As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It turns out that the intolerant spirit of Jerry Falwell (d. 2007) lives on in his son, Jerry Jr., who also happens to be the President of Liberty University, the school his father founded. (University presidencies that pass from father to son? Is this a university or a hereditary fiefdom?)
On this past Friday at the Liberty University convocation, President Falwell responded to the recent shootings at the hands of Muslim extremists with a call for students to carry guns to campus. (See the Slate article “Falwell Calls on Students to Carry Concealed Guns to Help ‘End Those Muslims‘”.) He also mocked calls for gun control and alluded to the fact that he was himself packing heat even as he addressed the 10,000 students. And the reason Falwell wants more students to carry guns? “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here,” he barked to the roaring approval of the crowd. He then added:
“I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.”
Falwell later on specified that he was advocating the killing of Muslim terrorists only, not Muslims generally. (Whew, thanks for clearing that up.)
But it’s hard to put into words how irresponsible, deplorable, despicable, and hate-mongering that language is. And from a “president”? The mind boggles.
If I were a faculty member of Liberty University, I’m afraid I would feel morally obliged to take a visible stand against this ignoramus. And I hope the faculty have the wisdom and courage of conviction to do precisely that.
In the interim, let’s consider just how disgusting that buffoon’s words were by putting his sentiments into another context. Just over a week ago, a “Christian” extremist walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic and began shooting. As the smoke cleared, three were dead and nine injured.
Now imagine if the President of the American Atheists were speaking at their annual convention. And during his speech he encouraged all the atheists gathered to carry guns so they could teach Christians “a lesson”. As the crowd cheers, he barks out:
“I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Christians before they walked in.”
Would Falwell be happy with that? One suspects not.