Jerry Falwell Jr takes leave of absence after unzipped pants photo
President and chancellor of evangelical Liberty University taking ‘indefinite’ leave of absence, school said in a statement
Adam Gabbatt in New York
Guardian August 7 2020
The head of the conservative evangelical Liberty University has been forced to take an “indefinite leave of absence” after he shared a photo of himself with his pants unzipped to reveal his underwear.
Jerry Falwell Jr, a prominent backer of Donald Trump and one of America’s most powerful evangelical leaders, was accused of hypocrisy after posting the photo to Instagram this week.
Liberty University, based in Virginia, has strict rules over dress code and social activities.
In a statement on Friday the university said:
“The executive committee of Liberty University’s board of trustees, acting on behalf of the full board, met today and requested that Jerry Falwell Jr take an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as president and chancellor of Liberty University, to which he has agreed, effective immediately.”
The move represents an extraordinary downfall for Falwell, who has served as the president of the ultra-conservative university since 2007. Liberty University was founded by Falwell’s father, and the younger Falwell became head after his death.
In the offending photo Falwell is wearing a black T-shirt and dark pants. The pants are unzipped at the fly and are stretched open to reveal Falwell’s navel, stomach and upper crotch. Falwell’s underpants, which appear to be grey, are visible.
The outfit seemed at odds with the strict dress code regulations of Liberty University, a favorite of evangelical Republicans.
The university rules that skirts may not be shorter than two inches above the knee and forbids male students from wearing shorts in class.
Falwell deleted the image, which he said was taken on a yacht, but it was shared by a Houston Chronicle reporter on Twitter.
Liberty University’s request that Falwell take a leave of absence suggests his case was not helped by an off-the-cuff, chaotic radio interview on the Morningline Virginia-based radio show on Wednesday.
“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell told the radio show.]
“And I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be … I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”
Falwell appeared alongside a woman in the photo, who also had her pants unzipped. In the radio interview he said she had influenced his sartorial decision.
“She’s pregnant so she couldn’t get her … she couldn’t get her pants up,” Falwell said, adding that the woman was his wife’s assistant.
“And I was like, trying to like, my, I had on a pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either. And so I just put my belly, I just put my belly out like hers.”
Falwell has previously faced questions over his behavior, including after he was photographed partying at a Miami nightclub.
At Liberty University, students who attend a dance face a fine of $20, and are also barred from “visiting alone with the opposite sex at an off-campus residence”, according to the Washington Post. The university also deems sex outside of marriage, and same-sex relations, to be “not permissible”.
Falwell previously raised eyebrows after he and his wife struck up a close friendship with Giancarlo Granda, a 21-year-old former hotel pool attendant. Falwell went on to contribute $1.8m to Granda’s purchase of a Miami hostel that the New York Times described as “gay-friendly” and Politico said was a “cesspool of vice”.
Falwell did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
But what is interesting is the odd story about the "pool boy" as this one I find FASCINATING. If I was reporting that I would go to Goodwill get a duffle with second hand clothes, leave it there and then at night go to a proper hotel. And when asked, just say, "I scored a daddy." I mean that is the reason you would be there. I would not risk my health or my belongings to this degree to get a story, but kudos on that one.So let's quickly wonder what the fuck is going on. A theme party on a yacht. Fine,but the particular one is rather obscure given that the Trailer Park Boys was a Canadian show that I doubt had much traction in the US. I would understand a Coronation Street, East Enders one over that and given my propensity for odd themes, I was planning a tribute to Don Ho, Luau on Thursday, since cancelled, I get it. But this white trash one seems well either perfect fit given his gig or another elite send up that is an uber failure. Bite the hand and all as that is largely the families of the students of Falwell so while we are canceling culture for those dressing up as well anyone who they are not.. limiting any type of costumes, all one can say is that Halloween in the time of Covid was going to be restrained regardless.
Again, sexual repression, confusion go hand in hand in the Evangelical community. I go back to my time in Nashville and meeting the morons there that carried the Bible as a shield to hide the truth. I knew one graduate of the infamous Liberty, now a Barista, who had a four month "career" as a Minister or some type of religious work, that tanked, converted to coffee and decided to be an expert, self publishing a book on the topic and then packed that in to dabble in another pyramid scheme with Dave Ramsay, Evangelical financial counselor. Oh yes, failed musician falls into that and his relocation to Music City (he and everyone else), so clearly his student loan debt at that dump worked out well. His co-worker, my former friend, Ethan, has nothing good to say about Liberty as he loves dead white uber fundamentalist Ministers who make Falwell seem liberal. The self hate and loathing in this cohort they share as it always centers on sex and sexuality. His co worker married a girl after meeting her on Bumble and four months later viola. The marriages are of convenience and are all pressed over the idea that sex is not something one practices outside marriage. Given that some experimentation is discouraged, such as bi-sexuality, threesomes, being gay and not well ever being Christian. And given that dabbling outside one's race is another no-no.
The Southern Baptists are now reckoning with the issues of race, the role of women, sexual identity oppression, and of course sexual abuse as many other mainstream industries are. That said they are sure that more Bible and more Prayer is the cure. No, its part of the problem.
Religion fears mental health counseling and they also disregard science which does little to help those in the time of Covid. Hello super spreaders. They are the most arrogant ignorant morons I have ever met and schools like Liberty and the weird online ones do little to reconcile the world with that of the word. They actually believe the Bible. Lord hear my prayer: They are assholes. And idiots given the ranking of Liberty and its standards in comparison with other secular schools.
What is more amusing is that simply having fun, being with friends, having a cocktail and doing anything that is not praying is another thing of which I am familiar. Ethan went through that self flagellation and his endless dabbling in religion has or had him enrolled on some online theological shack that pushes fake diplomas in ministry. It appears that Ethan want to be some type of traveling tent minister which I am sure will end up with a bus in the Alaskan wilderness and death as this falls into the woods category of crazy. I cannot imagine anyone actually choosing to enroll in Liberty given the lack of education it provides as it appears it does little that would teach you skills to adapt to a modern world. And that may be the point. Fear the now. And I read this from a Mother who enrolled her children in Liberty's online K-12 school.
And that is from a right wing nut job so go figure.
- The formatting was unprofessional. The material was prone to typos and other easily-fixed errors.
- The material for each subject was poorly written, vague, and even inaccurate at times.
- The test material was also frequently vague and error-prone, sometimes asking my daughter for information that was nowhere in the lesson material.
- The lessons-- especially in math-- lacked a solid structure. During our first two weeks of school, my daughter did surprisingly few math problems and there was no systematic review of second-grade concepts. This is problematic in a subject like math, where retention and review are important.
- The lessons-- again, particularly in math-- relied heavily on free materials, such as YouTube videos or website games, for the main teaching component. Some of those materials were very poor quality.
- This was particularly disappointing, as we did not expect a tuition-based curriculum to use free materials for a significant portion of the lesson. I would consider it appropriate to use free materials as supplementary or enrichment items. If LUOA was intended to be an open-source school, then I would also have no problem if they used free resources as core material. But it is different when parents are paying tuition.
It does not surprise me that Falwell Junior is a raging douche, hypocrite and hyper sexual. This is the religious right. Add racism, sexism, homophobia and overall stupidity and you have a horse race with not a winner in site. Well when Jesus fell, he picked himself up with a cross on his back. I don't see that pasty faced white fuck walking in that path.