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Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response
Students at Liberty University bow in prayer during commencement in 2007. Current students were angered by the choice of Mitt Romney for the 2012 graduation speaker.
April 20th, 2012
06:16 PM ET

Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response

By Laura Bernardini and Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Liberty University students and alumni are accusing the Christian school of violating its own teachings by asking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose adherents are called Mormons, to deliver its 2012 commencement address.

By Friday morning, more than 700 comments had been posted on the school's Facebook page about the Thursday announcement - a majority of them decidedly against the Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.’s invitation, citing that the school had taught them Mormonism isn’t part of the Christian faith.

“I can’t support Romney and I am happy I decided not to walk (in the commencement) this year,” wrote student Josh Bergmann. “Liberty University should have gotten a Christian to speak not someone who practices a cult. Shame on you Liberty University.”

Janet Loeffler, a 53-year-old freshman at Liberty, expressed her anger at the decision when contacted by CNN. She also sent a copy of the page of the freshman textbook “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” which includes the passage, “Mormon doctrine stands in stark contrast to Jewish and Christian monotheism, which teaches that there is only one true God and that every other ‘God’ is a false god.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Loeffler’s daughter, Sarah Misch, 33, of Unionville, Virginia, who is also a student at the school said, “I am glad I am not graduating this year. I would not want to end my studies at a Christian university by being sent in to the world at commencement by a Mormon. We came to Liberty because of our faith in Jesus; not for political reasons.”

Holly Stanton Morgan, another student, posted to Facebook, “I am glad that my husband and I won’t be attending his commencement. Mormonism is not Christianity. My commencement is next year. Hopefully they choose more wisely.”

Mark DeMoss, a Liberty graduate, member of the Board of Trustees and a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said on Friday, “We have had a Jewish commencement speaker, we have had a Catholic commencement speaker, and so, I think people are certainly entitled to their opinion. Social Media certainly provides an outlet for people’s opinions, but I think it is a great thing for the university.”

DeMoss also noted that the night before graduation is the annual Baccalaureate and that event will feature an evangelical Christian speaker.

Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by the influential pastor and Moral Majority co-founder Jerry Falwell. He founded the school to be a Christian university for evangelical believers, according to Liberty’s website.

Today, Liberty brands itself as the largest evangelical university in the world, with 82,500 students enrolled either on campus or online.

Liberty University would not comment beyond the press release it sent out Thursday announcing Romney would speak. There will be 14,000 graduates for the May 12th ceremony. The University announced that it expected 34,000 guests.

Previous commencement speakers included previous Republican presidential candidates Sen. John McCain in 2006 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The relationship between Mormons and evangelicals has been tested as of late. With Romney as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, many political commentators are asking whether the evangelical base, an important voting bloc to the GOP, will come out for Romney.

If those votes hinge on how evangelicals see Mormonism, Romney may need further outreach to the evangelical community. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that nearly half (47%) of white evangelicals say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion. Sixty-six percent responded the Mormonism and their religion are “very or somewhat different.”

The charge of Mormonism as a cult is not a new one for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the Church, wrote about the word in a 2011 column.

“As part of the rhetorical warfare that has come to characterize modern American political discourse, it was only a matter of time before someone once again used the term “cult” to describe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Otterson wrote. He went on to describe the word as a, “a neat, shorthand and rather lazy way of putting a whole group into a box.”

The nation’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Conference, lists the LDS Church as a cult. They specifically cite differences in theology surrounding salvation, baptism, belief in the Trinity, and marriage. A major sticking point between other Christian traditions and Mormons is the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe is divinely inspired scripture and on par with the Bible. Other Christians do not recognize the Book of Mormon as scripture.

CNN reached out to a LDS church spokesman for further comment but they demurred, stating that the story was a political story.

A Romney spokesman did not respond to questions about the issue.

Not all Facebook comments were negative, though. Tom Johnson added, “Mitt Romney has been invited to give a motivational speech, not a religious sermon. His religious beliefs do not have anything to do with his ability to give a motivational speech at commencement.”

And Kathy Creech added, “I, for one, am pleased that the future President of the United States will be speaking there!”


soundoff (1,597 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Yes, there's some very liberal ah### so called Christians too...... I guess Harry Reid will never speak there.....and neither will Barack "Infanticide" Obama ....

