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Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students
April 23rd, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students

By Dan Merica and Laura Bernardini, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Liberty University reacted over the weekend to a brewing controversy over the fact that the evangelical school has selected Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to speak at the school’s graduation.

In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining “had no affiliation with the university.”

“We have also noticed over the last few days that students with reservations about Romney's appearance at Liberty basically fit into one of two categories,” Falwell, Jr. wrote. “They were either strong supporters of other candidates who were seeking the Republican nomination or they were online students who were not as familiar with Liberty University's traditions.”

After last week’s announcement, hundreds of comments were registered under the announcement on Liberty’s Facebook page. While some were supportive of the decision to invite Romney, a number of respondents were angered and posted their frustration to Facebook.

As of Monday morning, the announcement was deleted from the page, along with all the comments.

“Complaints died down because they took the ability to complain down from the website,” said Janet Loeffler, a 53-year old freshman at Liberty who takes classes online. Loeffler was a frequent poster to the Facebook page.

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

According Johnnie Moore, vice president of executive projects and spiritual programs, the post was removed because "people who had no affiliation with the university were using our Facebook page to air their grievances and to engage in conversations that violated our policies with regard to social media etiquette."

"We just decided to eliminate the post all together rather than let our page be the place where these arguments were taking place," Moore wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "With regard to our students, the university has a number of channels for our students and constituents to express feedback, and that feedback is attended to by Liberty staff who have input in, and understanding of, the university's operations and decision making."

Though the deletion of the post bothered Loeffler, it was the statement about online students familiarity with Liberty’s traditions that she says deeply offended her.

“It is just a complete lie. You cannot get through your first semester at Liberty Online without taking their Theology 101 and Apologetics 101,” Loeffler said.

Loeffler provided CNN with a copy of the page in the freshman textbook “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” which includes a number of passages on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons. “Mormon doctrine stands in stark contrast to Jewish and Christian monotheism,” reads the passage, “which teaches that there is only one true God and that every other ‘God’ is a false god.”

Liberty's handling of the situation "has very much altered my thinking of Liberty,” Loeffler said. “I haven’t registered for my fall classes yet because of it. I am offended that they would talk to us like that, telling us that we just don’t understand.”

Many of the anti-Liberty comments, including Loeffler’s charged that Mormonism goes against the teachings of the school and claimed that the religion is a cult. The charge of Mormonism as a cult is not a new one for the church, however. In a 2011 column, Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the LDS Church described 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.

Oyindamola Bankole, a 22-year old online psychology major at Liberty, said she was disappointed that the comments had been deleted from the website.

“I thought it was very cowardly,” Bankole said in an interview with CNN. “There were a lot of good conversations and debates and people were arguing both sides and I was shocked when they took it down.”

Bankole will be graduating this year from Liberty but has opted to walk in 2013. Though the school differs between online and on-campus students, all walk in the same graduation. This year, 14,000 students will walk and 35,000 are expected to attend as guests.

“Even though we're online students, it's still our graduation,” Bankole said. “The Liberty University Online students are going to be flying in, renting rooms in hotels, and going to the same graduation, so why does our opinion not matter as much? There are 70,000 online students compared to the 12,500 residential students, according to Liberty's website. Glad to know we're just numbers and income in their eyes.”

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.

This debate over Romney’s selection further tests the relationship between Mormons and evangelicals. 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.

Tony Perkins, a Liberty graduate and the president of the Family Research Council, said he sees the Romney speech as an opportunity.

"As Christians we can disagree strongly but we show respect and I think they will show respect for Mitt Romney," Perkins said on CNN's Starting Point Monday morning.

"They may not warmly applaud him and may continue to express differences and clearly there are differences theologically between Mormons and Christians, but here's an opportunity for Mitt Romney to talk about what he has in common with evangelicals and that is on the value issues," Perkins said.

But if the evangelical vote hinges on how evangelicals see Mormonism, Romney may need further outreach to the evangelical community. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds 47% of white evangelicals say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion, while 66% say Mormonism and their religion are “very or somewhat different.”

Loeffler and Bankole both look at this as a way for Liberty to help Romney with evangelical voters.

