Tag Archives: Liberty University

Falwell Jr. sues Liberty U … for defamation? Eh?

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Jerry Falwell Jr. is fighting back against the university his late father founded.

Someone will have to explain to me how this should play out.

Falwell once served as president of Liberty University, the school that his dad, Jerry Falwell Sr., founded. Junior got himself into a series of scandals and ethical difficulties, culminating in a picture showing him snuggling with a woman who is not his wife … with his pants unzipped.

Oh, we also have reports of his wife engaging in a sexual relationship with a pool guy who alleges that Junior actually watched the two of them taking part in naughty behavior. To think, then, that Falwell Sr. founded an organization called the Moral Majority.

Falwell now says the university defamed him and that he was dismissed unjustly from his post as head of the nation’s largest Christian institution of higher learning.

I am no fan of Falwell Jr., or his father for that matter. So I am not looking at this lawsuit story with a dispassionate set of eyes. I acknowledge my bias. Still, it seems to me — looking at this from some distance — that Falwell Jr. brought all of this trouble on himself with his rather strange behavior.

Falwell is out, then he’s in, now he’s out … again

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

See ya around, Jerry Falwell Jr. Whatever this guy does, I hope he doesn’t hurry back.

Falwell got kicked out of his job as president of Liberty University, one of the nation’s leading faith-based institutions of higher learning. Why? Because he posed in a tacky picture with his pants unzipped in the presence of a woman who reportedly is an associate of Jerry Falwell’s wife. It was conduct unbecoming of a religious leader, said the Liberty governing board.

Then we hear that Falwell got entangled in a weird sexual threesome with, get this, his wife and a pool guy who is a whole lot younger than Mrs. Falwell. It seems that Jerry Falwell liked to watch his wife and the pool guy engage in sex acts … allegedly.

Falwell then resigned from Liberty; then he said he did no such thing; now he says he is out.

First of all, I believe the allegation of the three-way with the Falwells and the pool guy. If there was nothing to it, do you think Jerry Jr. would quit without a fight, that he wouldn’t want to clear what’s left of his name and that of his formerly adoring wife?

Second, given that I believe the reports about this sickening story, I am not the least bit surprised that Jerry Jr. would be such an adamant supporter of the moral reprobate who now serves as president of the United States, Donald Trump. It’s like these two individuals are made for each other: one guy who gets his kicks watching his wife take a tumble with another man, the other guy — a serial philanderer — who once bragged about how he could grab women by their genitals.

Third, this story only goes to show how the fruit really doesn’t fall far from the tree. I mean, Junior’s dad, the late Jerry Falwell Sr. — the founder of Liberty University — sought to defame the character of two notable politicians by alleging that Bill and Hillary Clinton were complicit in the deaths of close aides, friends and associates. The elder Falwell, indeed, gave evangelical Christianity a bad name.

And so … this disgusting story has taken yet another weird turn.

Is there more to learn about the conduct of this so-called “religious leader”? I am all ears.

Falwell Jr. needs to find another line of work

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Jerry Falwell Jr. reportedly quit as president of Liberty University.

Then he said he has done nothing of the sort. He’s still there, although he’s been removed from his job as president/chancellor.

So, the son of the Christian college’s founder — Jerry Falwell Sr. — has a “job,” but he’s not doing it. He remains on the payroll.

Oh, I guess I need to mention why all the tempest.

The LU board relieved Falwell of his duties because of a hideous picture of him with his pants unzipped, his gut hanging out of an unbuttoned shirt and in the company of a woman Falwell said is a close family friend.

Then came a hideous allegation that Falwell would watch his wife engage in sexual acts with a man with whom she was having an affair. Oh, brother!

Is that how the leader of a prestigious faith-based university should behave? Of course not! However, it is kind of in keeping with the behavior of one of Falwell’s major political allies … Donald John Trump. Falwell has been an ardent supporter of Trump, who quite naturally has been silent on the trouble that has befallen this evangelical Christian leader.

Well, if someone appointed me King of the World, I would order Falwell to pack up his office at Liberty, vacate the campus and look for something else to do.

My trick knee is telling me this story ain’t nearly over.

Will this guy get ‘well wishes’ from POTUS?

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

How do you suppose this story is going to play out?

Jerry Falwell Jr. has been forced to take indefinite leave from his post as president and chancellor of Liberty University. Why? Because he was photographed with his pants unzipped while horsing around with a woman who is not his wife.

According to National Public Radio:

Falwell told the Lynchburg, Va., radio station WLNI on Wednesday that the photo, which was later removed, was taken in “just in good fun” during a costume party on vacation. He said the woman in the photo was his wife’s assistant.

“It was weird,” Falwell told the interviewer. “She’s pregnant, so she couldn’t get her pants zipped. I had on a pair of jeans I hadn’t worn in a long time, so I couldn’t get mine zipped either. So I just put my belly out like hers.”

Uh, huh …

This is a big deal for a couple of major reasons. One of them is that Liberty University is a well-known Christian school founded by Falwell late father, who once published a book that said President and Hillary Clinton were complicit in the deaths of several key aides and friends.

