Monday, January 30, 2006

Newsweek: Right wingers practicing "Assault Ministry"

This is scary. If Jesus hadn't risen from the dead he'd be turning in his grave: "Debaters are the new missionaries, having realized they can save a lot more souls from a seat at the top—perhaps even on the highest court in the land. 'Evangelicals have always wanted to persuade people to the faith,' says John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. 'The new thing is that evangelicals want to be more involved in the world now. Conservative Christian leaders would like to have a cadre of conservative Christian attorneys, who then become judges, politicians and political appointees.' At Patrick Henry College, an evangelical school outside Washington, D.C.—where 30 percent of the student body engages in some form of debate—the president is so committed to producing leaders that he's also the moot-court coach. Baptist Cedarville University in Ohio just tripled its budget for debate scholarships. Falwell's school, in Lynchburg, Va., pours a half million dollars into the debate program every year, with the goal of eventually flooding the system with 'thousands' of conservative Christian lawyers. 'We are training debaters who can perform assault ministry, meaning becoming the conscience of the culture,' says Falwell, who is also hoping the team will elevate the humble academic reputation of Liberty itself. 'So while we have the preaching of the Gospel on the one side—certainly a priority—we have the confronting of the culture on moral default on the other side.'"


At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a debater at Liberty University, and I can speak for my entire team when I say that this article completely mischaracterized what we do. We don't think that we need to change the country or that we think our activity can "turn people from sin." This was a clearly biased article, and the quotes were not quotes at all. They were twisted. We do debate because we enjoy it, because it educates us about politics, international events, and because it equips us with unique skills that we can use in whatever career we choose to pursue, not just law.

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an alumni debater from a national circuit team (unlike liberty). I am offended by the characterization of Liberty as the "top team in the nation," because their evangelical message, frankly, makes our entire activity look bad. not only that, but they don't win tournaments that get national coverage. Their religiousl affiliations are personal but overt, and they have a right to them. I'm a republican in a mostly democratic activity, however, I really hope that msnbc reconsiders how they represented liberty in relation to the rest of the debate circuit.
I distinctly remember Liberty redshirting novice debaters and engaging in practices that made it almost impossible for other teams to be educated (not allowing them to read/understand evidence).
That said, I have also seen liberty teams engage in fair play and be open and accepting to alternative views on the activity.
Each individual is different, but in my opinion, that whole school should be stopped in its quest to destroy civil liberties nationwide.

At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Liberty debater, and I assure you, we have never redshirted. We have a wonderful coaching staff who takes the time and interest to educate people on the art of debate. Your comments are unfair and unjustified. I don't care if you agree or disagree with our religious affiliation, but accusations of cheating are more than slightly ridiculous.


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