“This is nothing more than a political rally, at a time when graduates are having their lives dedicated to the work they were trained to do at Liberty,” Loeffler said.

In their statement, though, Falwell Jr. said over the past 25 years, many people have been invited to speak at graduation and “most of them did not share Liberty’s doctrinal beliefs.”

Graduation at Liberty, like at most colleges and universities, features a baccalaureate event before the final graduation. This year, Liberty has invited Luis Palau, a preacher that Liberty bills as "among the most influential Christian leaders of all time."

Mark DeMoss, a Liberty graduate, member of the Board of Trustees and a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, when reached on Monday made mention of Glenn Beck being the first Mormon to address Liberty graduates at commencement and added some background to how the decisions have been made.

“I remember the first time Falwell, Sr. decided to use a commencement speaker that was not evangelical because it was controversial to some at the time," Demoss said of Liberty's founder Jerry Falwell Sr. "And he explained, or justified it, by virtue of us having a baccalaureate service that was a decidedly Christian service. And commencement could feature a prominent figure from politics or business – evangelical or not evangelical.”

“Liberty has never held a commencement that did not include a strong gospel message from a evangelical leader at baccalaureate,” Falwell Jr. wrote.

- CNN's Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • Virginia

soundoff (688 Responses)
  1. Holly in CA

    Mitt Romney is a fabulous speaker and Liberty is lucky to get him. He gave an amazing address at CPAC and he'll do the same for this university in spite of the contempt he faces.

    April 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • biologixco

      Romney is a fat cat loser.
      lets see if he actually shows up

      April 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  2. One one

    Christians of a different color throwing mud at each other.

    April 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  3. Mike

    Can't Christians be more...um Christian to Mormons?

    April 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  4. One one

    With over 35,000 Different sects of Christianity, which one has it right ?

    April 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • To the reply button challenged

      Who is to decide?

      April 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • BillSD33

      Mine is of course!

      April 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Kalessin

      That's one of the glorious things about our nation...you get to decide for yourself.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • One one

      I thought god was supposed to decide. I guess no one got the memo.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Kalessin

      As far as choosing for yourself without anyone else making the choice for you...you get to.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • CV

      You get to make your own choice but you have to choose the right one. I guess Mitt didn't choose the right one.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • tnwoman

      God, the only One who matters will DECIDE NOT any of us. He CHOOSES who will get into His kingdom.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  5. jimtanker

    No, I will never respect people of "faith". When you can delude yourself into thinking that these stories are true then you are beyond respect. When you can give up your hokey religions and ancient (psychological) weapons and start using logic and reason in your life then you will be deserving of my respect.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "No, I will never respect people of "faith"."

      ~Very closed minded.

      "When you can delude yourself into thinking that these stories are true then you are beyond respect."

      ~Stories?? Be specific..what the heck are you talking about?

      "When you can give up your hokey religions and ancient (psychological) weapons and start using logic and reason in your life then you will be deserving of my respect."

      ~I use logic and reason. Seems more so than you since left handed insults are usually what you produce on here.
      Lol, what you are basically saying is when people agree and think like you...you'll respect them. Yep...very open minded in a egotistical way.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Patriot Awesome

      Right On!

      April 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • momoya

      At least Jim isn't saying that if you don't believe like he does you go to a never-ending torture pit that he (Jim) thinks is perfect godly goodness.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "At least Jim isn't saying that if you don't believe like he does you go to a never-ending torture pit that he (Jim) thinks is perfect godly goodness."

      Jim and I are in agreement then on something. I never said that if he doesn't believe the way I do...that he is going to a never-ending torture pit either.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • momoya

      Most of those to whom jim is referring feel that way about him, though, and since they do think that way, his viewpoint is tame in comparison to theirs.. Why speak out against jim's "bigotry" when its sentiment has absolutely no comparison to the believers idea of his god's just hell?. Jim has the speck, hell terrorizers have the log.. Why discuss the speck?!?