    April 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • gar

      But you can be certain they can't wait to invite Dick "Mass Murderer" Cheney...

      April 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  2. Brenda

    Just like Romney won over the Evangelicals in Iowa (which by the way, most recent poll shows Romney beating Obama in Iowa)--–he will win over these students/Christians.

    Romney is a good, decent man and a great speaker..........This is what they will come away with after hearing him speak.

    Better be careful CNN..............Your attempts to attack Romney on his religion-–opens the door again to the Reverand Wright, Louis Farrakhan, and Obama's Muslim religion issues!!

    April 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • gar

      Pres. Obama' only "Muslim religion issues" are in the minds of delusional reactionaries... I guess that includes you...

      April 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • gar

      Pres. Obama's only "Muslim religion issues" are in the minds of delusional reactionaries... I guess that includes you...

      April 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Sue

      Voters were again reminded about Obama being a Muslim, when the quote was taken from his book "Dreams from my Father"---in which Obama mentions the Muslim religion, and brags about eating a dog!!

      It was hilarious!!! Obama trying to attack Romney regarding his dog-–and it backfires and is turned around on Obama!!!

      Romney's dog lived to wag his tail another day..............Obama's dog, not so much!!

      In some far away place in Kenya/Indonesia.............A village is looking for its idiot, and dogs!!!

      April 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • gar

      The village has found the idiot... living at your house...

      April 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  3. Nii

    DUNNDEAL
    B4 de Councils defined Xtianity it existed but only that heresies kept attacking it. They only gave de universal declaration to stop heresy. However we still consider Arians n Monophysites as Xtians. Gnostics like u were never defined as Xtians. De Book of mormon disqualifies u completely.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  4. serg

    I love how CNN wants to make the students anger a religious issue, by nitpicking quotes by some students about Rommneys religion..... The truth is the students want and asked to have RON PAUL be their graduating speaker, and that is why they are up in arms.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      I have to agree. Individuals protesting Romney probably has more to do with political leanings than religious ones. There is no religious basis for a Christian to turn their back on someone for believing the wrong theology. That's just ignorant.

      April 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  5. Sue

    hahahahahahahaa.....................Do not get too excited liberals.

    All exit polls from the primaries (except for maybe Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi)--–showed that the majority of Evangelicals and Christians supported and voted for Romney.

    And, they will DEFINITELY vote for a Christian Mormon, before they will vote for 4 more years of a Muslim in the White House. That, you can take to the bank!!

    April 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • gar

      The biggest laugh is at how delusional you are...

      April 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Sue

      You do not examine the exit polls from the primaries, I did!!

      Romney had the support of the majority of Catholics in all primaries. And, even in states that he lost such as Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana--a large majority of Evangelicals still voted for Romney.

      If it comes down to Christian Mormon Romney or 4 more years of the Muslim in the White House---these voters will DEFINITELY support/vote for Romney!!

      April 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • gar

      There is a Muslim in the White House. There is a Communist hiding under your bed. The Martians are invading your back yard. You are delusional...

      April 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • TR6

      “they will DEFINITELY vote for a Christian Mormon”

      I believe your right; but, he has pandered so much to the religious right that the independents and left will never vote for him. He will go down in flames.

      April 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  6. Dan5404

    Back to the age-old battle of "We're more holy than you" and : "If you don't adopt my church's teachings, you're going to burn in Hell". Sounds pretty much like the extremist Muslims the right wing complain about so vehemently.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Dan from Tx

    This Madrassa has always been and will always be a Republican indoctrination camp. Get over it already.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  8. Independant Jack

    Im suprised that any christian would vote for Romnet if they are useing religion as a factor in voting.The mormon faith is way out there,they believe there profit joesoph was visited by a man from another planet and America is the new holyland.Joesoph made laws in the church that allowed bigamy,the molestation of children,aand the slavery of women and children.This practice goes on today in the united stated and its very sickening.Of course they will deny it or say it is just a certain sect or their cult,but really they dont admit it because they fear arrest.The mormon church teaches hate toward people with dark skin and like I said the molestation of kids fog them at young ages to be sisterwives and brainwashing the children so they can control ever aspect of their lives.This is not what we want in office,I am not a bible thumper by any means but I know what little i do with my faith matters and I will not vote for any man who stands with the mormon faith.He will make laws according to his beliefs and Romneys beliefs are scary.I know there are many out there who dont know how extreme mormons are,I would advise they google it and see just how messed up it is lol.Im sure romney will say oh this never happens but really the truth is mormons will deny there illegal acts because of fear of jail.

