Two weeks ago, leadership at Liberty University in Virginia told young Democrats that they were no longer entitled to recognition as a sanctioned organization on campus. Only young Republicans are welcome there.
Jerry Falwell was founder of Liberty and its clear that his legacy lives on. At Falwell's funeral, flowery praise was heaped on Falwell by Republican politicos. Read some of those praise speeches and you might conclude that Falwell's soul was heading north at the end of that day. But the more you learn about Falwell and his creepy university, the easier it is to believe that his spirit could have just as easily taken a more southerly course.
Falwell was a perfect example of the holy mouth political operatives that have done so much damage to Christianity. For eight years we heard the Falwell bunch ignore the gospels and the Beatitudes. Instead, we could usually count on the Falwell Liberty-type scholars to deliver recycled G.O.P. political hate speeches directed at liberals, abortion doctors, stem cell researchers, intellectuals, minorities, and virtually anything that did not fit neatly into their judgmental, regressive view of humanity. Christianity suffered because of that.
That spirit is still flourishing at Falwell's University. If those young Democrats who lost their organization status at Liberty followed Falwell's money trail, I'm sure they would gladly move their club registration and their student registration to a less loathsome institution.
Part of that money trail takes us back to a time when Falwell receieved millions of dollars from Sun Myung Moon in order to keep the doors open at Liberty. Moon you may recall is the barely five foot tall North Korean, immigrant, felon who launched the "Moonie" movement worldwide. Moon came to America after he had been convicted of stealing from Japanese widows who were paying Moon to release their husbands' souls from Hell after death. It's not clear how many souls Moon helped escape from Hell, but one thing is clear: Moon is part lunatic and part fraud. Falwell knew it and took his money anyway. Falwell also knew that Moon had a long time, very personal, relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jon Il, and in fact pledged almost $400 million to North Korea's dictatorial regime. With all those Liberty scholars walking the halls at that "university" that still teaches creationism, it seems like somebody would have known about the incendiary quotes by Moon where he tells us that he is actually the incarnate Messiah, and that the world should remove the crucifixion cross from their walls. Moon proclaimed that Christian symbol to be satanic.
Those kinds of quotes were just fine with Falwell if the Moon money was big enough. It didn't seem to bother the Liberty faculty that this tiny, delusional Korean had been sentenced to 18 months in a U.S. prison for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. When you look closely at the history, you're left wondering whether Falwell was a Moonie, or whether Moon is a Christian. And you certainly have to wonder why a group of teenage Democrats have been told that their kind are not welcome at Liberty, a campus that was built in part from the money of Sun Myung Moon.