Liberty U's Unexpected Speaker: Bernie Sanders

August 6, 2015

Liberty University on Wednesday announced the schedule for the many outside speakers it will bring in this fall for student convocations. It was at such a convocation in March that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas kicked off his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, and Liberty was criticized because student attendance is mandatory at convocations. Liberty, a fast-growing evangelical university, regularly receives visits from Republican politicians.

This fall, Liberty will hear from many prominent Christians and conservatives, and another candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Ben Carson. But the list of speakers released by Liberty quickly captured attention for another name on the list: Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sanders released this statement on his plan to visit Liberty Sept. 14: “Liberty University was kind enough to invite me to address a convocation and I decided to accept. It goes without saying that my views on many issues -- women’s rights, gay rights, education -- are very different from the opinions of some in the Liberty University community,” he said. “I think it is important, however, to see if we can reach consensus regarding the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in our country, about the collapse of the middle class, about the high level of childhood poverty, about climate change and other issues. It is very easy for a candidate to speak to people who hold the same views. It’s harder but important to reach out to others who look at the world differently. I look forward to meeting with the students and faculty of Liberty University.”

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