The other reason is that Falwell Jr. is a big-time supporter of Donald J. Trump. He spoke on Trump’s behalf at the 2016 Republican National Convention and has said repeatedly that God favors Trump’s re-election.

So, what is going to be the upshot of this story?

Falwell’s indefinite leave likely means he will be gone from Liberty U. forever. He’ll be fired eventually over conduct that is quite unbecoming for the head of a major faith-based institution of higher learning.

Trump’s response? Will he say he barely knows Falwell? He’s used that dodge before,  regarding convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, to cite just one example. Never mind all those pictures of Trump and Epstein chumming it up at wild New York City parties.

Or will he simply, um, “wish him well”?

VP ignores hypocrisy in his commencement speech

Vice President Mike Pence told graduating students at Liberty University this weekend that they will be “shunned” and “ridiculed” because of their Christian faith.

He said his wife, Karen, has been subject to such bad behavior because she hooked up with an evangelical-based educational institution.

“Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs,” Pence told the Liberty U grads, calling himself “a brother in Christ.” “As you go about your daily life, be ready.”

For those who ridicule others merely because of their faith, yes, that is wrong, hateful, hurtful and not in keeping with any great religious faith of which I am aware.

However, the VP might be missing a critical element in the criticism that comes toward those who proclaim their Christian faith. It is the hypocrisy associated with Christian leaders who talk a good game about faith, but who continue to stand with a president whose own life and his brief career in public service have been testaments to practically everything counter to what Jesus teaches the world.

I would put the vice president in that category.

I don’t doubt Pence’s faith. I have serious doubt about Donald Trump’s proclamations of faith. I cannot wrap my noggin around the idea that just because the president says he’s a believer that he actually is one.

His entire life prior to becoming a politician has been focused exclusively on one element: enriching himself. Yet there is the vice president standing with him as he panders openly to evangelicals who comprise the political base that keeps buttressing his support.

Scripture instructs us to be truthful. Has the president followed the commandment that we “must not testify falsely against your neighbor”?

It’s the hypocrisy, Mr. Vice President, that puts evangelicals too often in a position to be “shunned” and “ridiculed,” even if they aren’t deserving of either.

Extend your term, Mr. President? Are you f***ing nuts?

I don’t know whether to laugh, scream, pull my hair out by the roots or jump onto a fire ant mound.

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump has just retweeted something that on its face is beyond the unbelievable but is something that one can totally expect from the goofball who happens to be president of the United States of America.

He believes his term as president should be “extended” by two years. Why? Because, in Trump’s own words, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian attack on our election in 2016 has “stollen” two years of Trump’s presidency.

Can you believe this man would make the moronic suggestion?

Yeah, me too.

The U.S. Constitution — the document with which Trump has no familiarity — limits the president to two elected terms that shall last no longer than eight years.

So this clown wants to extend his term by two years? To a six-year term? Is this guy out of his ever-lovin’ mind? No need to answer that.

The idea comes initially from the “Rev.” Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University and an unabashed admirer of the president. I use the term “Rev.” guardedly because I do not consider Falwell to any more a man of God than his late father.

The very idea that Jerry Jr. would pitch such a ridiculous notion is preposterous on its face. It’s not so weird that Trump would latch onto it, given that I believe he is hurtling out of control.

I think I might start looking at any moment for that fire ant mound.

Falwell Jr. channels his late father

Jerry Falwell Jr. is showing that the proverbial nut doesn’t fall far from the ol’ tree.

The president of Liberty University is sounding a lot like his late father in terms of despicable political rhetoric.

Jerry Falwell Sr., the one-time televangelist, once took part in the production of a film called “The Clinton Chronicles” that alleged that Bill and Hillary Clinton took part in a series of criminal acts, including harassment of women, shady real estate deals, protecting a drug smuggling ring and — get a load of this — murdering drug smuggling witnesses and covering up the cause of death of a close aide and friend of theirs, Vincent Foster. How Christ-like, yes?

Now comes the son to say that evangelical Christians who opposed Donald John Trump “might be immoral.” A Washington Post interviewer questioned Falwell about whether evangelicals should expect a higher standard of personal behavior from the president, given Trump’s admitted philandering and groping of women to whom he wasn’t married.

“It may be immoral for them not to support (Trump) because he’s got African American employment to record highs, Hispanic employment to record highs,” Falwell said.

I suspect that wasn’t the crux of the question, which I gathered sought to focus more on the president’s behavior.

Falwell, therefore, is justifying Trump’s hideous behavior on the basis of matters having nothing whatsoever to do with what the president has admitted to doing.

I don’t get it.

The Post interviewer, reporter Joe Helm, asked Falwell if there is anything Trump could do that would lose his support. His answer: “No.” I know. It’s simply shocking to hear such a thing.

Well, there you go. Imagine for one moment whether Barack Obama had done anything of the nature that Trump has done. What do you suppose would be Jerry Falwell Jr.’s response to that?

I would bet real American money Falwell wouldn’t be so forgiving.

