”.

  51. Statistical info – convo is only required for residential students, not commuters. LU has roughly 7,000 residential students. Convocation has regular attendance of 11,000-12,000. Do the math, if you can.

  52. Many of you hear at Reason, actually do not reason at all. To calm you guys down, I will tell you that Ron Paul gave speeches at Liberty University more than once.

    1. Thomas, we can “hear” you “here.” But your insult, is diminished by your deficient English, and lack of reason.

  53. What a great response by LU. I didn’t know that students were required to attend convocation on an ongoing basis, with a variety of speakers:
    http://www.liberty.edu/spiritu…..m?PID=2586

    I appreciate that 1) this is considered part of their education and 2) LU lets them be free to accept/reject the views of the speakers.

    Cruz exposes students to politics, unlike many of the speakers who are in the religion business. Which I think is a good thing, because while many may/may not be interested in Christianity, the government is very interested in, and will be taking more from them than churches request they tithe.

  54. I’m confused. Didn’t President Falwell just say that people are being “irresponsible” if we pay attention to social media posts from anonymous posters who may or may not be actual students and that we shouldn’t think that they represent the entire student body? Wait … let me look that up.

    OH, YEAH. Here it is: I ALSO THINK IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE TO TAKE ANONYMOUS SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS AND ASSUME THAT THEY ARE STUDENTS, OR ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ENTIRE STUDENT BODY.

    And then he closes his comments with an apocryphal account of an, let me see … what’s that word … oh, yeah, ANONYMOUS student who says he is a Democrat. But, hey! That kid came right up to the president of the university and said that, by golly, he sure did enjoy that speech! And, maybe I’m wrong here, but President Falwell SEEMS to be using that student as a representative of the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY!

    “Right after Convocation today, a pre-med student, who is a Democrat, came up to me and shared his appreciation for Convocation and how we bring in such a diverse panel of speakers. He said that he appreciated the opportunity to hear from Sen. Cruz so close to his announcement to run for president. He appreciated that Liberty was chosen as a platform for such a prominent moment. The student told me that he enjoyed the speech and even found some common ground with Senator Cruz on many issues.”

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