Sorry to stop the presses again, but I can’t help it. This is too much. Last time we met up, I showed you something absolutely and spectacularly unsurprising about Jerry Falwell Jr. Yep! Yet another evangelical leader doesn’t like to follow the rules he sets for his flocks (and he might also have been more than a little helpful to his bright-orange master in his quest for power). OMG! Shocked, yes SHOCKED we are not! Well, here’s the companion piece to that news. Today, let’s dive into some of the latest developments in the ongoing Jerry Falwell Jr. story.
Leaks and More Leaks.
Reuters broke the news earlier today. Their story described tons of emails sent between beleaguered evangelical titan Jerry Falwell Jr. and his Liberty University lackeys and sycophants. In these emails, Falwell insulted and smeared various students and staff at his super-fundagelical school.
So let’s go down the list from Reuters.
- He said the dean of Liberty’s engineering school was “a bag of hot air” who couldn’t even spell the word “profit,” which obviously is of huge importance to Falwell as a professional and dynastic grifter.
- The campus police chief is apparently “a half-wit and easy to manipulate.” (Takes one to know one, Sparky.)
- One of the athletics directors earned this withering middle-school insult: “Only get [him] involved in something if you want it not to work.”
- He also lavished insults on various students at the school. Some of these insults rise to the level of slurs, so I’m not gonna repeat them.
The leaked emails also provide a great deal of detail about very iffy-sounding business deals he made or facilitated.
And more even than that, in what I consider one of the most devastating revelations to emerge from the leaks, this guy expressed shocking amounts of contempt and hypocrisy on written record toward the people paying for their children to attend his school.
These emails go back for years–over a decade in some cases. They paint an extremely unflattering portrait of a guy who portrays himself as a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ leader for our age.
His Private Fiefdom.
Reuters described one set of emails Falwell sent about a 2012 kerfluffle about the dormitories. The school wanted to tear down some dorms to build new ones. The parents of the kids living in those dorms expressed concern about Liberty’s decision to move the kids to off-campus housing. That was, of course, a perfectly reasonable concern for them. I remember a similar situation erupting my very first year at college–luckily, I wasn’t affected, but I had a lot of friends who were and it was a mess.
One female student’s mother wrote to Liberty about her concerns. The official response was kind and “reassuring.” But behind the scenes, Falwell wrote to his lackeys:
Tell them, if they keep complaining, we’ll tear them down over Thanksgiving break!
Dude sure acts nonchalant with the safety of other parents’ daughters, doesn’t he?
Paying Their Dues.
In another set of letters, he got snarly in 2015 when students parked in an off-campus lot to avoid paying Liberty’s parking fees:
Rich, lock down the tunnel to the Wards so that nobody can use it between the hours of 6 AM and 2 PM everyday–starting tomorrow morning. We’ll break these dogs from sucking eggs one way or another. You’ll probably have to chain and padlock it late tonight because our guys can’t seem to find a gate that works. And don’t wait until September 9 to start towing at Cinemark. Start towing Tuesday. These students need to learn to play by the rules or they can go to another college. I’m tired of this crap. Thanks! Jerry
WOW. Don’t try to short King Jerry even one dollar from his money-making machine!
Too bad nobody can force King Jerry to follow his own damn rules, hmm? He’s happy to slam down the HAMMER on teenagers who just want to save a couple bucks. What they were doing doesn’t even sound like it was against the rules. Their workaround simply funneled less money into what sure looks like a very healthy nightclub-hopping fund).
Dude also got angry in 2013 when some students worked out in an off-campus gym instead of the one on-campus. Liberty owned the gym anyway, but this particular off-campus gym was the one he and his top-level Liberty pals personally liked.
See, he didn’t want to work out around the plebians. Hey, he doesn’t bathe in asses’ milk, rose petals, and parking fees just to go breathe the same air as peasants during his exalted workouts.
And like look, we been knew the guy was an absolute hypocrite. A hypocrite is someone who preaches about following certain rules in public while violating them left-right-and-center in private. It’s someone who pushes others to obey those rules–but can’t follow them himself.
But he’s one of those Christians who puts himself above everybody else and tries to control other people’s lives. He tries to force others to live by rules he categorically doesn’t think even apply to himself.