    April 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • TR6

      If the GOP can’t win with a Mormon this time, they’re going to try a Scientologist next time

      April 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • AtheismIsCrap

      Yes, Perhaps...but never an atheist.

      April 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  9. on StreetWise

    In the end... Their faith has turned into pure politics, and Liberty University is not set "Free" by their truth, it's all corrupt by its cultists flavor. From a born again Christian myself... just saying.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • on StreetWise

      I hope and pray that the whole student body, stand up and turn their backs on Romney in opposition.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      To those that call Mormons a cult, liars and display other bigotry:

      You have a rich spiritual heritage of over 182 years. A heritage of those that spoke and acted just like you during the early years of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ by Joseph Smith Junior.

      In 1835 Joseph Smith wrote a declaration of belief regarding governments and laws. The purpose of this declaration was so “That our belief with regard to earthly governments and laws in general may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume [of History of the Church], our opinion concerning the same.” (History of the Church, 2:247) It is now Section 134 in the Doctrine and Covenants, canonized scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

      This declaration was adopted by unanimous vote of the general assembly of the Church in Kirtland, Ohio 17th August 1835.
      Three years later in 1838 Governor Boggs issued Missouri Executive Order 44 or Mormon Extermination Order. For nearly 140 years it was legal to kill Mormons in the State of Missouri.

      It was four year after the declaration on government Joseph Smith Jr., an American Citizen, representing the people who were suffering at the hands of mob violence for their beliefs. He met with President Martin Van Buren in November 1839 and worked for two months until February 1840 Joseph Smith was told, “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.”

      It was a bitter lesson in government.

      Joseph returned to help relieve the suffering of the people as best he could against the mobs that attacked the Mormons who called them liars, a cult and did worst in the name of Christianity.

      In 1844 Joseph Smith announced his candidacy for President of the United States. He ran on a platform to stop mob violence, free the slaves without collapsing the Southern economy and expand the borders of the United States by annexing Oregon and further at the consent of Native Americans to include their lands to the western coast.

      The forces of religious bigotry and racial inequality conspired together with the Governor of Illinois to murder Joseph Smith Jr. to stop him from his attempt to win the presidency that election or the next.

      This is your legacy and spiritual heritage to those that call Mormonism a cult, liars and lay the charge of conspiracy upon in your anger and hatred.

      You who call Mormonism a cult and liars associate yourselves with bigots, murderers, rapists, and the worst of humanity that call for the extermination of Mormons from American life.

      Over 100 years ago that was attempted and failed. So there is another legacy you get associated with too, failure.

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints did not end with Joseph Smith Jr. and will not pass away even if the same extermination orders, mobs and assaults were tried again and again.

      You are free to display your bigotry and allegiance to those whose spiritual heritage you inherit by turning your back on Romney.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  10. ?

    I get a kick out of this. If you attack Mormons you are a hater. Like the church is just a tad different than other churches. Except for the diapers. And multiple wives. And closed temples. And posthumous baptisms. And White Horse Prophecy. And Mountain Meadows Massacre. And Planet Kolob. And 10 years of food in the basement. And the con artist that founded the church. And the new chapters of the Bible. And the exclusion of blacks. And the ancient tribes. And Jesus appearing in America. But other than that, we're just like you. It's a friggin' cult!!

    April 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • momoya

      Right!. However, there is no method by which any christian can tell if another is a true christian or not–so they all must rely on a person's word about himself.. If a person says he is a christian, the christians must accept him as such since there is no way to determine otherwise.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • LOL

      But immaculate conception, virgin birth, creating the universe in 6 days, resurrection, life after death, walking on water, turning blood into wine... just normal every day activities... nothing cult-like about believing in that mythology...

