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. Lisa

    So, Liberty U teaches that only the Jewish and Christian monotheisms are real, and that all other Gods are false. I guess they never consider the Jewish point of view. Their idea of God isn't the same as the trinity view that Christians have. If they include the Jewish view, then they have to include the Muslim too, but we all know why they can't do that. If it weren't for the Old Testament being part of the bible they'd cut off Jews as well.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  2. julie

    WOW.......I had no idea how many people do NOT believe in God or Jesus.-just wow.. at least I won't have to be bothered with any of you numbskulls in heaven !!

    April 24, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • momoya

      Enjoy your time with the most horrific terrorist every thought of by humans.. You do realize that your god built and sustains an eternal lake of fire for his enemies, right?. You do realize that the smoke of the tormented in hell go up before the throne and the lamb in heaven, right?. Tell me, when you and your god are yucking it up in heaven, are you ever going to ask him why he told you to love your enemies and forgive other when he sends his to his eternal torture chamber without any forgiveness?.

      You have a subjective morality and believe that might makes right.. God can torture people and it's good, but for everybody else it's wrong.. You don't question whether or not god's morality is correct because he's god and the mightiest.. How trite.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Lisa

      Works both ways, dear. We won't have to be bothered with you either. Makes one wonder which will be the real heaven.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Gotta love that Christian Apocalyptic Schadenfreude.
      "I'll be laughing from up in heaven while you heathens burn."
      A fine example of love and compassion.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Lisa

      Doc Vestibule
      Heaven's not about acting good, Doc. Once there, it's all about payback, baby!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  3. LolDems

    An overlooked and possibly fatal aspect to the agnostic/atheist argument is why do so many Nobel laureates, eminent scientists, such as physicists, chemists, and biologists, have religious faith? Their faith runs from moderate to strong, from Jewish to Christian. People like Dr. Collins of the Human Genome project, and chemistry Nobel Prize winner Dr. Smalley. Not to mention the great scientists and philosophers of the past. The biased posters here appear to be, relative to the science they admire, like arrogant and ignorant little people living in fear and frustration.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • momoya

      Most scientists are atheist even though science does not comment on any existence of any god or not.. Why then do you think such a high percentage are atheist?

      April 24, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • *facepalm*

      97% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences – the ranking scientific leaders of our time, are atheist. Many previously brilliant minds have either been atheist or deist – and many lived during times when non believers got burned at the stake. The fact that you can pick out just a few scientists that believe doesn't exactly give you a strong argument. Some people deny the holocaust – does that mean it didn't happen?

      April 24, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Human Genome Project could not exist without knowledge of DNA.
      DNA was discovered by two very vocal Atheists – Watson and Crick.
      Most Nobel laureates stay mum regarding their religious beliefs – however, there are at least 67 who have made public declarations of non-belief.
      Furthermore, Dr. Greg Graffin's PHD thesis revealed that the overwhelming majority of teh world's pre-eminent evolutionary biologists are naturalists who view religion strictly as a sociological adaptation.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • momoya

      Typical Christian logic: "Yay, 2 percent of scientists believe in SOME SORT of higher power!! SEE EVER"YBODY should be chrstians!!! Yay!!"

      April 24, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • J.W

      I personally do not care who else is atheist or Christian or whatever. I mean has anyone really ever said "well I don't believe in God but if Tim Tebow believes in him he must be real."? I don't really care if a physicist or biologist is an atheist.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  4. Republican Grandma

    Romney said Ryan budget plan is marvelous! Great! 

    Well 80% of Ryan budget is about killing social security and medicare! And Ryan wants to defer that fund for the rich tax credit! 

    No wonder Romney agrees with Ryan budget! So he can pay less than 14%! 

    Guess what we the poor have to pay? 30% 16%=46%. 

    Do you see the math here? 

    The poor=30%
    Mitt =14%
    Mitt tax credit=16%

    Total tax the poor must pay=30% Mitt tax credit=30% 16%=46%!

    Well that may be what kind of future that Romney and Ryan want!

