The Cautionary Tale of Jerry Falwell Jr.

It’s time to remember the qualifications of biblical leadership.

Something doesn’t smell right in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Liberty University and its controversial president, Jerry Falwell Jr. According to a September report in Politico:

“Everybody is scared for their life. Everybody walks around in fear,” said a current university employee who agreed to speak for this article only after purchasing a burner phone, fearing that Falwell was monitoring their communications…. “Fear is probably his most powerful weapon,” a former senior university official said.

Politico also reported that many Falwell confidants are concerned that tuition money is going “into university-funded construction and real estate projects that enrich the Falwell family and their friends,” going on to detail a number of examples.

Days later, further glimpses of Falwell’s leadership character emerged when Reuters quoted leaked emails in which he called some students “social misfits,” called the school’s police chief a “half-wit and easy to manipulate,” and said students trying to avoid Liberty parking fees were egg-sucking “dogs.”

There is plenty in the reports for Falwell and defenders to argue with. Many accusations were based on anonymous sources, and allegations of financial misconduct, to the degree there is any, of course must be borne out by impartial investigations and credible evidence.

Still there is an odor in the air. Falwell doesn’t emphasize that he is innocent but that, “In the end, they [his accusers] are going to look like fools.” He believes the entire affair is about power. He told CNN: “I think it’s all a political-based attack by people who wanted to run the school for themselves.” …

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