American Taxpayers Fund the Largest Christian College In America and the World

LU-Since-1971

In several states across America, Republican governors and legislatures are violating the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against using taxpayer dollars allocated for public schools to fund private religious schools. Founding Father James Madison wrote in 1796 that religious freedom means that “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.” However well-intentioned the Founding Fathers were to protect Americans from supporting religion, that sentiment has never caught on in America. Now it appears that taxpayers are not only being compelled to support private religious “places and ministries” in Republican-led states, they are being compelled to support the largest Christian “university” in the world.

As a recent report reveals, and it is a very disturbing revelation, one of the Republicans’ most coveted welfare recipients, Liberty University, the fundamentalist “institution” founded by Baptist scam artist Jerry Falwell has become the largest “private, Christian, tax exempt” conservative candidate mill  in the United States of America. The slap in the face to American taxpayers, and an affront to the Constitution’s Separation Clause, is that taxpayers are furnishing a majority of the funding, and huge profits, to the Christian madrassa in two distinct ways. First, Liberty University, and calling it a legitimate university is an abomination, brings in the majority of its revenue from taxpayer-funded federal aid, and because it is a so-called “charitable religious organization,” the bible school and its substantial staff of clergy are exempt from paying taxes.

As one religion writer noted, “evangelical students find Liberty attractive because they can take courses online and have taxpayer-funded welfare cover their living expenses. Federal aid to Liberty’s students has grown so high that it now exceeds all other revenue collected by the university.” To be clear, federal financial aid, like grants, does not go directly to the ‘university,’ but it does go directly to Christian students to pay for enrollment and tuition at the Baptist bible school. In fact, education experts say one of the reason evangelical conservatives love attending the bible college is that taxpayer money pays for all their school expenses as well as their living expenses while they “profit” from an evangelical educational experience. In return, taxpayers are now suffering from Republicans who were educated in how to legislate “the Christian worldview” as the law of the land.

The growth of the Baptist “conservative propaganda mill” is due to well-meaning Democrats who believed it was a good idea to financially assist Americans seeking to gain a real education in real educational institutions of higher learning; something that Liberty University definitely does not qualify as. To get an idea of just how rapidly a small private Baptist, tax exempt, pretend university can grow with free welfare from unknowing taxpayers, the bible-based Republican organization grew from 5,939 undergraduate students and 735 graduate students to 49,744 undergraduates and 31,715 graduate students in a little over a decade.

In fact, according to data from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, taxpayer-funded federal aid for the private Baptist “college” grew five times faster than bible school’s enrollment. At the beginning of the 21st Century, Liberty’s students received less than $20 million in total federal aid in a good year. That number has grown to well over $800 million every year courtesy of welfare from unwitting taxpayers; there is no data available for the billion-plus dollars taxpayers furnish the private Baptist school every year. Even though it is a private enterprise employing a Republican business model,  Liberty University is like every church in America and is exempt from paying taxes, but it is not exempt from collecting other Americans’ tax dollars.

Using taxpayer-funded federal aid is a critical part of the Baptist “school’s” business model it employs to create a “uniquely Republican” education program for conservative evangelical extremists; particularly through the bible college’s “online learning experience.” As the enrollment numbers “increased exponentially,” taxpayer funding has grown even faster. For example, when enrollment tripled, federal aid quadrupled. When enrollment doubled again, federal aid quadrupled again and taxpayers continued picking up the tab. Being in the private religious school business is a very profitable enterprise financially and politically.

The reason American taxpayer’s should be incensed is that Liberty University was just a small bible college facing financial challenges because its curriculum focused solely on “fundamentalist Baptist theology” and indoctrinating students in Republican politics using propaganda to teach bible students to oppose federal government overreach. Now, although the curriculum remains the same, billions of dollars in taxpayer funding has allowed the private Baptist “school” to grow into an enormous evangelical Republican production facility.

