Late Sunday, a bizarre “vacation photo” from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. was posted and then deleted. The photo, captured by Houston Chronicle reporter Robert Downen, featured the president of the country’s largest Christian university with his pants unzipped and shirt hiked up, standing next to a woman identified only as a “friend.” Falwell was holding a glass of something he identified in the caption as “black water.” The photo sent off a fresh wave of criticism for the oft-criticized influential evangelical, with social media critics dinging Falwell as a “disgrace.”
But while the photo was certainly a choice for the leader of an influential Christian institution, it was actually more hypocritical than it even appeared. On Twitter, Liberty student Alexandra M. Green put together a thread detailing how many campus life guide rules Falwell violated in a single Instagram post. As she points out, this behavior would have resulted at the very least in a number of fines, and have led to students being kicked out in the past.
“If you place Jerry in a vacuum, I don’t give a *whole hoot* what he does in his free time,” Green says. “But policies backed by Jerry, signed off by Jerry, reflected on by Jerry, are hurting real young people while Jerry gets to claim religious political persecution on a yacht.”
Romans 2:21a – “thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thy self?”
Romans 2:23 – “Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?”
If you’re going to set a law, you must be the first to follow it.
— Alexandra M. Green (@Alex_andra_MG) August 3, 2020
As of this writing, neither Liberty nor Falwell has made a statement on the photo. A deleted video showed Falwell and other guests may have been throwing a party themed after the long-running Canadian mockumentary series Trailer Park Boys.