Jerry Falwell Jr. sounds a good bit like the late Jerry Falwell Sr.
The elder Falwell founded Liberty University, a leading Christian-based institution of higher learning. His son now runs it.
Falwell Sr. once produced a video that alleged Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved in the murder of their close friend Vincent Foster. You remember “The Clinton Chronicles.”
Falwell Jr. now says, and this takes my breath away, that more students on the Liberty U. campus in Lynchburg, Va., should be carrying firearms so they could “end those Muslims before they walked in.”
All … right.
Did he really mean that? Does he really mean that “more good people” should be carrying weapons to kill Muslims?
Jerry Jr. says he didn’t mean that. He says he was referring to radical Islamic terrorists. OK, but he didn’t say that. According to the Washington Post: “I just wanted to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course,” he said. “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.”
By “they,” does he mean Muslims, or just those who commit acts of terror?
It’s not entirely clear to me.
I get that he’s angry and frightened over what has just occurred in San Bernardino. But I have trouble grasping that a leader of a prominent Christian university would actually use such inflammatory language to whip up a crowd in the manner that he reportedly did in his speech at Liberty U.
Virginia’s governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, said this in a statement: “My administration is committed to making Virginia an open and welcoming Commonwealth, while also ensuring the safety of all of our citizens. Mr. Falwell’s rash and repugnant comments detract from both of those crucial goals. Those of us in leadership positions, whether in government or education, must take care to remember the tremendous harm that can result from reckless words.”
Yes, I know that Falwell’s message will resonate with many other Americans.
Such a message, however, simply saddens me at a time when millions of Americans are filled with overwhelming sadness over our nation’s latest mass-shooting tragedy.