One wonders why Americans are not outraged that they are funding a private “bible school” with $800 million of their hard-earned tax dollars; particularly since it teaches “university-level” creationism, evangelical fundamentalism, Republican politics, support for Koch-style capitalism and free enterprise, and theocratic conservatism. In fact, the entire curriculum is centered around indoctrinating into student’s psyche a religious commitment to promote the “Christian worldview;” the same worldview that Republicans in Congress and state legislatures are busy legislating into law.

It is truly a tragedy that an anti-government private Baptist college has exploded in size, financial resources and substantive presence on Capitol Hill where its evangelical alumni are now a very familiar sight and powerful force in government. Every single Republican presidential candidate has spoken at Liberty University that supporters say make it “the symbolic hub of conservative Christianity.” According to Baptist preacher and former Liberty University senior vice president, Johnnie Moore, “Liberty is to academia what Fox News is to the media. No one talks anymore about whether Liberty is the heart of conservatism. It is an institution that, whether you like it or not, everyone in America has to pay attention to because it exemplifies the journey of conservative evangelicals into political life.”

That there is no outcry from Americans that their tax dollars are funding a private Baptist college that is a major contributor of the recent dangerous and unprecedented rise of evangelical political power in Washington and the states. It is the fulfillment of every Christian theocrat’s dream to have at their disposal, according to fundamentalist Christians and Dominionists; “a powerful evangelical institution that is changing America through the law, medicine, and conservative politics.” The abomination is that as Americans are watching their nation being raped by religious Republican extremists, they likely do not know they are funding the indoctrination of the religious Republicans imposing evangelical theocracy, or Christian Sharia, on America.

40 Replies to “American Taxpayers Fund the Largest Christian College In America and the World”

  1. Well. I am outraged.

    But then as an atheist- I get automatic condescension for being such. Yes I pay taxes, but somehow my concerns about it going for such blatant favoritism- is minimized.

    And every time I make inquiries about such- every religious nutter gets all huffy and starts muttering about persecution.

    And yet, the self same folks who get defensive about this kind of stuff- go all ballistic if an Atheist or a Satanist wants equal time if not money.

  2. I wonder how much Notre Dame, BYU and other religious based universities get from their tax exempt status?

    Also are state schools tax exempt and a more important question at least to me is if they are being tax payer subsidize shouldn’t the education be free?

  3. This is where all those clueless judges and prosecutors are trained. We need to burn this place to the ground.

  4. Yes, your solution is correct* but, there would there be repercussions…

    Would they be allowed federal funding to rebuild their cult indoctrination, Satan hole incubator? Would they get fed-funds to pile-up all ash and created a sacred (national) monument? Would Congress provide a check for whatever they wanted?

    And yes, Christians absolutely have a “Satan-hole”; of this I have absolute certainty! However, unless you join their “Born Again Club” you don’t have one! To be more precise, “YEW don’t get wan! You ain’t wan’na us!”

    Christian “born again”=Satan-hole, or, is it, Satan hole=”born again” Christian? (This is hard not knowing how to use the proper label! Are they part of a CBASH or SHBAC community?)

    *I’d prefer a smart bomb for reasons too numerous to list.

  5. • NO MORE TAX EXEMPTIONS,,for this political church.
    Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention. – See more at:http://www.rightwingwatch.org/…/southern-baptist…
    MAILING ADDRESS
    The Executive Committee, SBC
    901 Commerce Street
    Nashville, TN 37203-3699
    TELEPHONE
    615.244.2355
    that is their location AND this is who you may lodge a complaint with,
    Tennessee Department of Revenue, Taxpayer and Vehicle Services Division, Andrew Jackson Office Building, 500 Deaderick Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37242.,,,, Davidson County
    County Clerk: Brenda Wynn
    Office Address:
    700 2nd Avenue S.
    Howard Office Building
    Nashville, TN 37210
    Phone: (615) 862-6251
    Fax: (615) 862-6037 or (615) 880-3811
    Hours of Operation: M-F, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • For Related Tax Information:
    Internet Address: ………………………….. http://www.azdor.gov
    ,FIGHT BACK,,,or surrender

    NO MORE TAX EXEMTIONS,,for this political church……….
    Charlotte Headquarters Phone
    Toll-Free: 1…

  6. (excerpt)

    “First, Liberty University, and calling it a legitimate university is an abomination, brings in the majority of its revenue from taxpayer-funded federal aid, and because it is a so-called “charitable religious organization,” the bible school and its substantial staff of clergy are exempt from paying taxes.”

    I think it is the case that just about any “minister” on the staff of the University would qualify for the tax free income benefit allowed by IRC 107 which the FFRF recently tried to have declared UNconstitutional.

    In fact, federal district judge Barbara Crabb did declare IRC 107(2) UNconstitutional but implementation of that ruling was blocked by the appeals court that said she should not have allowed standing to the FFRF, Annie Gaylor and Dan Barker.

    – RLBaty

  7. Isn’t it also the case that Liberty University and some of its employees and former employees are implicated in the international kidnapping of Janet Jenkins daughter by Lisa Miller and others; a case which has yet to be resolved?

  8. I read the article & then I went on-line & looked up Liberty U. I’m an artist with a BFA from one of the top Art Colleges in the U.S., so I was curious to see what they offered in art courses.

    The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio and Digital Arts will give you exposure in a variety of artistic techniques and challenge you to develop your conceptual planning, aesthetic eye, and critical thinking. It provides you a solid platform to launch into a Master of Fine Arts program. Learn from the great artists of the past and present as you seek to become a great artist in the future.

    Key Points:
    Comprehensive graphic design program offered from a sound moral and biblical perspective.
    Cost-effective, accredited graphic design online program offered by a national educational institution. Effectively helps prepare students for a rewarding career in the field of graphic design. Ranked among the top 10 online colleges in the nation for two years in a row by the Online Education.

  9. The intro looks like it was lifted from a major art college to give the courses legitimacy. However, as you go to the key points the first line is about the bible and teaching morals – great take a philosophy class – that is where cultural mores are taught along with the mythos of each culture. What do they do put a bag over the models heads? That is what they did in the 19th c so the female model would not be embarrassed that male artists were drawing her.

    Next the rest of the points is about digital art. Sorry folks, digital maybe all the rage and it is a new art form – but it is still considered a graphic art form used for advertising etc. – not fine arts. Fine arts is learning how to draw, paint & sculpt without a computer, learning how with your mind, hands & heart. Whether or not you believe this is a gift from God or not is very personal.

  10. It gave no specific courses of study and did not describe said courses in detail. Something every student would want to know what they will be learning. This looks like art education lite.

    Most serious art students are in studio classes all day long – up to 6 hours, plus take English, History, Philosophy, Cultural Anthropology, Art History Etc in the mornings before studio class and in the late afternoon after studio class. Studio classes for fine arts in drawing – basic drawing, drawing studies in still life, figure & landscape; upper level figure & life drawing; abstract drawing, color theory & learning about using different mediums. The list above is just a taste of fine arts drawing and I have not given the specific details of what each class would entail.

  11. FYI one more thing and I’ll end my rant. Most State Community Colleges give more detail about their courses than Liberty U. So, it begs the question how in the h*ll did they get accredited?

  12. This is Jerry Falwell’s institution of hate, ignorance, intolerance and biblical heresy. The vile Satanic cancer that consumes Liberty is a form of national terrorism. Break their bank and you break Satan’s back.

  13. I’m a Liberal Atheist who attends Liberty University. Flame me if you want want, but it would be a waste of time. After all, I’m a Liberal Atheist who attends Liberty University and therefore have incredibly thick skin. What I can say is that this article and many of the comments here as angry, hateful, and bigotted as anything I’ve heard at school, which is saying something.

    Liberty is a real university, with real classes, that offers real degrees. Yes, Miss Art Major I have taken “English, History, Philosophy, Cultural Anthropology, Art History etc.” and I’m an Aeronautics major. By the way, as a Aeronautics major every single class in my major is overseen and regulated by the FAA. As such, it doesn’t matter, at least in any practical way, that I’m getting my degree from an Evangelical University. As a matter of fact Liberty has one of the top programs in the country right now in terms of safety and hiring rates.

  14. Our washout rate is around 50% and students who don’t have the benefit of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and don’t have extremely wealthy parents paying out of pocket can expect to graduate with around $250,000 in student loans.

    This is a problem, and we can discuss it as such. It’ not unique to Liberty, it’s typical of school with aviation programs, and the inaccessibility of flight training combined with extremely stiff hiring requirements in the U.S. is putting a huge strain on the industry, but that’s another topic altogether.

    My point Liberty is a real school, a real school with an agenda, but a real school non the less. Honestly, I was surprised by the academics standards here. The counter-intuitive thing about Liberty is that the only “easy As” are the mandatory religious classes. I think I finished Evangelism with like a 150%. But you see it HAS to be that way. They know what kind of scrutiny they’re under so they want me to sit through the Evangelism

  15. Which is not a real class, it’s church, then they have to give a real English Class, and real History Class, and I need to e employable as a pilot when I graduate. If those things didn’t happen Liberty would never be in the position that it is and receiving the federal funding that it does all while pushing the agenda that it does.

    So yes, there’s a way to object to what Liberty University does and what it stands for. But disparaging it’s credibility as a real university, and otherwise engaging in angry name calling is not the way.

  16. Oh, and btw, they take their art, journalism, broadcasting, theater, etc. programs VERY seriously. They need people to make the propaganda. If you dug a little deeper you’d find these programs too, are very real.

  17. Or the B.S.

    https://www.liberty.edu/media/1270/SDSA-BS-R.pdf

    Note: There is drawing painting and sculpting.

    Also, it’s worth noting Liberty keeps a lot of the specifics, like specific courses, and course descriptions behind account walls, I think it’s ridiculous, I had to sign an agreement that I would follow “The Liberty Way” Liberty’s personal conduct policy before I was given the user account that allow me to read it, but there it is. If you want any insider info, I’m happy to provide.

  18. I have been advocating taxing ‘religious’ organizations for years. You make a good point. I also wonder how far discontinued support and taxing of these organizations would go toward improving the infrastructure in the U.S., for example.

    When Congress looks at ‘cutting the fat’, this should be the first place they look.

  19. I find it interesting, Lycanthro, that as an avowed “atheist,” you would even go to a Christian college. And even to sit through a course entitled “Evangelism” (thinly-veiled euphemism for attending church), is a mystery to me. You say they have an excellent aviation school, but you will be graduating with $250,000 debt. I KNOW that there are other equally amazing aviation schools out there that don’t come near to that cost. So once again, I don’t think ANY self-respecting atheist would even step foot into a christian school, no matter the credentials! So therefore, I can only guess that you are a Christian troll, who is trying to make a case for a school that should NOT be getting federal funding AT ALL.

  20. First of all I didn’t say I would be graduating with $250,000 in debt, only that some student due. And not that is not atypical for an aviation program. Flight training runs $300hr+ anywhere you go. I can assure most majors at Liberty aren’t paying $9000 lab fees for many of their courses, but that students in aviation programs a UND, Embry Riddle, etc. most certainly are. Now, the truth is I did most of my flight training outside of Liberty and was a Multi-Engine commercial pilot before I even came to school. I can tell you, emphatically, that this was a mistake. The flight program at Liberty is head and shoulders about other flight schools I’ve trained, including one of the best known in the industry. As for why I’m at Liberty, the simple fact of the matter is it’s local and they do have a good program for what I what to do. Attending Liberty was frankly the right choice for pursuing my professional goals in my situation, which is not something I need you to accept.

  21. And I’m not going to disagree with you about Evangelism being a thinly veiled euphemism for attending church, in fact I made that specific point myself. I also have to take Survey of Old Testament, Survey of New Testament, Theology I and II, Biblical Worldview I and II, and Creations Studies (which the class where new Earth creationism is taught as a science). And I have no doubt that it’s unfathomable to you that a Liberal Atheist could sit through those classes, but I assure you I’m not the only one, and even a lot of the conservative Christian students at the school don’t actually believe the Earth is 6000 years old. What I can tell you is that as a Pro-Choice, Athiest, pro-LGBT rights, pro-Feminist, taking college courses in the opposite perspective has been a very worthwhile learning experience. I don’t agree with them anymore than I ever did, but I understand much better now the core values that underlie that viewpoint (misguided though they may be).