Evangelicals’ support of Trump: as perplexing as ever

An article that was published slightly more than a year ago remains relevant today.

It comes from Esquire magazine. The noted documentary filmmaker Ken Burns asks: What is it about Donald Trump that reminds evangelical voters of Jesus Christ?

Burns was troubled a year ago over why evangelical Christian voters glommed onto Trump’s candidacy. I remain puzzled in the extreme as to why they remain loyal to this guy a year later, and six months into his presidency.

Burns said, for example: “The Republican Party has been extraordinarily successful at getting many groups of people to vote against their self-interest. Evangelicals are voting for Donald Trump. What part of Donald Trump reminds you of Jesus Christ? Trump lusts after his own daughter on national radio, talks about women’s bodies and breasts in such a disparaging way, and mocks them. How is this in any way Christian? When you make the ‘other’ the enemy, how is that Christian?”

Check out the Esquire link.

Burns noted a year ago that Trump once lusted after his own daughter, Ivanka. He carried on highly publicized extramarital affairs on his first two wives. Of course, we have that infamous “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump is overheard boasting about how he grabbed women by their genitals.

He routinely denigrates women and there is zero evidence anywhere in his professional or personal history of any commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

But he remains on evangelicals’ A-list. He’s their guy. Their “dream come true,” in the words of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.

Someone has to explain it to me. I’m all eyes and ears.

Trump and evangelicals: strangest union of all

Donald J. Trump has just selected Jerry Falwell Jr. to lead a task force aimed at overhauling public education policy.

The president of the United States has linked arms with the head of a leading faith-based university; Falwell also is the son of the late televangelist who used his pulpit to attack President and Mrs. Bill Clinton throughout the president’s two terms in office.

This appointment brings to mind a curiosity I’ve harbored ever since Trump entered political life, which is when he announced his candidacy for president in June 2015.

Falwell joins Trump team

My question of the moment is this: How does this man, Trump, continue to win the support of many within the Christian evangelical movement?

Falwell Jr. has called Trump a “dream come true” for evangelicals. He just cannot say enough gushy things about the president, who delivered his first commencement speech at Liberty University, the school that Falwell’s father founded.

If you think about it, though, the relationship strains credulity to the max.

Trump has not been known as a major contributor to religious causes; he hasn’t been associated with faith-based charities; his whole life has been filled with glitz and glamor, chiefly through his association with and ownership of beauty pageants; he is married to his third wife and has boasted publicly about his infidelity involving his first two marriages; Trump also has boasted about how he can grab women by the p**** because his celebrity status allows him to do it.

But he’s tough on Muslims, vows to destroy the Islamic State, wants to impose a travel ban on refugees coming here from Muslim-majority nations. Maybe that’s why Falwell and many within the evangelical community are smitten by the president.

I concede that political alliances can take form among groups or individuals one might not imagine banding together. This one, though, baffles me greatly.

The president’s history is full of episodes that would seem to send devoutly religious voters scurrying for someone more, um, to their liking.

Go figure. I cannot fathom it.

Trump speech venue laced with irony

One word came to mind when I heard over the weekend that Donald J. Trump would deliver a commencement speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.: ironic.

There was so much to confound us about the 2016 presidential election that I am hesitant to rank the most puzzling element that arose from it.

I’ll place one development near the top: the support Trump earned from the evangelical community. The president’s Liberty University speech is a continuation of that relationship.

One line has gotten the most attention. It’s when the president said Americans “don’t worship government, they worship God.” Gee, do you think?

Why the ironic view of this venue?

Liberty U. was founded by the late Jerry Falwell, a highly political preacher. Falwell was a sworn enemy of former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary. He once produced a hideous video that purported that the Clintons were complicit in the death of their dear friend Vincent Foster, who committed suicide not long after Bill Clinton became president. That’s not a Godly thing to do, you know?

Liberty is a religious-based university of some renown. Its curriculum espouses conservative values. Biblical studies are required for graduation. All of that is common at faith-based institutions.

Why, though, the embrace of Donald Trump? I’ve never perceived Trump’s life to be necessarily informed by a devotion to the holy word, to the Gospels, to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Quite the contrary, my perception of Trump — and I believe the perception of millions of other Americans — is that he has placed great value on material wealth, on personal enrichment, on self-aggrandizement; he’s also boasted publicly about his boorish behavior and he has routinely denigrated women.

Does Scripture lift all of that up, to be something to which we should aspire? It’s not in the Bible I have read for my entire life.

So there he was, telling the students at Liberty U. about the virtues of swimming against the tide, telling them to be unafraid of criticism. They cheered, clapped and hollered.


Liberty U. is now run by Falwell’s son, Jerry Jr., who recently referred to Trump as evangelicals’ “dream president.” The younger Falwell must have turned his TV off during the campaign when word leaked out about Trump’s admitting that he has grabbed women by their genital area, that he has forced himself on them because he’s a “celebrity” and a “star.”

Jerry Jr. also must have turned away at the news of Trump’s two divorces and his acknowledged marital infidelity as it regarded his first two wives.

This clown is a dream come true?

Go figure, folks.