But the thing that really seems to rankle folks at the school is how Falwell reportedly directs the non-profit university’s resources into projects and real estate
Is Liberty University a real college?
I have a really hard time with No True Scotsman arguments. Especially when kids with limited experiences use them willy-nilly on groups people take seriously. John says Sally isn’t really Muslim because she is against terrorism; Sally says John isn’t really Californian because he moved there since high school; John then says Sally isn’t really black because her family is from Haiti; Sally retorts that John didn’t go to a real college because his school’s Comparative Literature program wasn’t in the top 100. At Christmas they both give up and give each other dictionaries, and both realize they were all wrong on 100% of everything.
That’s what we’re dealing with here. Your question here isn’t about Liberty University, it’s about whether a school that’s been accredited by multiple major accreditation bodies for 50 years, including a law school and a med school, with 20,000 full-time students, “counts” because it disagrees with something you’ve added to the definition of “college” during a sanguinary rage, ironically disagreeing with hundreds of thousands of PhDs in the process.
It may surprise you to hear in this world of populist news, but it is very hard to get or keep accreditation. Any school with accreditation is real. Many many schools without accreditation are real, some because they’re in the multi-year very difficult process of getting initial accreditation or renewing it after a suspension (which is not uncommon.) There are even a few very prestigious schools without accreditation.
So great, Liberty University is religious. So to a lesser but still official extent are Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. So to a greater extent is BYU. So what school did you go to? 🙂 Because I guarantee most of the students at Liberty aren’t strict creationists, most probably have some balanced hybrid view. But who cares if they don’t? What does that have to do with their education? Who decided the role of a university was to build little robots who never question anything? No, the Constitution protects the worldview of religious schools, and, FWIW, it doesn’t protect your worldview other than in the most abstract terms. The Congress could legitimately bar colleges from teaching evolution, but they could not bar them from teaching creationism. Neither would ever happen, not a single group of people believes that they should, but mathematically, one is possible. Plus, you’ve gotta’ at least give a nod to academic freedom in this world of censoring any differing thoughts and banning words in the university world. Do you see why everyone from the previous generation says the university’s role in challenging society’s prejudices and paradigms is over?
Now I’m not from Jerry Falwell’s church and I’m not a creationist per se. I’m just academic enough that I don’t pretend to know what I can’t know, nor do I make authoritative statements outside my specialty–at least not without a giant disclaimer… Real science is the study of confidence.
PS Read this, it’s a fun one: