Jerry Falwell Jr. and his mega-university, Liberty, are not known for subtlety. Drive through Lynchburg, Va., on U.S. Highway 29 and you’ll see what I mean. Like the campus and much of what Falwell does, the recently released list of convocation speakers at Liberty University, which includes Tomi Lahren and Ray Rice, is eye-popping. Sadly, it’s eye-popping in a way that brings shame to the cause of Christ.
According to Liberty University’s mission statement, the school is dedicated to “maintaining the vision of the founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University develops Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world.”
Apparently, the Christian “values, knowledge, and skills essential to [impacting] the world” are best delivered by a man who beat his wife (Ray Rice), a political pundit who trades on her sexuality while defending the murder of babies (Tomi Lahren), and Corey Lewandowski, a man who likes to manhandle female reporters whom he doesn’t like.
The world's largest evangelical Christian university taps a pro-choice narcissist, a wife beater and Corey Lewandowski to be its convocation speakers. I'm speechless pic.twitter.com/UznHA74svE
— Gabby Orr (@GabbyOrr_) November 27, 2017
I’m still not sure what purpose Tomi Lahren serves, other than to titillate alt-righters and Trumpkins who don’t realize that women have eyeballs. Regardless, the fact that a purported Christian university would provide a platform for someone who defends abortion is beyond puzzling.
The Bible leaves absolutely zero wiggle room on the issue of abortion. Life is a gift from God, and humans have a responsibility to preserve life. Murdering babies still living in their mother’s womb is reprehensible.
Speaking to the hosts of “The View,” Lahren explained, “I’m pro-choice, and here’s why. I am a constitutional, you know, someone that loves the Constitution. I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government, but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies.”
In her convocation speech at Liberty University, I wonder if Lahren is going to trade on her sexuality while defending abortion. If she does, I have little doubt that Jerry Falwell Jr. won’t utter a word in dissent. The man knows who is buttering his bread, and the ethically compromised Republican base will continue to flood his coffers with donations and tuition money as long as he keeps pandering to them and their false idol named Donald Trump. Unfortunately for him, Jerry Falwell Jr. ultimately will have to answer to God for how he used the resources and platform God has entrusted him with. King Jesus is not going to be happy that Falwell promotes a defender of abortion.
As for Corey Lewandowski, beyond just the alleged physical assaults, he is a snake with a gleaming eye turned toward filthy lucre. The best thing that can be said about Lewandowski is that he’s smart enough to realize that when Trump promised to drain the swamp, he wasn’t referring to prohibiting his friends from manipulating and flaunting the rules of lobbying.
In a sad sense, I guess he and Falwell make perfect bedfellows. However, my heart aches for the many students and faculty of Liberty University who want to magnify God’s name and not the name of a man who resorts to physical violence to silence those who disagree with him — a man who disregards the rules of law.
And then there’s Ray Rice. The shocking video of Rice punching his wife in an elevator is stomach-turning. No man should ever punch a woman, even if she hits him first. Actually, scratch that. No true man will ever punch a woman, even if she hits him first. That being said, out of the three listed, the invitation to Ray Rice is the most defensible, with a strong caveat.
Rice has repeatedly owned up to his mistake and sought forgiveness. He has attended counseling, frequently speaks out against spousal abuse, and his wife has forgiven him. If Rice is going to speak out against spousal abuse during his planned convocation speech, then I applaud the selection. However, it’s hard to believe that’s why Falwell is having him speak at Liberty University, considering that he defends a man who admitted on tape that he sexually assaulted women.
As Jesus said, no one can serve two masters. During the 2016 presidential election, Falwell demonstrated that the gods he serves are power and influence. With that in mind, the convocation speaker lineup makes perfect sense.