    The latest idea Republican controlled congress wants to do? They want to shut down the budget for Education and use that money for their oil rich tax credit. They will impose pay for the school from kindergarten all the way up to college. No more free loader no more for this lazy food stamp people. That's what they name us the poor!

    Well Romney! One thing the poor have and you can't buy? My vote!

    April 24, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  5. Phil Ollero

    For those who believed in big bang theory, I have question for you. If a printing press blows up, does it create an encyclopedia?

    April 24, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Dennis

      Phil, is that the best false analogy that you can offer?

      April 24, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Beth

      Phil, what are you getting at?

      Scientific theories are not to be "believed" in the manner that religious stories (however idiotic, as most of them are) are taken "on faith". Scientific theories are accepted or rejected based on careful examination of the best available evidence and reason. The main tenets and stories of Christianity and creationism simply do not stand up to such scrutiny. The comparison that I suspect you are trying to sneak in here is an invalid one out of the gate.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • momoya

      No, Phil.. No scientists would expect that.. Science deals with what we can test and observe.. From what we have tested and can observed in the universe, we a.ssemble a model of what forces were impacting reality during which epochs.. It's a lot of work and it's not easy.. Many, many brilliant scientists have made predictions and explained equations but never saw their theories validated by proof that is now abundant.. Science has to build telescopes and high-tech equipment to test hypothesis and these efforts take time and capital.. Every step is a struggle..

      Science does NOT say that some thinking being uttered a magical spell to zap everything into existence.. That's you guys, and you can claim that with or without science, so it really doesn't matter (from your perspective).. Keep on talking about a big magic sky daddy uttering magical incantations, if that's what you guys really want to do..

      April 24, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Phil -that was perhaps the lamest attempt at a strawman EVER. Your arguing that order came from chaos – that the big bang somehow defies the second law of thermodynamics. You've only shown that you know nothing of the science of the big bang and haven't a clue how the second law of thermodynamics works.

      To paraphrase: it's better to be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt. -A. Lincoln.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Primewonk

      Phil, why would you equate an explosion with the Big Bang?

      Hey! You're not one of those wacky fundiots nutters who thinks the Big Bang was big and an explosion, are you?

      April 24, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  6. LolDems

    Perhaps a little known fact about LU is their law school is ranked in the top 10 in the nation. The have among the highest in passing the bar exam on the first attempt. These evangelical believing lawyers are making an impact across America to bring a much need balance to the extreme leftylibdem legal bias such as practiced by the ACLU.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Riiiight

      I'll bet they cheat with a little help from the faculty....

      April 24, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Arthur Von Freudenschnooder IV

      Not surprising, liberals really arent as smart as theyd like to think.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It doesn't surprise me that Baptists would make good lawyers.
      Young Earth Creationists have to be very good at rationalization.
      Cognitive dissonance is a handy skill for a lawyer – it helps one find and exploit loopholes in the legal codes.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • momoya

      SOME rating organizations listed them in the top ten, but not many.. The lists I've found are pretty much what you'd expect but don't have Liberty listed: Yale 1, Stanford 2, Harvard 3, and so on..

      April 24, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • *facepalm*

      So .... you're proud of the fact that an evangelical university can produce really good liars?

      April 24, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Not so, Bozo!

      Funny, but the top rating service of colleges put them on the also-ran list – it stops rating schools after #145. See for yourself.


      So not surprisingly, a conservative has thrown a total lie into a debate.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  7. Dave

    I believe it is important to tolerate people's views, even when they are different than your own. That being said, most people do not understand Mormon views of Christ. And, most do not understand that Mormon views are drawn from the Bible (not 3rd century teachings). Without trying to attack the beliefs of others, Mormons believe that Jesus is a resurrected being today. The Bible says Jesus was resurrected and he showed himself to many individuals and groups. In fact, Christ showed his body to his disciples and ate with them as well. In addition, Mormons believe in the Godhead (which is mentioned in the Bible).

