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In case you thought there was any doubt about the Republican Party’s ties with the Religious Right, this should clear things up:

Liberty University is the leading candidate to host a planned Republican presidential debate in early January.

“For over a year now, we have been working on a grass-roots debate with conservative media and scouting various locations, one of which has been Liberty University, for January,” Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee’s chief strategist, said Wednesday evening.

“As of this moment right now, I feel very good about where we stand with Liberty.”

I’m sure you do…

Liberty, the school founded by the late Jerry Falwell, has long been involved with politics. Sen. Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign there. Jeb Bush gave a commencement address there last spring. Sen. Bernie Sanders made it a point to speak there in September just to show he could find common ground with the evangelical students. And I’m pretty sure Mike Huckabee considers it his second home.

Considering the Republican pool of candidates will be much smaller by January, and this would be days or weeks before the Iowa caucus, the party would be sending the signal that their candidates’ Christian faith is as vital to their resumes as any policy goals.

We knew that already, of course, but it’s telling that they’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.