In public, he’s a raging moralizing finger-wagging pearl-clutching monster. In private, he’s a lascivious little tin-pot dictator.
As a group and in the main, Christians already fail to follow Christianity’s rules anyway. But they definitely can’t use those roles as a roadmap to become a decent human being. Christians must already be that way or have some other roadmap to follow, because Christianity by itself won’t get them there.
Christianity is not about becoming a decent human being. Never was.
It’s a system that allows authoritarian leaders to force compliance, conformity, and obedience from their followers by whatever means they possibly can. And this story confirms that truth like few others could.
The Very Jesus-y Reply.
Of course, Falwell’s response is exactly what we’d expect of a TRUE CHRISTIAN™.
He’s piously pursuing justice according to the Bible verses he likely demands his students to follow LOLOLOL HAHA you’re kidding, right?
He’s freaking right tf out and threatening to sue everyone into the ground. Get this: he’s trying to get the feds to investigate the leaks, jussssst in case those meaniepies violated any federal laws. He blustered at one news outlet:
“These people are bitter, angry, I don’t know what their problem is. But you know, you don’t violate your confidentiality agreement, your fiduciary responsibility and conspire to steal emails to try to even the score because you didn’t end up in control,” Falwell said in an interview with ABC 13. “It’s so transparent it’s not even funny and I have no choice but to go after them.”
He’s also claimed that the leaks amount to a “smear campaign against him” by disgruntled ex-employees. In fact, he said the leaks were part of an “attempted coup” by people furious with him for unequivocally supporting Donald Trump, the brazenly sinful wretch that his tribe thought was literally the Antichrist just a few decades ago.
The feds haven’t responded to his request yet that I’ve seen. They’re probably laughing too hard to speak quite yet.
The View From Our Get-A-Load-of-THIS-Guy-Cam.
Hilariously, Falwell even tried to make himself sound like a potential martyr facing personal danger for his TRUE CHRISTIAN™ faith:
When you take a stand, like I did for President Trump, I knew I’d be in the cross-hairs. That’s exactly what’s happening,” Falwell said. “You can’t get Trump because he’s got such a thick skin. They’re going to find out the hard way how thick my skin is.”
Pfft. ALLEGEDLY, he wrote the emails himself. He engineered the real estate deals himself. And he went to that nightclub himself. He tries so hard to make it sound like he was smuggling bandages and extra-small crutches into the Soviet Union in the 1970s in Jack Chick’s wildest fever-dream.
Poor widdle fella! Everyone hates him for JUS’ BEIN’ KRISCHIN!
In reality, he was APPARENTLY boppin’ till he dropped at nightclubs with booze and mixed-sex dancing, “mis-sending” sexting pics of his wife and harassing employees with lurid discussions of his penis size and sexual exploits, and sneering at a mother worried that her daughter might be raped while attending his college.
I’m just astonished at his hubris. I shouldn’t be. But here I am, astonished all the same.
The Light Shining on Darkness.
I guess it’s rare to encounter such a clear peek into the psyche of such an unrepentant hypocrite. And OH, this guy loves how cruel and power-grabby Christianity can get. He revels in its sheer nastiness. Indeed, it’s benefiting him very richly and has done so for years!
That exact kind of Christianity allowed him to come to power at a major evangelical school, turn it into his private little kingdom, and fill it with people who’d let him do what he wanted. He exercised complete control over those people through the use of threats and bluster.
No, he only wants to make it more cruel and dysfunctional. And now his little fiefdom might be falling apart.
If anybody thinks these leaks are the end of the scandals about him, let me offer my very sincerest guffawed and hooted laughter.
If there’s one thing evangelical leaders have taught me, it’s that their “secret sins” are like cockroaches. If you spot one in your house, you can count on there being thousands more hidden out of sight.
So this dude’s got to be sweating goddamned bullets as we speak.
Count on this. Count on it like you count on the sun rising tomorrow.
NEXT UP: If the major leaders of toxic-Christian groups can please avoid humongous scandals for just a few days, we’ll be able to get back to this essay of Al Mohler’s. It’s important, so I really want to finish that up. Let’s see what these guys will do though. See you soon!
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