Mitt Romney's Liberty University Commencement Address

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by LadyEagle, May 13, 2012.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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  2. mont974x4

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    I was thinking about Liberty as a possible place to further my education. They have changed my mind.
     
  3. matt wade

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    I'm disappointed in Liberty, but I probably shouldn't be given their previous speakers.

    I'm surprised that Romney actually acknowledged a difference in beliefs:

     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Romney is a good speaker, no surprises his staff crafted a good speech that navigated the territory well.

    That said, a lot of the alumni are very, very concerned for the state of the university. There is a growing feeling (based on good data) that the school is beginning to leave the foundations set by Falwell Sr. This is the latest example of a move away from what the university used to be. There seems to be a drive towards hitting certain numbers of enrollment at the cost of theological distinctives and academic excellence.

    Suffice to say a lot of us are concerned. The current leadership isn't keeping the ship pointed in the right direction anymore. Romney's invitation to commencement is an embarassment to the graduates. For whatever justification the current leadership gives, Dr. Falwell never invited a Mormon to speak at a high profile event like commencement. Since his death the school as had Ben Stein, Glenn Beck, and now Mitt Romney in the past four years.

    I can go on, but I'll stop for now.
     
  5. webdog

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    Did he speak at their worship service or just commencement? If just commencement, why the alarm? Not saying I agree he should have been invited just curious what the issue is from the alum.
     
  6. Crucified in Christ

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    Deleted because the posting hour was past my bedtime and I am not sure if my response to preach sounded more agressive than intended.
     
    #6 Crucified in Christ, May 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2012
  7. Ryan.Samples

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    I don't Romney is a poor speaker. Can be very dull. But the speech was well-crafted and decently delivered.

    It's the old question: what is commencement supposed to be? Is it supposed to be the final charge to the grads on behalf of the school? If so, then it should come from an orthodox Christian and not from someone the school teaches to be a member of a cult and therefore unable to issue such a charge.

    Chancellor Falwell Jr. has indicated he sees commencement as an opportunity to highlight the school, thus the decision to bring in high profile speakers. If we're going to go with that claim, then I'd like to see them bring in high profile cats who, you know, aren't Republicans. Recent trend is to invite conservative people because the school was supposedly founded on values like limited govt, etc. That news came as a surprise to me, as I've been a student since 2008 and never heard such claims. I thought it was found on... being evangelical Christian?

    It all boils down to what you think commencement should be. Many grads weren't happy because they wanted to hear from a Christian speaker. Other grads were pleased to see such a figure speaking at the school. I'm just annoyed they only seem to be concerned with touting conservative (read "Republican") values with less concern for that whole religion thing. Just a personal preference, but I can see why as a business they want to make themselves look important by extending invitations to big wigs and getting LU's name in lights. I'll give them this: it worked. But at what cost? That is the golden question, it seems, with an answer (I emphasize again) based on what you think the school should be doing with an event like commencement.

    Sorry for the novel. It's late and perhaps I ramble on too much. :laugh:
     
  8. Ryan.Samples

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    Don't think I already did this, so I'll post the email the Chancellor sent out before commencement. Sent 26 April. Email follows:

    Dear Ryan,

    My office has received hundreds of messages from students and 2012 graduates who are thrilled and honored that the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States will be our Commencement speaker. Some graduates have also inquired about Liberty’s policies regarding the doctrinal beliefs of graduation speakers. These same questions seem to surface every spring and I am writing you in response to those inquiries.

    First of all, it is important to remember that Liberty actually has two Commencement speakers each year. Long ago, most universities ceased their practice of including a Baccalaureate service during their Commencement weekend, but we have insisted on keeping this service as a demonstration of our Christian commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

    This year our Baccalaureate speaker is Luis Palau. Dr. Palau is an evangelist who has preached the Gospel to a billion people. Palau is often considered second only to Billy Graham in his influence for the Gospel, and, as is our tradition, he will be clearly delivering the Gospel at Baccalaureate.

