Monday, October 06, 2008
Liberty University: The College that Elected the Presdient?
In an election that is supposed to be close, there has long been talk of blue states turning red and red states turning blue. One of the states that consistently comes up in the news in Virginia, one of those republican states that could easily go democratic in the presidential race. Currently, in most polls McCain slightly leads Obama.
Lynchburg, Virginia's conservative Christian college, Liberty University, has long been a force of conservative stronghold in the state, especially with the influential leadership of the late Jerry Falwell, the Universities vocal founder and pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Liberty University's often has given many political leaders a forum on their campus in the required weekly convocations including John McCain, George H.W. Bush, Jesse Helms, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Sean Hannity, and Ronald Reagan.
Jerry Falwell Jr., the current chancellor decided to politically direct the 20,000 student campus towards playing an influential role in Virginia's presidential election, and perhaps when it comes to electoral college votes helping Senetor McCain become president.
While Jerry Falwell has not told the students of Liberty how to vote, he has given the students of Liberty University election day off, with no classes November 4th. He and his administration have also pushed hard for 100% participation in voting on the day with buses to polling places, registration forms passed out in classes and dorms, and extended campus curfew election night to watch the results announced.
Many Liberty students appear to be changing their registration status from their home states to Virginia, so that there vote will have greater influence in a swing state, as opposed to their "already decided" home states.
NPR has a great story you can hear or read on the subject, it certainly is interesting, and there's no doubt, this bold move by Liberty and Falwell Jr. could certainly have impact in this election.
photo credit: Photo from daylife.com, Liberty University graduating students in front of a prayer chapel after the school's 34th commencement ceremony May 19, 2007.