Liberty University Welcomes Socialist Bernie Sanders to Address Student Body: ‘We Have Same Goals’

SandersLYNCHBURG, Va. — The president of what is known as the largest evangelical university in the world welcomed admitted socialist Bernie Sanders to address the student body on politics and social issues on Monday, stating that they have the “same goals” of “helping people in need.”

Sanders, who spoke at Liberty University’s weekly convocation—which students are required to attend—began by admitting that he had differences with the university.

“I believe in a woman’s rights, and the right of a woman to control her own body. I believe gay rights and gay marriage,” he stated within seconds of opening of his speech. “Those are my views, and it is no secret. But I came here today because I believe from the bottom of my heart that it is vitally important for those of us who hold different views to be able to engage in a civil discourse.”

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. had stated in his introduction that he hoped the university could find “common ground” with Sanders. The Democratic presidential candidate made similar statements during his speech.

“[I]t is harder, but not less important, for us to try and communicate with those who do not agree with us on every issue,” Sanders said. “And it is important to see where if possible, and I do believe it is possible, we can find common ground.”

“I understand that the issues of abortion and gay marriage are issues that you feel very strongly about. We disagree on those issues. I get that,” he reiterated. “But let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and in fact to the entire world that maybe, just maybe, we do not disagree on and maybe, just maybe, we can try to work together to resolve them.”

Sanders, who is Jewish, cited several Scriptures during his talk, including Matthew 7:12, which reads, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”

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“I am far, far from being a perfect human being, but I am motivated by a vision, which exists in all of the great religions, in Christianity, in Judaism, in Islam and Buddhism, and other religions. And that vision is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12,” he said. “That is the golden rule, and it is not very complicated.”

Sanders’ speech mostly focused on poverty and income inequality—noting the differences between the rich and the working class.

“There is no justice, and I want you to hear this clearly, when the top one-tenth of 1 percent—not 1 percent, the top one-tenth of 1 percent—today in America owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. And in your hearts, you will have to determine the morality of that, and the justice of that,” he contended.

“I think that when we talk about morality, what we are talking about is all of God’s children. The poor, the wretched—they have a right to go to a doctor when they are sick,” Sanders posited.

In an interview following the event, Sanders told reporters that he believes morality involves more than abortion and homosexuality.

“That’s the main point I was trying to make, that morality is more than just your view on abortions or gay rights,” he stated. “Moral issues are also hungry children. Moral issues is also the state of our planet and climate change.”

Falwell also stated that while he realizes Sanders is a socialist and disagrees with his socialist views, he believes Liberty University still has beliefs in common with him.

“We have the same goals—helping people in need—we just have different philosophies on how to get there,” he said.

Falwell said that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have likewise been invited to speak. The university has a long history of speakers that have raised concerns, including Mormons Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney (the former of which cited LDS doctrine on stage), Roman Catholics Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush, and others.

“We’ve always tried to present both sides because we believe that college students are at an age where they need to hear viewpoints from all ends of the spectrum,” Falwell told USA Today. “We’re proud of our students for treating speakers that are not in line with their views with respect.”

Students were split on their reception of the Democratic candidate, with some cheering and others not so enthusiastic.

“I liked almost everything he said,” student Sarah Fleet told the Washington Times, nothing that while she disagreed with Sanders’ views on abortion, she liked his statements on childhood poverty and hunger. “And there’s no one who should be expecting everyone to agree on everything.”

“The biggest inconsistency [that he asserts] is the woman’s right to control her own body,” student Cameron Swathwood told CNN. “That assumes her body is the only one in question. … But if the unborn is in fact a human being, which science and philosophy say it is, that killing the unborn is a grievous moral wrong.”

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  • Sage

    No, we really don’t.

  • Dave_L

    “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

  • Emmanuel

    We don’t have the same goals. There’s no common ground. We are at different levels- spiritually. So, Bernie you focus on your earthly goals and we on our spiritual and heavenly goal.

    • Jim H

      So, does your focus on your spiritual and heavenly goal absolve you from Jesus’ command to care for the hungry, sick, poor, etc.?

      • Emmanuel

        Nope, that’s all included. But, if you are saying Bernie is doing the same, two completely different types of service.

        • Jim H

          Could you please explain how are works of service (charity) like serving the poor is anything but works of service (charity) regardless of you is doing it? If a person is no longer hungry, they are no longer hungry?

          • Emmanuel

            You are correct, the hungry are fed. I keep thinking about our drought. If we pass out water everyday, then no need for wells. But, pass out water but drill wells so everyone can have water equally. Will the donations stop? nope. But, the dependence on the bottled water is less. Bernie wants everyone to be dependent on the government water bottles and not on their own well. Is everyone getting water? yes. but how is the question

          • Jim H

            Interesting analogy, but to stay with it, it misses the point that a very small percentage have far more water bottles ($$$) than they will ever need and congress has provided (tax) breaks that allow them to keep even more bottles ($$$), while cutting programs that provide water bottles ($$$ for healthcare and nutritional programs) to those that have none.

