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Monday, January 30

Evangelical's Debating Skills Are The Best

Now this is some frightening news from Newsweek.

The debate team from Liberty University, Jerry Falwell's fundamentalist Baptist college is ranked number 1 among college debating tournaments.

Falwell and the religious right figure that if they can raise a generation that knows how to argue, they can stem the tide of sin in the country. Seventy-five percent of Liberty's debaters go on to be lawyers with an eye toward transforming society. "I think I can make an impact in the field of law on abortion and gay rights, to get back to Americans' godly heritage," says freshman debater Cole Bender.

...

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."

...

Karl Rove was impressed enough by the squad that he tapped Liberty coach Brett O'Donnell to prep George W. Bush for all three presidential debates in 2004. O'Donnell briefed the president on his nonverbal tics. "They didn't listen to me until after the debacle," says O'Donnell, of Bush's awkward first debate performance.
Heh. That last part is funny.

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