    For twenty-five years Liberty has traditionally had leaders from the worlds of politics, business, and entertainment speak during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday. Most of these leaders have not traditionally shared Liberty’s doctrinal convictions. In the last few years, our Commencement speakers have included an evangelical filmmaker (Randall Wallace), a Mormon commentator (Glenn Beck), a Jewish economist (Ben Stein), an evangelical actor and athlete (Chuck Norris), an evangelical - now Catholic - politician (Newt Gingrich), a Catholic commentator (Sean Hannity), a Southern Baptist senator (John McCain), and an Episcopalian chief of staff to President Bush (Karl Rove). In all, at least 20 of Liberty's 38 Commencement speakers have fit in this category.

    My father's vision for Liberty University was both a theological and a cultural vision. Theologically, it was to found the world's preeminent Christian university where every faculty member professed faith in Jesus Christ, agreed with our doctrinal statement, and sought to fulfill the Great Commission and live the Great Commandment. Culturally, it was to found a university that held in high regard our nation's founding principles of limited government, the free enterprise system, and individual liberty. Liberty's tradition has been to focus on the first part of this vision during the Friday night ceremony and the second part on Saturday morning.

    Liberty's commitment to an annual Baccalaureate service has ensured that we have never held a Commencement that did not include a strong gospel message from an evangelical leader.

    I am sure that members of the Liberty University community will treat Gov. Romney with the respect he deserves, regardless of whether they agree with his religious or political beliefs.

    When my father traveled the nation speaking at many secular universities, he was often met with boos and hisses by those who held different theological beliefs than he. I am so proud that Liberty students have gained a reputation for treating those whose beliefs are different than their own in a Christ-like manner. They have shown respect to speakers as divergent from Liberty's worldview as Ted Kennedy, Bob Beckel, and Tim Kaine.

    Gov. Romney is a man who has excelled in business, governed a state, and even managed the Olympic games. He has been faithfully married to his wife, Ann, for 43 years, and they have 5 sons and 16 grandchildren. Gov. Romney is a leader of global significance, who might eventually be the leader of the free world, and we are honored that he accepted our invitation.

    An invitation to speak at Commencement is not an ad-hoc endorsement of a presidential candidate or even of that particular speaker’s religious or political views. The ultimate purpose of having a prominent Commencement speaker is not to promote the speaker or his views but rather to inspire and challenge the graduates and showcase Liberty and its mission.

    My prayer is that having the presumptive Republican nominee as our speaker will cause many who have never heard of Liberty to take notice of what Liberty is doing to train a generation of Champions for Christ. Perhaps, many of them will consider a Christian education over the secular alternative.

    Sincerely,


    Jerry Falwell, Jr.
    Chancellor and President
     
  9. mandym

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    I am very disappointed. The speaker should always be conservative both politically and theologically. Liberty seems to be heading in a different direction.
     
  10. Jerome

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    Then how about Baptist 'Mid Continent University' having the socialist leader of Antigua & Barbuda as its commencement speaker:

    Antiguan PM Receives Honorary Doctorate from Christian University

    Spencer is pals with Castro and Hugo Chavez. Here he is praising their Socialist/Marxist anti-USA coalition:

    ALBA Agrees to Consolidate Sovereignty and Advance Toward Socialism
     
  11. mandym

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  12. Ryan.Samples

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    The school sent out another email today via the Marketing Dept. Content follows:

    Dear Ryan,

    Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. was interviewed on CNN Newsroom yesterday morning concerning the school's reaction to Governor Mitt Romney's 2012 Commencement address. He responded exceptionally well to the comments and questions posed by the interviewer, providing a true representation of Liberty’s purpose for Commencement and the overall mission of the university.

    The Chancellor was questioned about the university’s political and religious positions and made remarks about Liberty’s warm reception to Mitt Romney. While he explained that Liberty does not endorse any political candidate, he voiced his predictions for the 2012 Presidential Election.

    The interview was filmed right here on Liberty's campus. It is now available to watch online.

    This was an occasion that provided positive national recognition for the university, its officials, and its students. Be sure to take a few minutes to watch the interview and share in this exciting event!

    Sincerely,

    Marketing
     

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