  22. Ans as for making a case for a school that should not be receiving Federal Funding at all, I don’t need to to do that. I don’t agree with the viewpoint that Liberty espouses, but I don’t think that viewpoint should be censored. The government shouldn’t be in the business of picking and choosing which institutions receive funding based on the educational services provided, not the agenda behind them and in fact trying to suppress opposing agendas is EXACTLY the thing Liberty does that bothers me the most. And besides if there was no demand for Liberty’s brand of college with an extra large side helping of Evangelic Christianity and Conservative Politics, then Liberty wouldn’t exist. So yeah, it’s not my job to make a case for Liberty, and that’s not what I’m trying to do. You can still call me a troll though. Names don’t bother me, as I’ve said. Of course all you’re doing there is insulting me rather than addressing what I’m actually saying.

  23. Actually I’d rather enjoy sitting through those classes, Lycanthro. It’s so nice to learn the history of the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bibles, and if they ever offered it- all of the “Forgotten” books of the bible too.

    http://reluctant-messenger.com/lost_forgotten_books.htm

    Wherein one learns of the ultra-thin difference between the mainstream books and the ‘apocryphal’ ones.

  24. Moongrim, if you’re willing to take a purely academic approach to the subject matter, and understand that the professor believes what he believes and is paid to fake what he doesn’t then the religious classes are actually pretty interesting. Except Evangelism. Evangelism is a joke. Really the only class I could stand sitting through. What struck me most about Evangelism, is I once used to work at this really awful furniture and appliance stored that preyed on poor people with really awful financing. The tactics they teach you for selling Jesus in Evangelism are eerily reminiscent of the tactics they teach you for selling extended warranties on TVs. But Old Testement, New Testement, even Biblical Worldview, by approaching it the right way I was actually able to get something out of those classes. If nothing else I understand why people who feel differently about certain topics think the way they do.

  25. I don’t really think it’s fair to put Notre Dame and BYU in the same sentence as Liberty. Yes, they are all private religiously-affiliated schools, but ND and BYU are actually pretty renowned for their academics. I mean you can say all you want about the religions they are affiliated with and those religious teachings, but when it comes down to it, you graduate from those schools with a tremendous education.

    Most states’ taxes currently cover about half of each student’s education. If you want them to be “free,” you have to raise taxes to accommodate the expenses of a university. I’m all for universal higher education assuming admission standards remain the same.

  26. My problem with Liberty University is that they are training lawyers with the explicit purpose of taking over the legal system and installing their own religious interpretations of law.
    Lawyers become judges and judges get to interpret the law. This country is already on its way to having a theocratic government and Liberty graduates will be soon be the generation getting elected to high political office. And to the Supreme Court.

    We are sowing the wind when we give this school any taxpayer money. I don’t care if they teach the only dratted course in the nation in aviation or art or any other topic. They have a religious agenda and are training young people who don’t have the brain development to see they are being used. It’s not hard to bend a young person’s brain. Just look at how many young potential jihadists are heading to syria and bombing americans…boston….chatanooga…et al

  27. After further reading on this explosion of federal aid I came across this info which may change opinions

    In the late 1990s, Liberty students received less than $20 million in aid. Students now receive over $800 million dollars a year in federal aid.
    As with any federal financial aid, the grants and loans are awarded to students, not the university. Liberty does not receive any other federal funds, but its growth has come by attracting Christian students who qualify for aid. […]

    One reason for the school’s growth is the expansion of federal aid in 2009. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also called “the stimulus”) increased Pell Grant funding by over $15 billion dollars, and 800,000 more students qualified for the grants. Liberty students increased their total Pell Grants from $18.7 million to $44.2 million, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/07/15/liberty-university-a-hub-of-conservative-politics-owes-rapid-growth-to-federal-student-loans/?tid=sm_tw

