Update: Liberty University has backed down somewhat from its original ban. Details here.

At Liberty University in Virginia, the campus chapter of the College Democrats was informed on May 15 that because the principles of the Democratic Party contradict “Christian doctrine” and “the moral principles held by Liberty University,” the club would no longer be recognized by the university. 

The College Democrats chapter was recognized last October. LU, which was founded by conservative activist and preacher Jerry Falwell, has long hosted a chapter of the College Republicans.

The governor of Virginia and all four major candidates to replace him — three Democrats and a Republicans — have all said they oppose the university’s decision. The national Young Democrats are circulating a petition opposing the move, and Rachel Maddow hosted the club’s president Brian Diaz last night.

Liberty isn’t the only conservative religious college to ban a political club recently — administrators at Idaho’s Brigham Young University dissolved the College Democrats and the College Republicans this winter, saying they wanted the campus to be “politically neutral.” The Rexburg, Idaho Standard Journal has a long, thorough story on that decision.