Seeking Social Ethicist; MBA Required

Jerry Falwell, Jr., is making life impossible for recovering sarcasm addicts. He’s like a bar tender pouring free drinks at an AA meeting.

First, he offered two excuses for a crass tweet unbecoming of any spiritual leader (he said David Platt, a Virginia pastor, should “grow a pair”). Excuse One: He’s never been a minister. He’s merely a lawyer, a real estate developer, and a university president. Excuse Two: Christian maturity at Liberty University isn’t his department. Go to the faculty, students, and campus pastor for spirituality; he’s just there to keep the place humming.

Then there’s his response to Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, who expressed moral outrage over reported ill-treatment of migrant children at a Texas border facility. Moore’s heartfelt objections are standard fare among Christian thinkers: “Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this.”

Falwell tweeted a reply too tempting for recovering sarcasm addicts. They’d toss their sobriety pins and reel in an acerbic spree. He said this: “Who are you, @drmoore? Have you ever met a payroll? Have you ever built an organization of any type from scratch? What gives you authority to speak on any issue? I’m being serious. You’re nothing but an employee — a bureaucrat.”

Never mind Moore’s ordination, academic degrees, and appointment to an office designated to render opinions on social and personal ethics. Moore isn’t a business entrepreneur and hasn’t met a payroll, so nix his opinions on social morality and humane treatment. He’s as unqualified as Augustine, John of Damascus, Thomas Aquinas, Clare of Assisi, Bonaventure, Teresa of Avila, Jonathan Edwards, and 20th-century Christian thinkers like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Edward J. Carnell, and Thomas Oden. And please ignore Karen Swallow Prior, a mere employee on Liberty University’s faculty.

Falwell’s logical inconsistencies and fallacies gleam like a saloon’s neon sign. Perhaps Amy Sullivan tweeted the best reply after she tossed her sarcasm sobriety pin: “Thoughts and prayers for Jerry Falwell Jr during what is clearly a stressful time for him.”

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About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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2 Comments on “Seeking Social Ethicist; MBA Required”

  1. Brandon Adams Says:

    Falwell’s response to Moore more closely resembled the boardroom yelling of that insecure middle-management type who winds up in Reddit horror-story compilations than the words of a gracious shepherd. Good grief.


  2. Joe Medwid Says:

    Thanks for this, Chuck. Falwell Jr is …well, I shouldn’t use swear words in this forum, but let’s just say he’s inept and nasty and childish, and leave it at that.


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