Liberty University is a private Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. The university is known for its strict rules and regulations, which include a ban on premarital sex, alcohol, and drugs. However, one rule that has caused controversy in recent years is the university’s policy on interracial dating.
History of Liberty University:
Liberty University was founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell Sr. as Lynchburg Baptist College. The college was established with the goal of providing an education that integrated Christian faith and values with academic excellence. In 1976, the college was renamed Liberty Baptist College, and in 1984 it became Liberty University.
Interracial Dating Policy:
Liberty University’s policy on interracial dating was first implemented in the 1980s. At the time, the university was receiving criticism from conservative Christian groups for allowing interracial dating on campus. In response, Jerry Falwell Sr. issued a statement that read:
“We don’t believe we have the right to tell our students who to marry, but we have the right and responsibility to define for them what is right and wrong.”
The policy stated that “students who are not legally married to each other are not permitted to engage in displays of affection, including holding hands, hugging, or kissing.” The policy also banned interracial dating, citing the need to “protect the institution of marriage.”
Liberty University’s policy on interracial dating has been a source of controversy since its implementation. Many have criticized the policy as racist and discriminatory. In 2008, the university’s ban on interracial dating was brought to national attention when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama gave a speech at the university. Obama cited the policy as an example of the kind of discrimination he hoped to eradicate as president.
Changes to the Policy:
In 2017, Liberty University revised its policy on interracial dating. The new policy removed the ban on interracial dating, but still prohibited “any type of sexual relationship outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman.” The policy also stated that “students who choose to date outside of their race or ethnicity will not be penalized.”
Liberty University’s policy on interracial dating has been a source of controversy for many years. While the university has revised its policy to remove the ban on interracial dating, it still prohibits any type of sexual relationship outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman. The university’s strict rules and regulations have drawn criticism from some, but have also garnered praise from those who appreciate a more conservative approach to education.