    April 24, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • momoya

      Maybe so, but they believe a whole bunch of other weird stuff that isn't part of the christian doctrine.. I know that I am in favor of the "christian" label being applied so much it loses its meaning, but I don't think ya'll are.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Beth

      Dave, you are confusing ideas with people. People deserve respect but ideas don't. In fact ideas should be attacked critically and thoroughly in the light of evidence and reason, to see if they hold up.

      Do you "tolerate" the ideas of Nazi-ism? I hope not.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  8. Cody

    You all should read the Kevin Roose book. It showed a very interesting perspective on the place. It seems pretty crazy to me...

    April 24, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    How in the world can a University that teaches Young Earth Creationism – in fact demands from its factulty personal faith commitment to its evangelical Christian purpose and compatibility with a young-earth creationist philosophy – try to start a medical school?
    It is obvious that they haven't a geology department since they claim to have a dinosaur fossil only 3,000 years old.
    I can understand why students would be concerned about Romney coming to speak.
    Mormon fairy tales simply cannot jive with Baptist fairy tales...
    Would you want advice on how to succeed from someone you're quite certain is wrong about teh fundamental nature of the universe and is going straight to hell?

    April 24, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • LolDems

      Not unusual for fearful and unknowing people like Doc to grossly contradict theirselves and pretend they know more than they do. Since Doc claims he knows the "fundamental nature of the universe", the Nobel Prize will no doubt be awarded shortly because no one else knows. Many hypotheses, to be sure, but not knowledge. And the great knowledge Doc lets us know the universe does contain a hell, and that the space-time dimensionality is preserved since somebody can go "straight" to it. Thanks Doc. Please let the men in white coats enter when they come to your door.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • momoya

      What was the point of your reply to doc?. You do realize that you didn't even really say anything, right?. All that gibberish was only meaningful to you and some personal problem you have with doc.. How pointless.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I make no claims about knowing anything regarding the fundamentals of teh universe.
      I am pointing out that Liberty is a Baptist university.
      Baptists believe in hell.
      Mormon theology is blasphemous to Baptists, therefore they believe that Romney is going to hell.
      Given that Baptists have a low tolerance for heresy, I doubt that many of the (presumably) Baptist students would be very open to taking life lessons from someone they think is damned.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Primewonk

      @LolDem – The universe is 13.7 billion years old. The earth is 4.54 billion years old. The folks at unLiberty U are lying to their students.

      I have a hard time understanding why some of you folks think this is a good thing.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • LolDems

      @momoya – apparently you don't get the point. doc's writing implied he knew the fundamental nature of the universe and that their was a hell. Now he seems to be backing off. If he or you understood the complexities in such a statement, neither would be making it. He got called out on his careless wordslinging...deal with it.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'LolDems' is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy.


      April 24, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • momoya


      Ah, you're a fvcking moron.. I got it now.. Carry on.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Primewonk

      @LolDems – the key sentence in Doc's post was, " Mormon fairy tales simply cannot jive with Baptist fairy tales..."

      Doc believes tht both these groups are nutters. He was pointing out that beliefs of nutter group "A" are incompatible with nutter group "B".

      April 24, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  10. Jorge

    A university for religion is akin to a bar association for WWF wrestlers.

    April 24, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  11. Richard

    YAY Liberty! YAY Bigotry!!

    April 24, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  12. Colin

    How deep does the ridiculous nonsense its founders believed run at Liberty U, does anybody know?

    I assume they don't teach biology, geology or astronomy based on the "talking snake" theory of galactic formation from Genesis, but do they teach the other Biblical mythology as fact, such as a man rising from the dead, water turning into wine, the Red Sea splitting at the behest of a few Jews etc.?

