Jerry Falwell Jr. has not had a good week at all.
Earlier this week, a long, detailed, receipts-laden report dropped on Jerry Falwell Jr. and his lovely wife Becki, detailing how Falwell was using university resources for his own gain, how he bullied campus staff at Liberty University, and how he often bragged about his sexual prowess to anyone who would listen. Additionally, there were photos of Falwell and his family partying it up (with margaritas and drinks!) at a Miami nightclub, which would ordinarily be no big deal, except that Liberty U has some serious rules about dancing and drinking.
After that report came out, Reuters reported that Falwell Jr. called a student "retarded" and blasted the school's police chief as a "half-wit." Presumably he wasn't doing this while bragging about the size of his penis, but you never know, since he was reported to brag about it to anyone nearby.
Oh, and he reportedly sent photos of his wife in a French maid's costume to a whole bunch of people in a group text instead of just sending them to Ben Crosswhite, his trainer, whom he set up in business with his own private gym. Who does that? Falwell Junior, apparently.
All of these reports have left Junior sputtering and angry. He's demanding an FBI investigation into how his emails ended up in the hands of a reporter but denying nothing. This is, of course, laughable, because he admits there was no hack, and Reuters notes that all of the emails they have came from his personal Earthlink account, not Liberty U's official email. It's all just smoke and mirrors to distract from the grift.
To mitigate the damage, Junior did an interview with Charisma magazine, a fringe evangelical publication, where he explained that Jesus wants him to be a hardcore capitalist just like Jesus would be, if he were alive today.
There are just so many things, it's hard to single out one.
On AM Joy Saturday, Frank Schaeffer and John Fugelsang put all of it into perspective. Schaeffer in particular has the credibility, history and the voice to call out Falwell, and call him out he did, first by calling out the whole lot of evangelical grifters.
"So you know, if you look at Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow and his family who take in about $230 million a year in contributions and pay themselves out millions, when you look at people like Kenneth Copeland, who's worth $750 million, when you look at Benny Hin, worth $40 million, Jerry Falwell, Jr. Is just another con artist grifter cashing in on 501(c)(3) tax-deductible status," Schaeffer said.
And then he dropped the hammer on Falwell, specifically.
"And then when you look at the present situation, one thing has changed," he explained. "The old con artists like Oral Roberts were glad just to make money, squirrel it away, steal, lie, et cetera, et cetera."
Winding up, he continued, "Now we have Jerry Falwell Jr., and what he wants is access to power, and not just any power, white nationalist power, racist power, power that lies, power that commits adultery, power that has porn artists have to be paid off with checks written in the Oval Office."
"So, it's a step lower than the traditional evangelical white con artist grifters out there," he added. "Now it's con artists married to a neo-fascist, new Republican party that's all about white nationalism. That's what's changed."
Liberty University and the other grifters Schaeffer mentioned need to lose their nonprofit status, as a beginning. Jerry Falwell Jr. in particular is using that nonprofit status to buy real estate and businesses at an unfair advantage in order to set young men up in business whom he also seems to trust with hot pictures of his wife.
John Fugelsang noted, "The great, great achievement of Falwell Sr. was this racket where they've convinced Christians to vote against everything Christ talked about, by talking about abortion, which Christ never talked about."
"This scrutiny is good news, and I hope it's applied to more people because those young people who go to Liberty University deserve better," he said.
We ALL deserve better. Every taxpayer who subsidizes this grift deserves better.