Liberty University was founded by Jerry Falwell Sr., a fundamentalist preacher who also started Moral Majority, a self-appointed, self-righteous, judgmental hate tank.
Moral Majority was part of the religious right—which is neither. But I do give it credit for keeping homophobia alive and well.
To keep all this judgment and hatred going for generations, Falwell started Liberty University (then Lynchburg Baptist College) in Lynchburg, Virginia. It started small—and still is in terms of creating critical thinkers, the heart and soul of every powerful civilization.
In 2007, when Falwell Sr. died, Jerry Jr. took the reins of Liberty U. This college is considered one of the largest “Christian” universities in the world and is run by a dictatorial, narrow-minded, misguided multimillionaire.
Jerry Jr. is a tyrant who refuses to give tenure to his faculty so if they dare cross him, he can fire them immediately. His students are not allowed to wear shorts or miniskirts to classes. They can’t dance, drink, smoke, have sex, or have fun.
Students are encouraged to believe in Creationism (which isn’t creative), that God wrote the Bible, that women are second class, and that LGBTQUI folks are bad. Liberty U censors and controls student publications to defend itself, Jerry Jr., and Trump whenever someone trash-talks any of them.
Jerry Jr. has become a multimillionaire, allegedly loves to brag to his employees about his kinky sex life with his wife, paid himself over $900,000 in 2019, did shady financial stuff with a pool attendant, and was photographed partying at a nightclub full of young people and then lied about it.
Jerry Jr. loves Trump, thinks the Donald is God sent, supports cruelty at the borders, defends dictators, and, like Trump, calls those who disagree with him nasty names. He, too, rules through a culture of fear.
Here’s a text message I received from a Phil B. in September 2019: “Jerry Falwell Jr. has to be the strangest, creepiest character out of all the weirdos in Evangel-dom. . . . To call Falwell a hypocrite is not fair to all the rest of the normal hypocrites.”
Why do I care?
First, we have to call out and fight against this element in our country that has hijacked such concepts as Christian (if they are, most Followers can’t be), evangelical (brainwashing is not evangelizing), liberty (which is the state of being free from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority), and creation (the act of making, inventing, or producing, not saying the universe is only about six thousand years old).
Second, the founding fathers deliberately wanted to keep church and state separate. Liberty U students receive millions in Pell Grants, which are provided by a federally funded program. When my tax dollars support Falwell and Liberty U, that is not keeping church and state separate.
Remember George Johnson’s book, Silence Is Not the Answer? I can not remain silent about those who are undermining and destroying the freedoms of this great country.
Image courtesy of Taber Andrew Bain (CC BY 2.0)