The Ironically Named \"Liberty University\"

Liberty comes in all shapes and sizes:

  • Attendance at a dance - $25 fine
  • Gambling - $25 fine
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco - $25 fine
  • Attendance at, possession or viewing of, an "R," "NC-17" or "X"-rated movie - $50 fine
  • Entering the space above ceiling tiles - $50 fine (wtf?)
  • Participation in an unauthorized petition or demonstration - $50 fine
  • Association with those consuming alcohol - $250 fine
  • Failure of three Christian/Community Services without reconciliation - $500 fine
  • Involvement with witchcraft, séances or other satanic or demonic activity - $500 fine
  • Assault/sexual assault - $500 fine
  • Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages- $500 fine

And, of course,

  • Abortion - $500 fine

Wondering whether you have the liberty to sneeze without getting fined at Liberty [sic] University: priceless.

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Eddie, _Freedom isn’t

Eddie,

_Freedom isn’t about approving of other people’s lifestyles, neither you of the L.U. students’ nor they of yours. Freedom is about letting people live as they see fit, no matter how wrong you think their choices are._

When we liberals say things like this, we get accused of moral relativism, and I think, in some cases, that it's a fair accusation. I'm pretty sure that you're making the same sort of move.

Nothing that Micha says is inconsistent with letting students at Liberty U live their lives as they see fit. But it's hard to see why tolerance also implies that I can't make fun of really dumb choices. Why is it inconsistent for a libertarian to both defend the existence of Liberty U and attempt actively to discourage anyone from actually attending?

Joe, You conflated

Joe,

You conflated government aggression with voluntary contractual obligation twice in your post. The first in your choice of word Orwellian, the second when you compared LU's rules with government policy.

Justin, _I only take issue

Justin,

_I only take issue when people think that private rules are somehow incompatible with libertarianism, or liberty._

I don't see why Micha needs to back away from anything. No one is saying that private rules are inconsistent with liberty. But doesn't it strike you as a somewhat Orwellian use of language to name a school "Liberty" and then design a list of rules that, voluntary or not, pretty seriously restricts one's liberty?

Sort of like a Clean Skies Act that raises the amount of permissible pollution, or a Department of Defense that engages in aggressive wars.

I'd criticize LU's approach

I'd criticize LU's approach from a different standpoint. Most of these things aren't unreasonable, on their face, to want to curtail: I went to a government university, and it had rules about drinking alcohol, too; fraternities were supposed to observe "no drinking" policies during "rush" -- i.e., recruitment weeks.

But the valuation placed on some of these things is ridiculous! Witchcraft = Rape = Drinking Beer!

I rather suspect, in LU's defense, that sexual assault draws a fine PLUS more severe penalties; this list of fines probably doesn't tell the whole story.

This just shows the difference of world view between a Baptist institution and many other Christian organizations. Dancing and gambling are no problem for Catholics, Orthodox (I think) and many Protestants.

So my question is: what if a LU student gets invited to a wedding where there's dancing and drinking? I have to believe the administration at LU has thought of this, and isn't so rigid as to say, "you can't go."

Micha clearly backtracked

Micha clearly backtracked away from his original post and his first comment with his second "What's wrong with wichcraft" comment. I have no problem with libertarians who dislike Christianity mocking it, although I personally think they are wrong for doing so. I only take issue when people think that private rules are somehow incompatible with libertarianism, or liberty.

Fortunately, at this point in the thread people no longer feel that way!

Micha, just because I

Micha,

just because I consider myself a libertarian doesn’t mean that whenever I criticize something, I am criticizing it on strict libertarian grounds.

The subject for your post was 'The Ironically Named “Liberty University”' and not 'Look at those wacky Christians'. The word liberty is not used accidently by libertarians.

I don't mean to be a pain in the butt, or to be contrary. But as a Christian libertarian I often see exceptions to an otherwise principled philosophy when it comes to private checks on immoral behavior.

It's bizarre and a bit

It's bizarre and a bit troubling that Sexual Assault, a glass of wine and satan worship are equivalent offenses in the Liberty penalty system. The poor schmuck that has a beer with his pizza is on par with a sexual criminal? Somethings totally out of whack with that value system at good ol' Liberty U.

Micha confuses "libertine"

Micha confuses "libertine" with "liberty". There are an awful lot of libertarians that make this same mistake; it's a bad mistake to make.

Freedom isn't about approving of other people's lifestyles, neither you of the L.U. students' nor they of yours. Freedom is about letting people live as they see fit, no matter how wrong you think their choices are. If we of all people forget that then we'll never have the government off our backs.

Micha, I never stated or

Micha,

I never stated or implied that these rules are incompatible with libertarianism. They are, however, incompatible with a generally accepted conception of liberty, even if these restrictions are in some sense “chosen.”

Lets put this debate in economic rather than moral terms. As an employee, I have to be at work every day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Does this mean that I have less liberty than someone who is unemployed?

Andrew, Why think that Colby

Andrew,

Why think that Colby isn't a liberal arts college? Just curious. I had a friend who taught there for a year, and he seemed to like it, except for the whole constant winter thing.

Wow, there's more comments

Wow, there's more comments on this thread than on the one calling Harry Truman a terrorist! Not as many as the one about teaching children how to have sex, mind you... Anyway:

[These rules] are, however, incompatible with a generally accepted conception of liberty, even if these restrictions are in some sense “chosen.”

Micha, it seems that you and I have different conceptions of liberty. They're close enough for us to fit under the same big tent, but to me the difference is significant and important, perhaps even fundamental.

Huh. If there's such a thing as "big tent libertarianism", why are there so few people under the damn tent?

The name of the nuthouse

The name of the nuthouse university makes as much sense as Colby College and its ilk calling itself a "liberal arts college". The price list is so bad its amusing.

I have a house in Lynchburg

I have a house in Lynchburg so I’m there quite frequently. Liberty is definitely not a shithole. Almost all of the buildings are brand new (they’re rolling in money)

Maybe that's where all the fine money is going. :wink:

Entering the space above

Entering the space above ceiling tiles - $50 fine (wtf?)

Probably a very frequent hiding spot for banned videos and other contraband.