Can Liberty University Ban College Democrats?

As many may have already seen, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University has moved to preclude the College Democrats from officially organizing on the campus while allowing College Republicans to continue to operate.

Liberty University will no longer recognize its campus Democratic club because, officials say, the national party's platform goes against the conservative Christian school's moral principles.

[...]

The college officials "let the Liberty University College Republicans stay on campus, but they don't let us," said Brian Diaz, 18, the club's president. "Sounds like censorship to me."

When reading this news I immediately thought about a case I read for a non-profit tax class I took this spring, American Campaign Academy v. C.I.R., 92 T.C. 1053 (1989), in which the Tax Court stripped the exemption of a purportedly educational organization for acting in an excessively partisan manner. In that case, an academy was created to teach individuals the skills necessary to work in political campaigns. All of the graduates of the academy went on to work for Republican candidates, and the academy itself stemmed from a similar training program previously administered by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

It's worth noting that the facts of the Liberty University situation do not exactly comport with those in American Campaign Academy. Although the late Jerry Falwell played an important role in the Republican coalition and Liberty University itself has been used by Republicans for important addresses, the nexus between the institution and the GOP is considerably more attenuated than the connection between the American Campaign Academy and the NRCC.

That said, it appears that Liberty University is endorsing a Republican Party organization while barring a Democratic Party organization. Whether this action rises to the level of the type of excessively partisan action the Tax Court has already ruled to run afoul of laws regulating non-profit organizations remains to be seen. But it seems to me to be worth exploring, at the least.

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Liberty University Revokes Student Democratic Party Club Charter

By:  Robert Lalka

Cross Posted from FaithfulDemocrats.com

The Lynchburg, Virginia, News and Advance is reporting this morning that Liberty University has taken the brazenly undemocratic step of revoking the charter of the student-led Democratic Party club, with Mark Hine, vice president of student affairs, stating that "we are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by" the university. Brian Diaz, the president of LU's student Democratic Party club, has explained that "It kind of happened out of nowhere" without any forewarning from the school's administration or meetings with the student organization.  In the e-mail Mr. Diaz received, Hine wrote that:

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CHRISTIAN RIGHT EMBRACES CHENEY'S DAUGHTER AS THE NEW 'VIRGIN MARY'

Reprinted from The Satirical Political Report http://satiricalpolitical.com

In a dramatic turnabout from its previous harsh condemnation, the Christian Coalition has decided to embrace Dick Cheney's pregnant lesbian daughter, claiming that she's actually the Second Coming of the Virgin Mary.

Reached at his offices at Liberty University, the Reverend Jerry Falwell conceded that the Christian Right had been shortsighted in trying to boot this Mary out of the manger, when she actually offered a tremendous upside to the evangelical cause.

"Let's face it," Falwell stated, "she is a 'Mary,' she's probably technically a virgin, and it wouldn't really surprise me if her life partner was a carpenter."

CONTINUED at: http://satiricalpolitical.com/?p=473

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