      April 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Kalessin

      I always find it interesting how some people get all worked up over it when a Christian (or whatever faith) expresses their freedom of speech.
      Personally...I usually stay away from the theology involving hell. I have my thoughts on it but when it comes to others....I always figure I got more to get right in my life before I ever tell someone else about how screwed up they are. Jesus even implied such a thing (splinter vs the beam and all that).
      But for a culture that seems bent on a concept of "you can say or do what you want in your life as long as it doesn't hurt other people's lives", we are two faced on the topic of religion. When people engage in "alternative" lifestyles....our culture says that it's ok..it's their lives and doesn't effect you so get over it. But if someone holds a belief that certain types of people will be punished by God..dang...that's just wrong. Where is the "it doesn't effect you so get over it" mentality then?

      Unless someone is trying to chuck you into a fire pit or disrupt your day more than say..two men or two women making out at your local mall...what's the problem, get over it.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • momoya

      Precisely why you shouldn't have rushed to judge jim ads you did in your first reply, then.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Kalessin

      You are in error. I did not "rushed to judge" Jim at all. Anyone that goes down the road of "I will never" is closed minded.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • momoya

      ::sigh:: And we're back to where we were.. Jim's "bigotry" isn't even worth mentioning when those he's talking about think it's the best idea ever for him to be tortured eternally.. I'm slapping you in the face with it and you claim you can't see it..

      You're pointing out jim's speck when the folks he's talking about have a big log..

      April 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I find the very idea that people would be perfectly glad to tell me I'm going to go to hell for all eternity an incredibly insulting idea, and really shows a lot about the type of person that is. That is why I get irritated at people who say that, to me or anyone else.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "when those he's talking about think it's the best idea ever for him to be tortured eternally"

      And yet..Jim is the one that initiated this topic. He isn't responding (unless he goofed the reply button) to anyone. He is venting his compliants about no one other than those he wishes to be critical of.
      Also...who thinks it's best for him to be tortured eternally? Who has came out and told him outright that? No one.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "That is why I get irritated at people who say that, to me or anyone else."

      I don't blame you..I would to. But some (not all) people that would be offended about being told they might be going to hell see no problem with insulting those of a faith.
      Now let's be clear....if someone on here has the audacity to tell you that you are going to hell...heck yeah, go at them if you wish. They are asking for a debate or argument. But as far as I am concerned....if you go out of your way to basically call a person of faith insane, a fool, crazy..etc when no provocation has been given....then you are no better than the "you're going to hell" people.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Kalessian

      I hope you're not suggesting that I do that.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @Hawaii- no not you....I don't recall you just coming on here and blurting out insults toward people that think differently than you do without provocation

      April 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Kalessin

      Ok, sorry if I got defensive, but it wouldn't be the first time someone accused me of doing that just because I'm an atheist.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Kevin

      Are you trying to tell me that the Big Bang THEORY is real? Science is all theory, any scientist will tell you that. Please open up your mind for just one second and think about it. If you're looking to talk facts you better get yours straight.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Kalessin

      @HawaiiGuest- No problem. It's easy to have misunderstandings on comment boards.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Kevin

      You need to learn the difference between theory as it is used in everyday conversation and theory as applied to science. What you think a theory in science is is a hypothesis.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Steve

      Unless of course you stumble upon things to which neither logic or reason can explain. What of faith? Does it make sense to believe in anything...or have any hope of something being better? ...or are some people just per chance luckier than others when something miraculous happens in their lives?

      April 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  6. Maxx

    Romeny swoops in for a photo-op – he has no business speaking at Liberty but he'll do anything to be president.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      Romney was asked to speak and he graciously accepted the invitation.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Steve

      I'd say the precedence for Romney speaking is pretty valid. Haven't other GOP nominees/hopefuls done the same? Isn't it sort of a tradition there?

      April 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  7. Mike in Springfield, VA

    Lots of haters out there. Anybody who wants to know what Mormons really believe should check out http://mormon.org/

    April 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  8. Rebel4Christ

    I don't blame the students! They expected a Christian and got a Mormon!

    April 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Stuck-With-Rmoney

      As a Methodist, I was taught from childhood that Mormon is not Christianity. They have a DIFFERENT "holy book".

