Writer: No 'culture of fear' at LU

To provide yet another, however more reasoned, viewpoint on the recent opinion piece about Liberty University — maybe my viewpoint will help. I graduated from LU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies and a master’s degree in public policy. I was heavily involved in the Student Government Association — so I can attest to its relationship with the administration.

I read Will E. Young’s piece, written for The Washington Post and published online by The News & Advance, in earnest. I was hoping to find something that might have rung true. Unfortunately, none of it did. What it was made of was accusations without backing, paranoia run amuck and just general seeming hatred toward the university. I don’t expect every student to love what Jerry Falwell Jr. did when he endorsed Donald Trump for the president of the United States during the Republican primary. Frankly, I don’t care — I wasn’t a fan during the primaries, but words and actions turned me around.

The idea that the Liberty Champion, the student newspaper, is somehow supposed to rank on par with The New York Times or another similar publication is ludicrous. This is a private university “newspaper” that comprises mostly articles concerning campus events and occasionally some articles concerning current events. It’s not investigative reporting like Woodward and Bernstein.

Ever since the SGA overhaul with the new “House” — that chamber of the SGA is inherently anti-rule. It’s against practically anything to do with the Liberty Way and any rule they deem too oppressive. But if you disagree with them, you’re a bigot (or so I’ve been told). The SGA has been used as a vehicle for change. Trust me — when I was in SGA, friends and I utilized SGA to build the momentum that got concealed carry on LU’s campus. The SGA and even LU administration would have rather had us poking around different areas, but we circumvented the process and went straight to Falwell.

Speaking out isn’t frowned upon at LU. It’s cherished. But when speaking out requires a break in the rules or the morals — or is designed to publically humiliate university administration — hmmm ... maybe that’s where the line is drawn?

CRAIG STORRS

Lynchburg

The kudzu connection

Socialism is now at the forefront of media and political commentary. But, how can we explain it?

How about a helpful illustration? As you travel the beautiful roads of Virginia, you will view majestic oak, hickory, poplar, red bud, flowering dogwood, apple and cherry trees. With proper sunlight, these trees have the “freedom” to grace our landscape along with varieties of flowers. Yes, with soil nourishment, water, sunlight and airspace, our trees and flowers flourish in Virginia giving joy to us all.

Unfortunately, Virginia roads also take us to areas where there is little life but invasive vines of large green leaves — kudzu — covering all of the trees and flowers! So, what has any of this to do with Socialism? Well, as kudzu is to the Virginia landscape so will socialism be to your economic and daily life. Kudzu is taking over Virginia’s trees and flowers, smothering them, creeping onward, even over guardrails and onto roads! Those who introduced kudzu had good intentions. However, the introduction of kudzu to prevent erosion has a dark side.

Socialism has had a dark side invasive to the lives of millions of people. People of socialist nations who sought “freedom” to grow had their joy smothered by an invasive order of conformity, uniformity, darkness and even death. Today, this history appears to be OK with some in America since they believe that those who are promoting socialism have “good intentions” and just want “to be fair.”

Personally, I prefer the U.S. Constitution as a basis to judge fairness rather than the ideas of multiple charismatic socialists. However, some may find fairness and joy in socialism as long as they enjoy kudzu.

ROBERT LUCAS

Forest

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