Jerry Falwell, Jr. promoted the Gospel openly and has mocked it privately. He is mocking it again publicly by suing the institution his father founded. Jerry Jr. led Liberty University in a laudable way at a million-dollar annual salary while the national average for university presidents is $512,987.00. He has been getting a million each year and has a 10 million dollar retirement package, yet he is suing the school. Jerry is like the dummy that made soup out of the goose that laid golden eggs. Now he is whining about his treatment and using the court to add additional golden eggs to his basket.
Jerry has sued Liberty University for defamation and breach of contract because university officials allegedly damaged his reputation, forcing him to resign. Wow, that’s like a skunk accusing a rabbit of having bad breath. Some of the accusations against him may never be authenticated, but there is substantial evidence of their wrongdoing. The suit is a ploy to refurbish his tarnished image, but the rust and blemish are irrevocable.
In other words, his self-inflicted wound was terminal.
In his complaint filed in the Virginia Circuit Court in Lynchburg, Falwell also claims that university officials accepted what Falwell alleges are false claims about his involvement in an extramarital affair between his wife and a former business partner without investigating the matter.
According to the Associated Press, “This action seeks redress for the damage Liberty has caused to the reputation of Mr. Falwell and his family.” Of course, that is lawyer-speak; surely, Jerry has more brainpower than that. Even a flickering one candlepower brain understands that Jerry and his wife are the culprits even if acknowledging that the university officials didn’t do everything right.
I believe the Board of Trustees, which includes five friends of mine of 40 years, was very slow on taking charge and holding Jerry’s feet to the fire. That includes the new president of the school Dr. Jerry Prevo, one of the most gracious and kind men I know.
By taking the initiative, Jerry thinks it will convince the non-thinkers to say, “Well, maybe Jerry and Becki are not fornicators, voyeurs, liars, and hypocrites after all.” After all, would guilty people drag others into court, thereby bringing attention to themselves again, again, and again? Sure, they would. All you need is some money, unprincipled lawyers, and much chutzpa. Evidently, Jerry and Becki have what’s needed.
The Associated Press reported that the lawsuit alleges, “Liberty’s actions are antithetical to the teachings of Christ.” Jerry doesn’t seem to admit that his kettle is black, very black. Yet, the kettle keeps calling the pot black. The God-haters inside and outside Christianity look for opportunities to throw stones at any professing Christian, and Jerry’s maneuverings have given everyone reasons to throw stones at him, and by extension, at all Christian entities.
Forget what accusations against Jerry that may never be proved; consider what we know.
We know Jerry used the university plane for personal use. That is illegal. He was fiduciary of a nonprofit entity, not the Sultan of Morocco. He could afford a first-class ticket to Miami, but he would have to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi; therefore, he took advantage of his position.
We know that numerous Falwell family members are on the university payroll, and that suggests either nepotism or the family has many highly talented people. No doubt, some are qualified and would be hired if their last names were Smith or Jones.
Jerry, with his limited knowledge and no educational experience, would not have been president of Liberty if his name were Jerry Jones.
We know Jerry and various family members partied, danced, and drank at a Florida nightclub. Falwell first denied being there and then admitted he had. His daddy would have been aghast, angered, and ashamed.
We know that Jerry helped his son Trey, a Liberty vice-president, finance a Miami hostel known for being “gay-friendly.” I hope no one in Heaven has told Jerry Sr. that fact.
We know that Becki had a yearlong affair with a young pool worker in Miami after her successful seduction of him. Both the Falwells admitted that allegation; however, Jerry still denies he watched them from time to time. He admitted he might be a fornicator and drunk and a cuckold, but not a voyeur.
According to Politico, Becki seduced and provided oral sex on a student who was in the band with her son, Trey, during an all-night stay at Falwell’s home. The media reported a close friend of the Falwell’s and a neighbor confirmed that Becki had told her about her affair with the student.
It seems Becki is not only a Jezebel with major character deficiencies; she is also stupid.
We’ve seen, as has the world, a photo of Jerry on a boat with a young woman with both their pants partly unzipped and him holding a glass of “black water,” according to Jerry. Falwell captioned the post, “More vacation shots. Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promise that’s just black water in my glass. It was a prop only.” He was incredibly stupid or immature to permit such a photo. Then to send it to others is beyond the pale.
We now know that it was probably booze since Becki called 911 after he fell at home in a drunken stupor.
The New York Post reported that Jerry’s daughter-in-law and a female Liberty student were using the family’s guesthouse for cooking a meal. Falwell said that the friend pulled up her own skirt, as a joke, while she was cooking. The daughter-in-law was video recording the girl and sent screenshots around, according to Falwell. “She had on, I don’t know how to say this, granny panties,” he said, saying the image “wasn’t sexual.” Well, I may be a little dense or naïve, but when a woman lifts her dress to reveal her underwear, that is sexual. Falwell said he sent the screenshot to several people because he thought it was funny!
I knew Jerry Sr. since the 1960s, and he was known for his jokes, often on himself and sometimes very involved, but the son didn’t get his father’s sense of comedy or character or conscience.
On November 1, Politico published another scandal about Jerry and Becki playing a secret game called “Would you rather.” According to a former student, the Falwells walked through the university campus and eyeballed different students discussing what it would be like to have sex with them.
It is incredible the Falwells could be so carnal-minded, but then to tell others of their not so secret “game” indicates dwindling and flickering intellectual candlepower and spiritual blindness.
These people are worldly, wild, and weird people. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are discussing Jerry and Becki’s failures (which all of us have in varying degrees), but I have doubts as to their personal salvation. I almost never make that judgment, and all Christians fail (sin) from time to time, but we don’t live in a vile lifestyle for months and years without repentance or without even awareness.
There is a big difference between committing adultery and repenting and living in adultery for years without repenting.
Jerry sued the university because they hurt his reputation, but it appears to anyone, blind in one eye and cataract-laden in the other, that the Falwells did it to themselves.
It appears that Jerry has added to his sins of carelessness, carnality, drunkenness, nepotism, arrogance, and greed, the sin of taking other Christians to court. Most non-Christians won’t be aware of this, but Christians are not to take other Christians to court but settle all disputes within the church walls. Christians have honest disagreements and misunderstandings that require a just settlement since we are not perfect, just born again. Paul said that Christians will judge angels, so we should be able to solve our human problems.
Falwell charged the university officials had defamed him multiple times, such as in an announcement that there had been a “lack of spiritual leadership” at the school. No sane, honest person could say Falwell had given any spiritual leadership to the school. In that, he was a total failure. While enforcing the rules on students, faculty, and workers, he flaunted the most basic Christian principles.
Liberty did not defame Falwell, and he is trying to get in court what the court of public opinion can not give him. If I ever saw a hard sell, that is one. But anything can happen in court.
However, Jerry will appear before another Court where truth, fairness, justice always reign, and the sentence is always just. I don’t know what will happen with Jerry’s suit, but I know in Heaven, his name, influence, money, and friends will have no standing.
His claim of defamation is frivolous, faulty, fanciful, and false. The public’s assessment of him as a hypocrite is sadly true, and hypocrites must exercise remorse, repentance, and return to their first love.
My relationship with Jerry Sr. revealed a man of character, but the carnality, crassness, and compromises of his eldest son reflect badly on his legacy.
So sad. Such a tragedy.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives who ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Boys authored 18 books, the most recent being Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! The eBook is available here with the printed edition (and other titles) at www.cstnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at Don Boys, Ph.D.; and visit his blog. Send a request to DBoysphd@aol.com for a free subscription to his articles, and click here to support his work with a donation.)