      Now, I have to flip flop to vote a Mormon or just sit out the election.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Taog, Taog ,the Bagpiper's Son

      Didn't know that we voted based on belief. I thought it was this crazy idea that we voted on ideas and how well someone will govern our nation. Silly me.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      You mean they expected a Baptist and got a Mormon. Mormons are Christians. They worship the same Jesus that the Baptists worship. They even use his name in their church...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Don W

      Mitt Romney is a Christian. A different understanding of the Trinity, but Christian none the less! Mormon's accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer. Mormons revere the Bible as the word of God and the Book of Mormon is just a Second Testament of Jesus Christ and his divine mission!

      April 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Steve

      If you are so close-minded that you can't sift out the truths and good in other religions, than I do feel sorry for you. Even the Mormons can do that...find the good in other faiths and learn to appreciate the truths therein. Judgement belongs to your Lord and Savior, not to you.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  9. kakaraka

    I will never attend this school. Period. They teach nothing than GOP., tea party right wing theologies and extremism.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Really?

      Well fucking DUH ! ! ! !

      April 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  10. Anny7

    This shows what Mormans believe in. It's an easier way to understand our doctrine. I remember when the missionaries showed it to me it helped me get a clearer picture.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HSlbuli7HM&w=640&h=360]

    April 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Michael

      This is an intentionally misleading post by someone pretending to be a Mormon. (Check it out - Anny7 didn't even *spell* it right.) This video is from a decades-old anti-Mormon propaganda video that's been widely denounced by Mormons and non-Mormons alike.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Steven Collins

      This is clearly not form the Mormon church – it's an anti-Mormon cartoon seemingly animated by the guys who did the 80's He-Man episodes. And as much of a fan of He-Man I am, this video is laughable, even harmful, hogwash.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      Mormons to one day become Gods? "Nigels" are of Satan's spiritualities? What a load-full of cow's manure! Did Mormon's pluck this mushroom tale of ignoramousness from thei deciever John what's his fvcking name? We will never become Gods until we die and are reborn back into the Kingdom Domains of the Godly who live and do reside upon the insides of all Life! Not no frivolous cartoon of make believe! We, our bodies are God's buildings and our civilization will never be or even come close to being a Godly Kingdom Domain of Celestialness concerns! It's almost laughable to think this cartoon is believable!

      April 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Lowdown Larry

      The cartoon is part of a film called "The God Makers" made by some anti-Mormon evangelicals in California.

      As you see, this interreligious hate-fest has been going on a loooooooooooooooooooooooong time.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!*!~

      April 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • One one

      Atheists don't tell children that god sends them to h e l l to be tortured forever for not believing as they do.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Don W

      This hit piece is not produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(Mormons) as the poster would have you believe! He is a liar. Plain and simple! Just another piece of bigotry in the form of a video. If you want to know about the Church(Mormonism) just go to http://www.lds.org or http://www.mormon.org. Learn for yourself what to think. Not what some other person or minister wants you to think. Think for yourself.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  12. One one

    My god and religion are real and true.
    YOUR religion is just a pile of bull poo.

    No! MY god and religion are real and true.
    YOUR religion is just a pile of bull poo.

    No! MY god and religion are real and true.
    YOUR religion is just a pile of bull poo.

    Repeat, forever.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Change that to belief...and you can add the athesits in on it. We are a nation of inclusion afterall.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • momoya

      @Kalessin

      Atheism is not a belief, it is a lack of belief in a concept most people believe.. If most people around the world believed in unicorns, you and other non-unicorn-believers would find it handy to have a category/name like atheists do now.. Bald is not a hair color, and not-stamp-collecting is not a hobby.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • jabby

      Not really. A short work will the Lord God perform on the earth; for He will finish His works and cut it (the evil works of this world) short in righteousness. Until then, Even the chief of the sinners like me can preach Christ and gather fruit onto eternal life – men, women and children who will live on a paradise earth forever. Let it be, amen and, Father, thy Kingdom come.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Atheism is not a belief, it is a lack of belief in a concept most people believe.."

      ~If we lived in a vaccuum where religion never existed ever..I might agree. But we don't. Atheism is a belief..a belief that states there is no divine beings or such.

      "If most people around the world believed in unicorns, you and other non-unicorn-believers would find it handy to have a category/name like atheists do now.. Bald is not a hair color, and not-stamp-collecting is not a hobby."