      April 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • BH

      I am sure Lutherans and Protestants referred to Catholics as a cult, and vice versa, during the reformation era. How would you label my neighbor and his church who holds a cigar and pool night to get new people into their church? Which person is more Christian....the Jew who prays 10 times a day, the Mormon who preaches about Christ and provides service to his neighbors or the Catholic who drinks, cusses and has not been to church in 20 years? (Sorry to my Catholic friends, I am just proving a general point, not targeting your religion). You can label anybody anything you want, but I am going to stand up for my neighbors and friends who are Mormons because they are among the best examples of a those holding Christ-like attributes, along with some of my Catholic, Lutheran and born again Christian neighbors. In fact, even though their beliefs may be different, I find Mormons, as a whole, to be more consistent in their Christ-like attributes than what I experience from friends of other religions. I don't care what Romney believes, but if he behaves like the other Mormons I know, I have no problem giving him my vote. In fact, I want a leader who is thoughtful, kind, service-oriented and above all, a strong moral compass.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • gar

      BH – Ummm... You're question lists a Jew, a Mormon and a Catholic... and you ask WHICH ONE IS MORE CHRISTIAN?
      REALLY? Try keeping the Jew out of the equation as it makes your comment seem fairly ridiculous... Or try asking yourself, between a Jew and a Catholic, which one is more Christian...

      April 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Gary

    All religions are cults.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Hung So Long, Chinese Film Legend

      The major religions are simply cults that went big time.

      Look at the picture above and tell me that's not the stereotype of cult behavior.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      You realize that atheism is a religious belief.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • momoya

      No, Blackadder.. Atheism is a LACK of religious belief.. A person who doesn't hunt isn't just a different type of hunter.. Religions are like hunters of different game with different tactics.. Atheists are like the people who go to the park instead of going to the woods to hunt.. You can't call non-hunters a different type of hunter; it's stupid.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Noah Webster

      Definition of religion: The service and worship of God or the supernatural.

      No way atheism can be a religion or religious belief. But thanks for dragging that incredibly lame and infathomably stupid slander out for us to skewer again.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Nii

      BLACKADDER
      The atheists on here will not admit they follow a religious philosophy. They think they are secularists. The definition of Atheism is beyond them.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • gar

      Blackadder and Nii – You can continue to delude yourselves, but your fantasy does not change reality.
      And Nii – the definition of rational thought is WAY beyond you.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • FRP

      When long ago the hysteria of life caught the Holy Warriors by the murderous invention nineteen innocent Commonwealth souls were deemed expendable and murdered . The words of a teenager were enough to condemn otherwise respected neighbors to death .
      Tens of thousands were burned , or tortured to death as witches in Europe .
      When the wretches who claim authority as figures in their respective religious sects draw the sort responsible attentions to the deadly historical fallibility of their political rhetoric the hard earned disposition of cult may yield to a less onerous term . That will happen when protecting people from inevitable future outrages and slaughters horrify rather than please the mobs of religious "do gooders" .

      April 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      What basis can you claim for not believing in God? What evidence can you cite to support your claim that the universe emerged from nothing or inadvertently? Your position with regard to God is not provable and can only be supported or rejected as a matter of faith or metaphysical arguments.

      We are hunters whether or not we want to admit it. In recent history the religion of atheism has been far more invasive of societal values and livelihood than any other religion. Contemplate those social experiments that take as a matter of policy the rejection of belief in God. This is the only reason that there have been more Christian martyrs in the 20th century than in the previous 1900 years combined.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • gar

      There is no religion of Atheism. There is science, and there is mythology. You are free to believe in your mythology, but that does not mean that anything you say has the slightest basis in the real universe. Seriously. Get a grip...

      April 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Mike Blackadder,

      Do you believe in pixies? If not, you are an apixieist. Do you have evidence that pixies do not exist?

