This post is a follow up to the discovery of a Neo-Nazi sticker on the campus of Liberty University. It should be concerning for Liberty students and alumni. This post explains why those connected to Liberty should be alarmed on this development. Silence by Jerry Preveo is unacceptable.
“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.“
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
Proverbs 10:12 NIV
Memorial at Charlottesville were Heather Heyer was murdered.
The other day this blog wrote about the placement of a sticker on the Liberty University campus from The Patriot Front. You can read the post in, “Are Neo-Nazis Present at Liberty University and Will Jerry Prevo Act?” I was reflecting on this earlier today and decided to do another quick post. Its time for those who are a part of the Liberty University community to stop and reflect on what they believe and why they should be outraged or distressed by this development. Hate and Neo-Nazi ideology are not to be commended and are associated with dark history. Any active and healthy school would develop a robust plan and find out what is happening and get to the bottom of this incident immediately. Trinity International University, BIOLA, Fuller and many others would respond promptly. But lets stop and ask why does action need to be taken right away? In this post I am going to ask you as a reader to watch two videos. They are both disturbing but history is not something you run from and avoid. Its something that you have to deal with and process.
Recalling Frontline’s “Documenting Hate” Which Shows the Harm of Neo-Nazis Groups
On August 7, 2018 both PBS and ProPublica aired a documentary called “Documenting Hate.” It was a look at Charlottesville and the rise of Neo-Nazis and white nationalism within the United States. It looked at some of the individuals who came to participate in the largest Neo-Nazi disturbance in a generation. This disturbing look revealed how both gang members, college kids and even members of the United States military became Nazis who were involved in white supremacy. A.C. Thompson’s documentary won the News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary. This documentary reveals what can be under the surface of many organizations. Its about how someone can go to an office or university Monday through Friday and then engage in violence on the weekend. It reveals the problem and has implications for Liberty. If you scratch beneath the surface of Liberty what would you find? Some students going to church or school and then being involved in a white supremacy group on the side? Were any students from Liberty University involved in the Charlottesville riot of August of 2017? Keep in mind these are all questions which are being asked.
Recalling the Holocaust with 60 Minute’s “Hitler’s Secret Archive”
When it comes to Nazis the darkest event they should be remembered for its their carrying out of the Holocaust. According to researchers at the United States Holocaust Museum from the start of the Nazi regime in 1933 until it was crushed in defeat in 1945, over 42,5000 concentration camps of varying degrees existed. This figure includes 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettoes, 980 concentration camps; 1,000 POW camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm; Germanizing prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers. Berlin alone had nearly 3,000 camps. Most people think of Auschwitz, Dachau and Buchenwald, and yet the reality is far more disturbing. Around six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, with a number much higher for other victims as well.
On December 17, 2006 CBS’s 60 Minutes broadcast an episode that featured how efficient the Germans were in killing the Jews in the Holocaust. The Germans documented every person who entered a concentration camp. Maintained health records, status of where Jewish slaver labor was being assigned and those who were being marched into the gas chambers. Each camp was very efficient in keeping records. After World War II the documentation was captured by the Allies and assembled in Bad Arolson, Germany. It was used for documenting war crimes, and also for the postwar German government to answer inquiries. In 2006 the German government decided to open the records and allow the public greater accesses to them. CBS took three Jewish individuals to these archives and they were able to see documentation related to themselves. Its disturbing to watch three men wrestle with their legacy in the face of the Holocaust. In the CBS episode which you can see above, one of the men learns that he was pulled off a slave labor assignment that likely saved his life. This blog would encourage you to watch the above 60 Minutes which is called, “Hitler’s Secret Achieve.”
Here’s Why Those Affiliated With Liberty Should Be Deeply Troubled of a Patriot Front Sticker on Campus
People’s lives are destroyed by hate, that is the overarching message in both videos up above. Liberty as a school often has a zero tolerance for their perception of being identified as “liberal” or for enforcing the rules among students. Let me illustrate with an example. If the student newspaper published an article about a Liberty student going to a gay wedding and how their view had changed on gay marriage, the university would clamp down on it immediately. Actually chances are such an article would never get beyond the censors today. What does it say that Liberty would act in such a way in regard’s to the culture wars, but they act with indifference to a possible Neo-Nazi presence on campus? Jerry Falwell Sr said that if its Christian it must be better. Where does Nazi ideology fit into that picture? As time passes Liberty shows that its function and purpose is not about a classical liberal arts education anchored in the enlightenment. It also shows that its not about honoring God either. Instead its about the culture wars and indoctrinating students for political purposes and nothing more. Every student at Liberty and those who are alumni should be beyond troubled that such a sticker from a Neo-Nazi group turned up on campus. And for those who say a post such as this is an overreaction this blog challenges you to find another university in the United States who when confronted with a likeminded problem would shrug their shoulders and say, “We don’t care….” What emboldens Nazism ideology and hate are indifference and silence with the perpetrators knowing they wont face ramifications and punishment. If Liberty is going to enforce rules against students, censor the newspaper and expel others for a number of reasons and yet stay silent on this issue this is what should happen. Jerry Prevo should stand at the main entrance to the campus and say, “Come on in! If you love Adolf Hitler and like his ideology we here at Liberty University welcome you with open arms!” All these crisis this blog writes about with Liberty reveal a morally bankrupt school that fails basic ethics. Each time a problem develops the school chooses in error. This blog is going to be watching this development and see what this means for Liberty. As always when I write about evangelical scandal and problems with their culture I have long learned to have low expectations for change or of an evangelical church or institution doing the right thing. Frankly its better that way.