      I don't agree because atheism is a belief. Atheists have their "preists" that they think know what they are talking about. They are called scientists. Many atheists put a lot of faith in scientists when they know very little about the inner workings of science.
      Bald might not be a hair color but God is not a religion.
      You can say you don't believe in anything without saying what you do believe in. The truth is...you do believe in something. It's not like you have a giant empty whole in your thoughts about what you don't fully understand. You fill it with something.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • momoya

      @Kalessin

      Atheism is not a belief, regardless of how many god believers say it, want it to be so, or practically lose their mind debating it.. Atheism (as most atheist agree) does NOT say that no god's exist.. Atheism claims that the god believers have no evidence for their claim, so the claim need not be believed.. Atheists don't say that there is no god; atheists simply don't believe in any gods.. Theism = god belief; atheism = not god belief/not belief..

      You can't say,"I don't agree because atheism is a belief.". You can't start an argument for a position by stating that your position is correct.. I might as well say, "I don't agree because atheism isn't a belief.". Do you see how pointless that was?

      Atheists have no "priests.". How stupid.. Scientists are not "priests.". Look up the definitions of words if you're not sure.. Science doesn't care if anybody believes in it or not; science seeks verifiable evidence, regardless of who does or does not believe..

      I have no idea what the rest of your babbling has any relation to..

      April 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Atheism is not a belief, regardless of how many god believers say it, want it to be so, or practically lose their mind debating it.."

      ~If that is your belief 😉

      "Atheism (as most atheist agree) does NOT say that no god's exist.. Atheism claims that the god believers have no evidence for their claim, so the claim need not be believed.."

      ~First off...group think is a fail. Basically...you take the evidence before you and make a judgment call on it. You believe that judgement call is accurate based on what you think you know. Most ppl of faith do the same thing.

      "Atheists don't say that there is no god; atheists simply don't believe in any gods.. Theism = god belief; atheism = not god belief/not belief.."

      ~Hmm, then there are many people that call themselves atheists on here that have no idea what they are talking about.

      "You can't start an argument for a position by stating that your position is correct.. I might as well say, "I don't agree because atheism isn't a belief.". Do you see how pointless that was?"

      ~It's not pointless to state one's position and imply it's right. You don't agrue a position that you don't think is correct do you?

      "Atheists have no "priests.". How stupid.. Scientists are not "priests.""

      ~Priests are supposed experts in what they teach to the people. Scientists do the same thing. I am sorry, there are many people that will say something is true simply because a scientists says it is. Many people of faith will do the same thing because a priest says its true. Anyone that does that blindly is wrong.

      "Science doesn't care if anybody believes in it or not; science seeks verifiable evidence, regardless of who does or does not believe.."

      ~From most believers on here...they don't care if anyone believes them or not.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • momoya

      @k

      Sometimes group think can save your life, too.. Don't overgeneralize.. But yes, you take the evidence before you and make a judgment call.. Logic is very clear on the protocol.. The person making a claim must provide the evidence; what can be a.sserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.. God believers cannot supply any verifiable evidence; thus, logically, the claim must be dismissed regardless of how much you might like it.

      We have good reason to believe in the word of scientists; they make useful statements about the nature of reality that allow for your computer, the internet, medical breakthroughs, new vaccines for viruses that evolve, and on and on and on.. Priests take away medical options from women and think a great method of healing a skin condition is to spray diseased bird blood on the person..

      April 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "But yes, you take the evidence before you and make a judgment call.. Logic is very clear on the protocol.."

      ~Logic can only go so far in human life. If we were beings of primarily logic....life wouldn't be as fulfilling.

      "The person making a claim must provide the evidence; what can be a.sserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.."

      ~I agree in that when trying to put one's argument to another person. However, like many things in life...their is such a thing as personal experience. No..it cannot used as a scientific type of evidence but that doesn't mean that it should be instantly dismissed.

      "God believers cannot supply any verifiable evidence; thus, logically, the claim must be dismissed regardless of how much you might like it."

      ~Not quite. The lack of evidence does not mean something does not exist. A few centuries ago, there was no verifiable evidence of more planets beyond the ones we could see...yet many believed they were out there. The liked that idea and even though they could not yet prove it...those planets existed.
      If one does not think that God (we are talking Judeo-Christian here) then they should show the alternative. And no..I am not asking for anyone to "prove the negative". Too many atheists hide behind that fig leaf.

