Liberty University’s board of trustees allegedly asked fellow board member Mark DeMoss to resign because his public disagreement with the school's president. He submitted a letter of resignation a few days later.
DeMoss rocked the university boat when he publicly criticized president Jerry Falwell Jr. for endorsing GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. DeMoss, now a PR executive, is no stranger to Liberty: From 1984 until 1991, he was Jerry Falwell Sr.’s chief of staff, and he served on the board for 25 years. The events surrounding DeMoss’s departure from Liberty are fuzzy, with a lot of he-said-she-said going on between him and the university. Each party maintains a different sequence of events, particularly about which side initiated DeMoss’s resignation. Blogger Warren Throckmorton interacted with both. After a fairly generic statement from the university, DeMoss told Throckmorton:
On March 1st a Washington Post article appeared in which I expressed my disagreement with Jerry Falwell Jr’s formal endorsement of Donald Trump. Jerry and a number of fellow Liberty University trustees expressed to me and to the other trustees their disapproval of my speaking publicly about the subject.
At our April 21 executive committee meeting the committee voted to ask me to resign from the committee I had chaired for many years. I agreed, and did so in remarks to the full board the following morning.
Subsequently, on Monday, April 25, I sent a letter to Jerry and the chairman of the board and the new chairman of the executive committee, tendering my resignation from the board I had served for 25 years.
Then, at the blogger’s request for comment, the university responded to DeMoss’s account:
Liberty University does not typically give details of the occurrences at its Board of Trustee meetings but since Mark DeMoss has contradicted the University’s response and offered a different version, here is a clarification:
While members of the Executive Committee individually asked Mark DeMoss to resign from the Executive Committee, no vote was ever taken by the Executive Committee to ask Mark DeMoss to resign. On Thursday, April 21, he was encouraged by members of the Executive Committee to remain on the Board and apologize to the Board. At the Board of Trustees meeting the following day, Mark DeMoss offered an apology to the Board and tendered his resignation from the Executive Committee. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the apology of Mark DeMoss in the Christian spirit of love and grace. Mark DeMoss sent an email with his resignation on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, four days after the Board of Trustees meeting. He was not removed from the Board of Trustees nor did the Board of Trustees ask for his resignation.
And there’s more: According to Throckmorton, DeMoss still rejects several aspects of Liberty’s latest statement. Specifically, he is adamant that he was not encouraged to stay and that he did not “tender” his resignation; he was “informed” about it.
It’s a strange saga that raises all kinds of questions about the Liberty University’s relationship to Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump. At the very least, this highlights the messiness of the school’s affiliation. More broadly, this whole episode points to the growing rift among Christians concerning the controversial candidate. Is it a sign of more divisions to come? Discuss
The popular news site, Reuters, has a super interesting feature up right now. It’s an interactive “polling explorer” that shows the results of an on-going poll about the upcoming election. Respondents to the poll told Reuters their “selection for president, if the 2016 presidential election was between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.” Viewing the results, you can filter responses by several different demographic factors, like race, age, socioeconomic status, etc. When we isolated the results to include only those who identify as “born again Christians,” things got interesting.
The poll shows that 25 percent of these Christians say they will neither vote for Trump nor Clinton, and will vote for a third candidate or abstain from voting instead. What’s more, that percentage appears to be climbing: Those who chose “Other/Wouldn’t vote/Refuse” climbed 7 percent between May 3 to May 6 (the most recent available data) to 28.5 percent. Of course, we’ll have to watch this study during the next few weeks, but it’s starting to look like the angst among some Christian voters surrounding the 2016 election could end up being a major factor.
This week on the podcast, we talk with author and the former head of the White House's Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Joshua DuBois about why Christians need to stay engaged in politics. Eddie and Joy attempt to solve a truly confounding problem from a listener. We discuss some big DC Talk news and its life-changing implications for Eddie, discuss the latest from Radiohead and much, much more. Read More
Then there was only Trump. Barely 12 hours since Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP presidential race, Ohio governor John Kasich has done the same, according to several sources. And that makes it official: Reality TV star and real estate mogul Donald J. Trump is running for the GOP nomination unopposed. The AP is reporting that Kasich will make an official announcement soon. Even though he lasted until what you could call a second-place finish, the governor never really caught on with voters. Even this morning's Kasich Star Wars Day video somehow couldn't help. Calling him “a conventional candidate in an unconventional race,” the The New York Timesreport suggests that Kasich's longevity was more of “a testament to his unbending refusal to drop out” than any momentum behind him as a candidate. Discuss
Last night, after losing yet another primary election to Donald J. Trump (this one in Indiana), GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz suspended his bid for the White House. In his concession speech, Cruz told his supporters: “Together we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got. But the voters chose another path.” His departure virtually eliminates any threat to Trump’s now-presumptive nomination. And even though Ohio governor John Kasich, as of now, remains in the race, the GOP side appears to be shifting already toward the general election. There, however, things aren’t as clear. Even though Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton still holds a large delegate lead over her opponent Bernie Sanders, last night she lost to him in yet another state primary. Discuss
Well, folks, we may have reached peak Trump. The Donald earlier today suggested that fellow-GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s father fraternized—conspired?—with Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassin killed President John F. Kennedy. Trump’s source appears to be a National Enquirer picture of Rafael Cruz passing out pro-Fidel Castro literature with Oswald. The gregarious candidate said on Fox News:
His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being—you know—shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this? Right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.
I mean, what was he doing—what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.