    If so, they should not be accredited.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I took a geologic mapping class with a geology major from TCU. I asked how they taught geology at a Christian university. He responded jokingly, "very carefully." But in all seriousness the geology departmanet was pretty much shunned by the other departments. They pretty much only stuck with the 4.65 byo for earths age, just to keep acredidation, otherwise they would have tossed it.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • LolDems

      The fundamental "nonsense" believed by LU students goes as deep as the biblical text. You need not ask this question if you were to read the bible exegetically. Commentaries and study guides are recommended to help accurate understanding of the complex text and message you will encounter. It's really a rather strenous academic exercise and an open mind and heart will help you profit the most.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Bob

      So, Lol, how come your "god" couldn't produce a book that was less prone to so many different interpretations? For that matter, why does it even need a book or other text to get its message out?

      Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of religion and other superstitions.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  13. Phil Ollero

    Liberty college,Liberty? Come on this place should be called Lemmings U. Mitt is not going to talk about religion. He will talk about how to be successful when you leave college. He is just the right man to inspire students for success.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Dandini

      Liberty U teaches old school style... little or no research into the actual history of anything such as Christianity and the Bible... just read and believe only what you are given... no wonder they have so many students who whine...

      April 24, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Eric

      You obviously have never visited the university. If if is "old school" in how it approaches teaching, it is in that students are taught to serve one another and that dedicated hard work will be rewarded but that it always boils down to what your motivation internally is for doing anything in this world.

      Having someone like Mitt come and speak shows that Liberty University is willing to allow the studens to hear differing perspectives on Christianity.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  14. Politics can influence anything

    In three weeks they will all be cheering him on like this incident never happened, what a disgrace!

    April 24, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  15. Reality


    Bottom line: Romney is Mormon because he was born Mormon. Should we hold this against him? After all, BO also believes in "pretty/ugly wingie thingies, bodily resurrections and atonement mumbo jumbo.

    Warren Buffett, THE AGNOSTIC, for President !!!!

    Bill Gates, THE AGNOSTIC for VP !!!!

    April 24, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Nii

      Where did Warren and Bill declare their religious affiliation to you!

      April 24, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Politics can influence anything

      Hillary Clinton BAPTIST for President

      Bill Clinton BAPTIST for Vice President

      April 24, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Mirosal

      Nii - I live not more than 2 1/2 miles from Warren Buffet's house. We live in the same city. Trust me, he's been quoted in our local paper enough times. He's an Atheist.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Nii

      Did bill n warren declare their religion? and how did warren become atheist from agnostic?

      April 24, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Gates declared himself agnostic in a 1995 PBS interview.

      Frost: Do you believe in the Sermon on the Mount?

      Gates: I don't. I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in. There's a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very, very positive impact.

      Frost: I sometimes say to people, do you believe there is a god, or do you know there is a god? And, you'd say you don't know?

      Gates: In terms of doing things I take a fairly scientific approach to why things happen and how they happen. I don't know if there's a god or not, but I think religious principles are quite valid.

      A biography of Buffet gives this bit of conjecture:
      "He did not subscribe to his family's religion. Even at a young age he was too mathematical, too logical, to make the leap of faith. He adopted his father's ethical underpinnings, but not his belief in an unseen divinity." –from Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

      April 24, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Nii: The following shows that what Reality said is true: http://archive.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=649
      Dos it bother you that the genius behind Microsoft is not a christard and does not believe in fictional stories?

      April 24, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Dave

      Because of the significant demands of the Mormon religion, it would be very difficult to believe that people are Mormons simply because they were born to parents who are Mormons.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Reality

      “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today
      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

      It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  16. t.sarcastic

    If the label reads GOP Falwell will buy it. Come on folks, what else would you expect from Liberty?

    April 24, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Ben

      What does that mean? Are you saying he should have given in to bigotry and not had him speak? Oh, tsk, tsk my liberal brother.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:14 am |

    So now Liberty University will give the Anti Christ a platform on which to speak. I have lost all respect for Liberty and Liberty has now lost my finacial support.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Mirosal

      Why would you give to those idiots in the first place? If they are so "devout", then let "god" take care of things for them. Oh, wait, my mistake. "God" needs money too!!! Don't ask me why, I really do not know.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Your are right Mirosal, it's all about $$$$$$$. YOU BETCHA

      April 24, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Eric

      Be careful with your labels. I have many things to disagree over with Mr. Romney, but I do not reach out to label him as Anti Christ. It would seem that you have merely been searching for a reason to stop supporting LU and this will allow you to stop doing so. If it assuages your conscience, fine. But you need to do some deep introspection of your own faith first.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Dave

      Anti-Christ? Oh, please!

