Jerry Falwell scandal, a follow up

In a post two days ago, I laid out a brief accounting of the recent scandal around the conduct of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.

It was set off by a photo Rev Falwell posted to his Instagram account. As scandals go, it was a pretty big deal.

I said in that posting that I thought he would escape any serious consequences for what he did.

I was wrong about that. He has now taken an indefinite leave of absence from post. As you probably know, that’s usually what happens just before a high-level leader or CEO gets fired.

The tendency to look the other way when powerful men do something really over-the-top is so common. I was certain that this would be another episode.

It looks like the University has done/is doing the right thing.

Although we can’t be sure about where this may go from here, it appears that I was way off as far as my assessment of how it would all turn out.

Happy to have been wrong about this sad situation.

Brother Ben

© 2020 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

What will happen next in the Falwell scandal?

By now you may have seen the photo of Jerry Falwell Jr that has been widely circulated on social media.

It’s certainly not my place to chastise Rev Falwell. I’ll merely say that I fully expect others associated with the University and the ministry on which it was built to give him a pass here.

It brings to mind the scandal that engulfed Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart back in 1991.

Some are leaping to Falwell’s defense. Others–as you might well imagine–believe this is a very big deal and that he should be held to account.

For me, there’s an irony at play here that is a bigger deal than what actually happened.

For many people–and I am one of them–Falwell is now most closely associated with Donald Trump. It’s impossible not to think of how he’s embraced Trump from day one in spite of Trump’s seemingly endless deplorable and cruel actions.

He has failed to call out trump for anything; anything at all.

He said nothing about trump’s outright cruel treatment of brown children whose “crime” was being brought to our southern border by their desperate parents fleeing danger in their homeland.

Falwell stood idly by while Mr Trump sullied his office in a myriad of ways. Sullied it over and over and over again for the last three years and nine months.

Here, I’m sad to say, is where I think this situation stands: unless the University and the ministry possess more discernment and integrity than I think they do, they will enable Falwell and give him the same unmerited kid-glove treatment that their leader has been giving our president.

That’s where I think this is heading. I certainly hope I’m proven wrong.

Brother Ben

© 2020 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.