Friday, May 29, 2009

Attack on Liberty University

from Dr. Gary Cass...

The “Reverend” Barry Lynn and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) are it it again. Known for their over-reaching attempts to silence Christians who are speaking out for our Christian values, Americans United is calling on the IRS to review Liberty University's tax-exempt status.

Liberty University, founded by the late Jerry Falwell in 1971, is the largest evangelical university in the world. Known for its conservative theological and political views, the school has become a training ground for many outstanding Christian leaders.

Why has AU complained that the school is in violation of their tax-exempt status? Because Liberty revoked its recognition of a student-run Democratic club.

On May 15 Liberty alerted the club that they would no longer be recognized by the university. Since then, many have questioned the university’s intentions. Americans United argues that Liberty's recognition of a Republican club offers GOP candidates support that is not available to Democratic candidates.

But Liberty’s chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr., disagrees. “The club's recognition was revoked because the Democratic Party's abortion and homosexual rights positions are contrary to the university's principles. Liberty University will not lend its name or financial support to any student group that advances causes contrary to its mission.”

Because Liberty is a private university, the school is fully within its rights to make decisions like these.

Intimidation Tactics of Barry Lynn Under Investigation

Just last year Americans United founder, Barry Lynn, found himself under investigation because of his longtime intimidation of pastors who support political candidates. A non-profit 501(c)(3) itself, AU has often sent threatening letters to churches warning pastors that if they individually endorse a candidate of violating their IRS tax exempt status could be revoked.

Although pastors are clearly allowed to do this, they are often intimidated into silence by AU’s threats because pastors are afraid of the financial repercussions. A group of pastors filed complaints against AU for violating their 501 (c) (3) by trying to intervene in a campaign by silencing a candidate’s supporters.

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