Liberty Students 'Embarrassed' by Falkirk Center, Says Student Body President, Vice President

Michael Foust | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Published: Dec 28, 2020
Liberty Students 'Embarrassed' by Falkirk Center, Says Student Body President, Vice President

Liberty Students 'Embarrassed' by Falkirk Center, Says Student Body President, Vice President

The president and vice president of the Liberty University student body are speaking out about the school’s Falkirk Center think tank, saying it has allowed politics to supersede the gospel message and that it negatively impacts the reputation of the university.

Liberty University student body president Constance Schneider and student body vice president Joel Thomas made the comments in social media posts prior to Christmas. As leaders in the Student Government Association, the two represent students in interactions with the university’s administration, according to the school’s website

“Our job is to represent the students of our school. When an organization like @falkirk_center is attached to Liberty, it impacts the reputation of not just our school, but our students as well,” Schneider wrote in a tweet. “We have had dozens of conversations with students who are embarrassed to claim the name of our school due to the rhetoric that comes from this center.”

The Falkirk Center exists to “uphold the Christian faith and defend America’s Constitution,” according to its website. Critics, though, say it often strays from the typical social conservatism seen at Christian colleges. In December, Liberty University professor Phill Kline appeared on a Falkirk podcast and suggested that state legislators should appoint electors in states where there are election controversies states where Joe Biden was certified the winner. The Falkirk Center’s fellows include Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA; Eric Metaxas, a Christian radio host; and Jenna Ellis, an attorney who has represented the Trump campaign in post-election lawsuits. Kirk co-founded the Falkirk Center. All three allege the election was rigged for Biden.

“I am concerned with the rhetoric, tone, content, and association the Falkirk Center has with Liberty University, specifically when it comes to our greater, crucial mission to further the kingdom of God,” Thomas tweeted. “Freedom of speech and sharing of ideas are extremely important, yes … yet our priority must remain fixed on what truly matters: exalting the cross of Christ through the witness we bear. Conservative must never supersede Christian. If allowed to supersede, this can erode and shift our very identity and dilute and distract from the message of the gospel we claim to champion. All other ground is sinking sand.”

Schneider, in follow-up tweets, said she had received lots of support for speaking out. She re-tweeted several messages in agreement.  

“Joel and I spoke from a place of love for our school. 100+ students have messaged me personally asking for change regarding @falkirk_center,” she wrote. “We’re excited to find solutions that maintain the academic integrity of our school and keep Christ at the forefront of our mission.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist PressChristianity TodayThe Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Liberty Students 'Embarrassed' by Falkirk Center, Says Student Body President, Vice President