      April 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      gar, science and religion are not mutually exclusive. Anyone seeking out the truth, particularly important truths, requires the use of both. Your inference that atheism is supported by science (rather than metaphysics) suggests that you don't understand what your talking about.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • gar

      MIke Blackadder – Science and religion are most definitely mutually exclusive, except in the minds of theists who recognize the irrationality of their beliefs and the need to find some justification in the real universe. Nothing requires mythology and fantasy as a basis for finding the "truth". In fact, just the opposite. But, you know that and you know exactly what I am talking about.

      April 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      gar,

      Your view of the universe is no less of a fantasy than any other. You have no basis for denying the existence of a being greater than you. What possible claim do you have about anything at all being true or false if you ignore metaphysical questions? I challenge you to tell me something that you think is true. Tautologies don't count (ie things that are true by definition).

      April 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • gar

      You do not have the slightest idea about my view of the Universe, except that I do not believe in fairy tales... I do not have any need to engage in your skewed discussion. But I will... The following things I know the be true. There was not and has never been a virgin birth. No one has ever walked on water without sinking from their own weight. No one has ever changed blood into wine. No one has ever died and then come back to life a few days later. There is no heaven or purgatory or hell where the souls of dead people go. Want more? Of course, all of these things are true by definition...

      April 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • gar

      And as for the existence of a being greater than me, are you referring to Zeus?

      April 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      gar, thanks for your reply. Actually I do want to hear more of what you think is true. It appears that you don't believe that God came to earth as a man. I don't know with certainty that that is true, but I don't reject it as false because I don't reject the existence of God or the notion that he loves us endlessly. On the other hand i infer that you know that God did not take the form of a man, perhaps because you don't believe in God or in His love(I don't see how you can be certain of that). I'm only guessing.

      Is there no truth that you hold that actually affirms anything – ie that might impact your view of life, or are you only certain that I must be wrong.

      April 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • AtheismIsCrap

      "No, Blackadder.. Atheism is a LACK of religious belief."

      Yes it is...and also EVERYTHING. Meaning...LACK of EVERYTHING but STENCH because it's nothing, but a PIECE of CRAP!

      April 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  12. gg

    Of course, "Christianity" is just a Jewish heresy....

    April 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Me

      Yet Christians don't purport to be a sect of Judaism. Mormons erroneously began referring to themselves as Christians when it became culturally expedient in the late 1970s and 1980s. More recently they dropped the parlance of referring to themselves as "Mormons" in favor of the term "LDS" for the same purpose: furthering their missionary efforts.

      I have yet to find a Mormon that wasn't a generally good person, but to refer to themselves as Christian is disingenuous.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  13. Ralph

    Let them choose who they want as speaker. That's all.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  14. dunndeal3

    If people are that worried that Mormons are not Crhistians they should probably do some research as they will find Mormons live closer to Christs teachings and live closer the the teachings of the bible than what many people give credit. This is why most people do not believe we are christian –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAXqzA_oOpo

    Mormons believe in Christ and believe in Christianity as the church was, not as it became when counsels were called to debate over what the bible was actually teaching.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Me

      The difficulty is in defining Christianity. Self-applying a term does not make the accuracy of the application true. While I stop short of calling Mormonism a cult, the simple fact is they do not believe in the trinity as professed by the Nicene Creed. The Council of Nicaea addressed the issue of how to define the core elements of Christianity over 1700 years ago at the request of Emperor Constantine. To be a Christian you need to believe in God the father, Jesus the son (who is wholly begotten of the father, and God incarnate on earth), and the holy ghost. The Mormon faith does not believe Jesus is God incarnate but that we are all "children of God," plus they disregard the holy ghost. For those reasons alone they fall outside the definition of Christianity.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • intruth23

      But Mormans do not believe Christ is GOD! Big Difference!

      April 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Nii

      INTRUTH
      Mormons believe Christ is a god not God. I know it from my mormon friend who tried to convert me.
      Look closely at the last paragraph of DUNNDEALS submission. Fact is b4 the Council of Nicea, Gnostics had long been rejected for having a different set of Scriptures. SO THE CHURCH REJECTED U!

      April 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Kris LV

      @Me. We do not disregard the Holy Ghost. Believing in the "Godhead" (God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost) is a pillar of our religion. I can't think of a sunday when I haven't heard the Holy Ghost taught in church.