      April 24, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  18. John

    No Bob – NJ is a national embarrassment. The only good thing in NJ is you governor!

    April 24, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • MonsterHead

      Dont forget the Snookems!

      April 24, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  19. Josh

    I would rather have Romney give the speech than a Muslim posing as both a Christian and President.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Al

      I would rather hear a speech from a Mormon than a moron like "W", the man who takes advice from his imaginary friend.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • chaz8181

      i hope he talks about Smith and the golden plates and bigamy and how Romney evaded the draft during Vietnam by living in a mansion in France. Brigham Young had 50+ wives and some were under 16 years old.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • jimranes

      Josh, do you have any evidence that the President is a Muslim? If not, shut up and get yourself some basic education. Ignorance is a terrible disease to live with!

      April 24, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Josh: Where do you get the idea that Obama is Muslim? How many times does the man have to state he is christian before you morons finally get it through your heads? What does his belief have to do with him running a country? Ever heard of separation of church and state?

      April 24, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Ben

      So, as a child, he was culturally emersed enough in Indonesia to eat dog but not practice Islam? His mother was married to two muslims (father and the Indonesian man) at least. Do you really think he, as a child was allowed to practice Christianity or be agnostic??? I don't really care what he believed, but lets stop lying about it.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Primewonk

      Josh appears to be yet another ignorant, fundiot, racist, moronic, lying, birther, talibangelical teabagger, who is upset that the smart, well educated, black man won the election.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      I've never seen the word "Talibangelical" until now .. I LIKE it ... sounds like it should be a new word for Stephen Colbert, like "truthiness".

      April 24, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Maybe he can talk about science, like Native Americans and Hawaiians are descendents of the lost tribe of Isreal. That has so much archeological, linguistic, and genetic scientific backing.


      April 24, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Nii

      Obama is half-caste i.e. Black-and-White. Anyone who knows Isla. will know that dogs and pigs are forbidden meat. Indonesia is also very multicultural. His father and stepdad divorced his mum when they became serious muslims or she did.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Dave

      A few comments for chaz8181: Romney served a mission in France and lived in simple apartments like all missionaries do. When he returned, he signed up for the draft, but was not drafted. Yes, Brigham Young had multiple wifes. You might be surprised to learn that Abraham also had multiple wives in the Old Testament.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  20. NJBob

    Liberty University is a true national embarrassment. It's a place where history gets shamelessly revised, science gets disrespected and distorted, and students have their worst prejudices reinforced.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • Mirosal

      ANY organization or insiti'tution with the name "Falwell" involved should be immediately suspect.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • Ben

      How. Name a specific case. Believing something to be true because of your own personal racism or bigotry does not a fact make.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Eric

      NJ, how close have you come to actually visiting the campus? Are you simply basing your opinion upon the opinions of the authors of articles in the media? Did you actually go and listen in person to Jerry Falwell Sr? I did. I have also liistened to Jonathan Falwell, have you? You simply like to sling mud, which only creates a mess that usually covers up the facts.

      Students come from all around the globe to attend classes at LU. It is the largest Christian college/university in the entire world. I think that you just do not like that fact. Prejudices reinforced? Yeah, serve God, serve others, and treat others as you would like to be treated. That is some bad stuff to get reinforced in their lives! Science and law gets taught there as well as Christian doctrine. Students are taught how to lead a full Christian life even while engaged work-wise in this atheistic world.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Primewonk

      Eric – the folks at unLiberty U are fundiots. The require student to take courses in "creation studies". The actually have "professors" stand in front of students and tell them that the earth and universe are 6000 years old. College is supposed to be about learning. It should not be about being lied to.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:31 am |
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About this blog

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.