          • LeftCoast

            I like this discussion and enjoying it, thanks. I see where you are going and it makes sense. I would have to ask, if I have x # of water bottles, why do I need to share if I worked for it by drilling my own well? Don’t I have the right to have some surplus? I can donate and give from a place of compassion and service. If a person has none, give help but encourage to drill a well for themselves. If they refuse, I’m sorry, you get little because you choice to not have a well. During a drought, everyone is affected but during this time, preparing the well is key for a better future and less dependent on water bottles.

          • Jim H

            How about if you, and people like you have xxxx # of water bottles because your grandfathers claimed the lands that had water and drilled wells a long time ago. They let everyone go thirsty so they could hoard all that water? Now you employ people to fill bottles from those wells and pay them one bottle for every 500 bottles they produce?

          • LeftCoast

            I would not do that. I share right now what I have. Water is not one of those commodities or resources that is scares. We will overcome this and we will have our own wells. I agree that this is not good business and not being a good citizen. If I was a business owner, I would pay great wages and I would make sure my employees are happy. But, that still does not justify taking from my well to give to the people who don’t care to drill for their own well. I can help to drill the well but not give and give while they stand there and do nothing to prepare themselves for when the rains come.

          • Jim H

            It is not like you can just drill anywhere and find well water. What if your land has no water? What do you do then?
            Companies like Nestle actually do buy up water rights and take water goes to their businesses over local populations.

  • Nidalap

    Well, we can have hope that, at THIS university, the student body is well enough taught to be able to discern truth when being bombarded with lies! 🙂

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      You are an eternal optimist, Nidalap! 🙂 But, the student who commented on abortion at least got that one right.

    • Jim H

      What exactly did Sanders say that was a lie? Was it that “when we talk about morality, what we are talking about is all of God’s children. The poor, the wretched—they have a right to go to a doctor when they are sick.” or was it “that morality is more than just your view on abortions or gay rights”?

      • Ron Williams

        It just seems to me that his way of going about achieving that end would be all wrong. Certainly we have that obligation. Christ set that example himself. His traveling party collected a lot of donations to his ministry and he kept enough to feed the flock and the rest was dispensed to the widows, orphans, and poor around them. Bernie’s vision would be similar, but he would have to employ lots of extra people in order to disperse the 50% he would take from our wages to do it. But wait! First things first! He would have to do a multi-billion dollar study to determine who is deserving of such generosity. Certainly those haters in the populace would not deserve it. Those religious bigots whose righteous indignation rubs everyone around them wrong…certainly they should not benefit! Let their G-d take care of them!

        • Jim H

          “Bernie’s vision would be similar, but he would have to employ lots of extra people in order to disperse the 50% he would take from our wages to do it.”

          So you are opposed to creating jobs and are only okay with the idea of helping widows, orphans, and poor as long as you personally don’t have to contribute to the effort?

          “But wait! First things first! He would have to do a multi-billion dollar study to determine who is deserving of such generosity.”

          I actually read/watched his speech. He already knows who is deserving of such generosity:

          “When you talk about issues of children, understand the Republican budget threw 27 million people off of health care…”

          “At a time when children in America are going hungry, the Republican budget cut billions of dollars in nutrition programs, including money for the WIC program, which goes to low income pregnant women and their babies. And to add insult to injury in that budget, the Republicans provided over $250 billion over a 10-year period in tax breaks to the top two tenths of one percent.”

          Essentially, its everyone who has suffered at the benefit of the top two percent of the wealthiest people in America.

          “Certainly those haters in the populace would not deserve it. Those religious bigots whose righteous indignation rubs everyone around them wrong…certainly they should not benefit! Let their G-d take care of them!”
          Most of those religious bigots live in states that are the least well off and draw the most help from the government and consequently suffer the most from cuts. Funding government programs that help the less fortunate benefit them most of all. The politicians they support play to their religious sentiments while doing nothing od practical value to help them.
          Just curious, are you Jewish? The reason I ask is that you write G-d, instead you God, something you generally only see Jews do because it is an extension of their belief that it is blasphemy to say God’s name. That is why we don’t know the exact pronunciation of what we say as Yahweh.

  • FoJC_Forever

    Political issues never supersede the Word of God. If people who claim to be Christian believe they can compromise and support those who promote two of the most immoral and despicable things taking place in the world, then they do not know Jesus (the) Christ.

    This country, with the world, sinks deeper and deeper into Sin. Politics isn’t going to save it. The falsely religious have been playing politics for centuries, even thousands of years. Those who follow Jesus (the) Christ are led by the Holy Spirit, not political and social agendas.

  • Rebecca

    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:8

  • timetorun

    its unbelievable that they would invite him. socialists have earthly goals that have nothing to do with Christianity of the bible. Jesus never condoned stealing the wealth of the rich and spreading it around like some kind of celestial Robin Hood. Jesus supports the value of work and rewards for individuals. Socialists would turn the church away from Christ to a social gospel of pretend equality and “liberation” and ever growing government that requires access into more and more of the affairs of the sovereignity of the church. Sanders is another wolf in sheeps clothing trying to influence the Christian church.