      April 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • dunndeal3

      It's true Mormons do not believe in the trinity. We do not believe they are all the same being. We do believe in GOD, we also believe in Jesus Christ who is also a God! and we also believe in the Holy Ghost who is also a God! We believe they are indeed separate beings but, as in the youtube link, we believe they are unified in every other way imaginable. We believe the bible supports this as well. Jesus Christ was not praying to himself! He was praying to his Father! I'm fine with people knowing we don't believe in the trinity, as we believe that is not true. I shouldn't let it bother me, but let me decide for myself if I am a christian.

      April 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  15. DrDroid

    “I can’t support Romney and I am happy I decided not to walk (in the commencement) this year,” wrote student Josh Bergmann. “Liberty University should have gotten a Christian to speak not someone who practices a cult. Shame on you Liberty University.”

    Hmmmm.... Might there be some irony here? Something about the pot and the kettle and the color black?

    April 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  16. jack johnson

    More religion in politics. Take away their tax exempt statas!!

    April 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  17. Daryl

    I'm sorry, but these are formally educated people are they not? This isn't the dark ages where information is scarce and only comes from one source, i.e. their bigoted professors. These students can and should investigate Mormonism themselves. If they do they'll find that its real name is the church of JESUS CHRIST of latter day saints. Saying Mormons aren't Christians is like calling Martin Luther King Jr. a racist.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • TR6

      It’s a Christian theological university. Of course it’s a through back to the dark ages. That’s their whole point. I’m surprised they don’t burn heretics and books on the senior quad each Saturday as a warm up for Sunday services.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • momoya

      Daryl, that has nothing to do with anything.. The same organization that took the student's money is the one that told them Mormons were heretics.. Now the school that took the student's money is exalting and honoring a "heretic.". EVERY student should be upset at the hypocrisy of their school..

      April 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Daryl

      momoya, that's a good point. I'd be upset too. I just hope their anger can lead them to truth and enlightenment.

      April 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  18. Mark D. Haszard

    The *Cult* word gets overused,but in some cases it is appropriate.

    The definition of a destructive religious cult is like alcoholism-if booze controls you instead of the other way around you are an alcoholic.
    I was in the Watchtower society Jehovah's Witnesses,they are not benevolent and won't let you leave their organization in peace.
    If they try to ruin your reputation and break up your family for trying to get out then they are a cult!
    Whenever you surrender your logic and reason to anyone who demands that you to trust them because they always know better and to please donate generously, it's a cult. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck....

    *tell the truth don't be afraid* Danny Haszard
    FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

    April 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    The article quotes someone as saying that Rmoney is to give a motivational speech, not a sermon. Since that is the case, there are a few topics and words that Rmoney should avoid. The first two that come to mind are "values" and "morals." He really should avoid those uttering those two words. It just might backfire on him.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  20. momoya

    These students have a right to be upset, don't they?. I mean, the entire foundation of their schooling is that THEIR god belief and worship is correct and all others wrong.. Now, at the end of their learning at such a facility, the faculty brings in someone who is a heretic according to the school's ideals.. Not only that, but the "heretic" brought in to speak believes that HIS god belief and worship is correct and all others (like the belief espoused at Liberty) are heretics/heretical..

    It's a slap in the face to all the graduates under the foundational principle of the school.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bo for Chirst

      Maybe there is a false foundation to begin with? I mean, really, didn't Christ sit with the sinners as those who thought themselves truly the righteous mocked him?

      April 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • momoya

      Of course it's a false foundation; that's not the point.. These students were sold a bill of goods at a very hefty price tag.. Now, at their commencement, they must listen to a "heretic" by the definitions of their own school.. The students have been wronged.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Mike Blackadder

      Hopefully their faith and education do not meet this description. It's hardly a slap in the face to have Mitt Romney for a speech. Which of his policies /politics do they suggest as being contrary to their faith?

      April 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • momoya

      Let me help you out, Blackadder.

      Liberty considers themselves to be "astronomy" (the accurate way to worship god); Liberty considers other religions to be as "astrology" to their legitimate "astronomy.". Now, the university that claims to teach legitimate astronomy invites a horoscope reader to give their commencement.. Why shouldn't the astronomy students be upset about that?

      April 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.