      "We have good reason to believe in the word of scientists; they make useful statements about the nature of reality that allow for your computer, the internet, medical breakthroughs, new vaccines for viruses that evolve, and on and on and on.."

      ~Yes they do. Thank goodness they stay in the field of expertise and stay away from theology and spirituality.

      "Priests take away medical options from women and think a great method of healing a skin condition is to spray diseased bird blood on the person.."

      ~That doesn't prove a thing about whether the foundation of the faith is real.
      But if you want...a Priest was the one that coined the term The Big Bang. Does that all of a sudden change your perspective? I doubt it would but I wonder why you would think a scientifically ignorant priest would cahnge anyone's mind on the existence of God.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  13. jimtanker

    My fairy tale is true.

    No my fairy tale is true.

    Well, my fairy tale is more true than your fary tale.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Got to respect that open minded mentality...insult all ppl of faith.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • jimtanker

      I’m not insulting you. I pity you too much. I would never insult the mentally handicapped.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Oh Jimmy boy..you didn't insult me at all. Shame on you to think you had such abilities.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  14. Rockgod28

    Round 2

    FIGHT!

    You know what, I think I will sit this one out.

    More important things to do as a Mormon who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for me on the cross.

    Time to go live as the Savior said.

    Luke 6:27-37.

    God bless Liberty University and Mitt Romney who will speak on the 12th of May.

    Bless the students that they will pass their tests and prepare for a future as a graduate in their choosen career.

    We thank God for the liberty we enjoy in this country to express our beliefs and I pray God will continue to deliver the people of the United States in His mercy by His divine grace.

    God bless us all.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • jimtanker

      There is no god, stop believing in stories and think for yourself.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @jim- and if they think on it and come to the conclusion it is what they believe...you will respect that?

      April 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • mahonri

      Well said. That's probably the most biblically sound statement I've ever seen you post. Good for you.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      To: Atheists or similar nonbelievers

      There is proof there is a God. Jesus revealed by prophecy that the Temple in Jerusalem that tool over 40 years to build and enormous resources would be destroyed. Not just destoyed but that one stone would not be left on top of another.

      Over 35 years after the death of Jesus Christ on the cross the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed. This is a silent testimony to all the world for nearly 2000 years that Jesus is the Christ. A testimony that what he said was true and proof to the world there is a God in Heaven.

      There is a cloud of witnesses that God lives and testify that God loves us. There is more proof, but proof without faith is meaningless.

      Blessed is the name of Jesus Christ for he will return in power and glory in these latter days.

      Then every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Rob

      Well, said. Those that don't beleive now will be begging for his forgiveness as the draw their last breath. They don't have the strength or courage to beleive. For them it's easier to deny and live their life as they find easiest and not ork to save their own souls. But being Democrats they will try to blame someone else for their sins when the time comes. Just like the on guy said. He thinks of himself. Typical Lib

      April 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • momoya

      Rockgod

      You don't seem to understand what "proof" means.. You realize that you speak very similarly to how muslims do when they describe all the "proof" for their beliefs?

      April 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Rockgod28

      To: Momoya

      The definition of Proof: Evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement.

      I have offered real tangible proof there is a God. Evidence that is very easy to verify and argument that establishes the facts and the truth of the statement: God Lives.

      The Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem is not a mystery or "proof" the same as Muslims from their own accounts.

      No, the main witness to the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD was by Josephus, a Jewish Historian that was a Roman citizen during the siege of the city.

      The ones who caused the destruction of the Temple were not Christians, they were pagan Romans hundreds of years before Constantine or the Romans adopted the Christian religion as the state religion by Imperial order.

      The evidence and the testimony is plain. There is no doubt or dispute what happened to the Temple of Jerusalem. Nor is there any doubt or lack of evidence about what Christ predicted would happen to the Temple.

      Not only did Jesus say the Temple would be destroyed, his claim was more outrageous in that there would be no stone left upon another.

      The Jews loved the Temple and did everything to defend it. They did not believe for a second the Temple would be destroyed. The Romans even in battle or war did not typically desecrate holy places. Indeed the Temple was built by Herod under the blessing of Rome not a century ago. There was no reason for Rome to destroy the Temple.

