It seems to be one scandal after another for Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Liberty University. Now the World watches smiles and turns in disgust at the photos and video of the Falwell yacht vacation. Jerry is pictured with his arm around a woman in hot pants on a yacht with bikini-clad dancers on deck. Furthermore, both Jerry and the woman have their pants unzipped with his underpants exposed. Her “pants” were extremely short shorts. Jerry is holding a drink that he called “black water.”
And Jerry posted it on Instagram!
Jerry says this was a theme party, a parody of the Trailer Park Boys, a raunchy and crass Canadian mockumentary that aired 106 episodes. The movie version used the F word 935 times, a world record. Yet, Falwell (proving what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14:9, “Fools make a mock at sin”) chose such trashy television to be the theme of the party. The series was known for sex, drugs, and pornography, and the Falwell video shows a bunch of Christian university people pretending to smoke and drink (assuming it was all pretending) and dancing.
I have been a supporter (and sometime critic even when Jerry Sr. was alive) of Liberty University for decades. I met Jerry Sr. in the mid-1960s as a member of the same religious group. I purchased an annuity from the university, so I have not been a Falwell-hater. Moreover, Jerry Sr.’s right-hand man from almost the beginning of his ministry was one of my oldest and closest friends from our teen years in college to his death last year. I have many friends who are Liberty alumni and still have friends involved with Liberty. I personally know many of Liberty’s Board of Trustees. I have always been a critical friend and supporter.
The yacht incident is the last straw. If Jerry has any sensitivity or spiritual discernment, he will resign and retire to his mountain home and never be seen in public again. I think that is the judgment his dad would also make, although I don’t presume to speak for him.
Jerry Jr.’s enemies could make many charges against him:
He has his arm around a woman, not his wife or daughter.
He and the crowd break the dress code of the loosest Christian school in America.
He is permitting dancing on the yacht deck by 10 or 12 scantily clothed young people.
He is playing the hypocrite since Liberty requires its students to eschew lewd music with sexual content, and their dress should be with “appropriateness” and “modesty.” As I write these words, I smile at my first alma mater, where we had to obey the “six-inch-rule” where students had to stay six inches from a date. And some of the guys carried a small six-inch ruler with them. Not sure they wanted to be sure of keeping the rule or if there was some incipient rebellion there.
Those new charges are enough to do him in, but frankly, Jerry should resign because he is stupid. I say that because he posted the damming photo on Instagram! He would have to be drunk or dumb as a post to do that. I have a zero-tolerance policy for stupidity.
Maybe Dr. Fauci could develop a shot to fix Jerry’s problem, or perhaps his university teaches a class on How to Fix Stupidly. Or maybe there is a pill he could swallow. Afraid not, as Ron White said, “You can’t fix stupid.”
He compounds his problem with an interview on a local radio show, and many who have heard it, declare that he was drunk. I doubt that, but Falwell and Liberty-haters have made that accusation.
Describing the scene leading up to the unzipped photo, Jerry told the interviewer, “You know it was weird, ‘cause she was, she’s pregnant, she couldn’t get her pants up, and I was, trying to like — my, I had on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a long time, so I couldn’t get mine zipped either,” he said. “And so I just put my belly — I just put my belly out like hers,” he added, explaining that the woman in the photo is his wife’s assistant and ‘a sweetheart.’ I should never have put it up and embarrassed her because, um, anyway, I’ve apologized to everybody, and I promised my kids, I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”
That is another stupid flippant comment. He is President of the largest Christian University in the world and is a major political and religious leader in America. People look to him for leadership, not insipid, juvenile comments.
A thoughtful person asks Jerry, “When you dressed that morning and put on your pants, wasn’t it obvious that they wouldn’t zip?” To her, we ask, “And when you got dressed, didn’t you notice that the shorts were too small and would not zip?”
Jerry said they were on vacation, and “It was just in good fun.” No, it was a travesty, a shame, a disgrace, and it should be his last hurrah. Jerry must go, now and not just take a temporary leave then back to the same old stuff.
The university is legally run by a Board of Trustees, the chairman being Dr. Jerry Prevo. I have known Dr. Prevo for more than 45 years. He has always been a principled person in all our relationships. He built a large church in Anchorage, where I was privileged to preach many times over the last 40 years. I am asking Dr. Prevo to initiate board proceedings to remove Falwell as President if he refuses to resign.
Jerry has brought shame to the institution that Jerry Sr. gave his life to establish.
It seems Jerry Jr. inherited his daddy’s prestige, prominence, and position, but not his principles.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of thIs publication.