  28. The problem with your line of thinking is that it’s EXACTLY what I hear at Liberty. The way they see, we’re on our way to some sort of Nazi dictatorship that openly persecutes Christians. The way they see, their the only University that’s not promoting a radical leftest agenda. It’s utterly ridiculous of course, but one side or the other needs to break the chain of paranoia or one of them is going to end up being right. But I’ll tell you this: take away their Federal Funding, indeed take the away the right of conservative Christian student to seek an education in an environment in which he/she feels comfortable, even if you disagree with it, set the conditions under which higher education in this country must take place based your values and yours alone, and not only you doing exactly what they’re already convinced your trying to do, but you’re doing exactly what you’re accusing them of trying to do. This is not way to pursue your agenda.

  29. 1st, there is no “leftist agenda” or written Nazi-style manifesto ready to pounce and persecute Christians for wanting to live in faith. However, written rules and behaviors that are displayed by those who promo/run institutions like Liberty are on display. It’s no longer about Liberty’s Christian belief, it’s about THEIR behavior…both sides of the equation knows that Liberty’s strict authoritarian written “rules” are facts; they are used to convert, control and conquer.

    They are subversives with the intent to undermine democracy based on their “belief”. They have fomented hate of secularism/secular laws in an open-book authoritarian agenda. Prime example: “bleeding the beast”; a belief based on premeditated behavior to rip off the “secular” collective tax base and use our taxes as a weapon to convert, control, conquer or, kill.

    Liberty must empty their “quiver”, surrender and, do as Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar…” or suffer the consequence…

  30. “The government shouldn’t be in the business of picking and choosing which institutions receive funding based on the educational services provided, not the agenda behind them and in fact trying to suppress opposing agendas…”.

    Yes, the government does have the right to pick and choose who receives funds based on educational services, not religious agenda. Religious belief is protected via the constitution, but government cannot “fund” any religious education least it sets a presidency for a state religion, which is against the constitution based on a voting citizenry.

    If you can’t fund your private belief with your own donations, then, I guess your belief system not worth funding to it’s investors.

    Liberty will die off, just like all the other bad ideas that could not sustain without $$$..which begs the question, why does Liberty need gobs of money to teach “belief” in a sky-god when the sky-god text book is free; aren’t churches “schools” created to teach religious be…

  31. Well Lycanthro, you are most likely the ONLY sane person on the campus seeing as how you are Liberal and Atheist. But try getting a job in a place BEING an Liberal Atheist no matter WHERE you get your diploma’s. Libertine University graduates have a hard time getting jobs because no one wants to deal with some one with mental issues that they DEMAND others around them adhere and submit to. I’ve seen it first hand.

  32. Lycanthro. We will ONLY slip into some Nazi like regime if the Reich Wing seizes power. You see Lycanthro the Nazi’s WERE! Christians! They were molded in the fashion of the Jesuit Catholic order. So they were Christians persecuting and MURDERING NON Christians including Atheists! What you must realize is that they operate in a completely reverse fashion! The Christian Reich Wing IS the New Nazi Party! Everything that they have done and will do will lead to that if we do not destroy them completely. You can’t put a bandaid on a broken leg!

  33. No, I agree. You are absolutely correct. The ONE thing at Liberty that absolutely MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL is the persecution complex. Every time a arab Christian is beheaded in Syria, and during Charleston shootings, ALL I HEARD ABOUT what, “They’re killing Christians and ZOMGWTFBQQQ WE’RE NEXT HIDE THE CHILDREN!” At least once a week I hear about how open persecution of Christians is coming to the United States. And it’s ridiculous when I consider the level of privilege the straight, white, male, Christian saying this enjoy while being totally unaware of it.
    But this is what I’m saying… I hear this NONSENSE all of the time, and YOU SOUND JUST LIKE THEY DO. The same irrational fear. And you know what’s going to happen if Evangelical Christians and Athiest remain convinced that the other is out to get them? One of them is going to end up being right.

  34. Yeap. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that exact speech before. Expect it was a Liberty professor talking about Secular Humanists.

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