      That was until the Romans made it into the city and near the Temple.

      What Romans the saw horrified them so much they rushed the Temple which began to burn. In desperation at the sight of the Temple being destroyed the Jews literally threw themselves onto the Iron of Rome in hopes of stopping their Temple from being destroyed.

      Nothing stopped the Romans, even though their general ordered the soldiers not to touch the Temple. A structure that took 40 years to construct was destroyed in a day. The Temple itself was completely gone. The only thing left was the foundation wall or West Wall as it is now known. That is not the Western Wall of the Temple, it is the foundation West Wall holding up the mount where the Temple used to be.

      There is no Temple and has not been a Temple in Jerusalem for nearly 2000 years.

      Further evidence shows beyond doubt that no stone was left upon another. The Temple was laid low to the dust and then buried by the Romans.

      So no Momoya this is not "proof" like the Muslims or a story, or a legend. This is factual, historical, and complete proof that God Lives.

      Now that you have your proof, what are you going to do now?

      April 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  15. Jeff

    This is a great site for those of you who really want to understand the LDS church.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtrfKP02j6E&w=640&h=360]

    April 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Rebel4Christ

      Family's don't get you to Heaven Jesus gets you to Heaven, Mormons have some really unbiblical beliefs!!

      April 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • SCFan

      @Jeff...This video is so pathetic. That is her twisted way of spinning the truth. So you are telling me that it is a wrong belief for the LDS church to teach that families can be together forever through the proper ordinances of the gospel? How many parents out there tell there kids to stay away from drugs because they are harmful to you? Is this wrong? Because I bet you anything your kids wont agree with you, especially those who are doing them. The reality is God uses fear to teach unbelievers and believers. Its in human nature to also do so. Of course this is not the only way our Father teaches us but it is evident he uses fear to teach us from the Holy Bible.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Steve

      It is true that in and only through Jesus Christ will mankind be "saved" and thus qualify for entry into "heaven", but would heaven truly be "heaven" without your loved ones with you? What good is being saved if it's solely an individual merit? Our souls have a social nature about them and yearn to co-exist with kindred spirits.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  16. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    Such go-by-the-waysides of liberalisms' nestings!! May the egg-gatherer hide the eggs of liberalisms' ecstacies far away from the mindfields of all brain-yards everywhere!

    April 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  17. J.W

    Lol the complaints have significantly died down, and it has nothing to do with taking down the complaint section. People just agree with them now

    April 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  18. mahonri

    Instead of allowing Romney's campaign the opportunity to pander for evangelical votes, and legitimizing Mormonism into mainstream Christianity, Liberty should repectfully decline the speaker's engagement during the campaign season and allow Romney to speak next year – during a non-campaign season.

    In this way, they can still hold their Christian heads high and show their tolerance... without having to mix politics in the equation... as it should be.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Think about what your saying. Christians respect the divide between church and state?

      April 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Christians respect the divide between church and state?"

      Some do. Who would ever want the state to come in and try to tell people how to worship? And who would want govt paid employees to put their beliefs or lack there of onto children of those that carry certain beliefs?

      April 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  19. just sayin

    Mormons are not Christians, they are a newly created cult. Shame on Liberty. God Bless

    April 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Birch please

      hahahaha... " they are a newly created cult" as opposed to an older cult..... hahahahahaha

      April 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • just sayin

      That is not a just sayin post.God bless

      April 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  20. momoya

    YOu gotta love it.. Complaints dropped because they took away the ability to complain on the website!! Crazy funny!

    The students have every right to be upset.. Their university considers Mormonism to be heretical, and now they have a heretic (from their viewpoint) speak at commencement?. It'd be like a biology department having a young earth creation scientist speak at their graduation.

    April 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • biologixco

      God has a special place for false prophets and their followers...

      April 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • KayKay

      "It'd be like a biology department having a young earth creation scientist speak at their graduatio." I'm sure Liberty wouldn't have a problem with that, seeing as how our biology department does teach young earth creationism. Btw, I'm a Bio major at Liberty =] I'm also a Christian who is quite proud to have what could be the potential President speak at my school.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:47 am |
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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.