Dream memo to Jerry Falwell, Jr.

March 13, 2020


This’ll never happen, but I wish it did. So I’ll imagine the unimaginable: Distraught Liberty University faculty and trustees hold a conference call. They sift through their president’s speculation over the coronavirus pandemic (see the video) and they resolve to write a letter. Here it is, imagined in all its glory:

Dear President Falwell:

We, the undersigned leaders and teachers of the university your father founded and which you’ve capably led, hereby file the following request: Stop embarrassing us and our community. Please be quiet. Don’t appear on Fox News and suggest, first, that COVID-19 is a relatively harmless disease hyped by the liberal media. The media did not declare the outbreak a pandemic (the World Health Organization did that); the media did not stricken Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz; the media did not afflict 17,000 Italians, 7,900 South Koreans, and 11,000 Iranians; and the media has not killed over 5,000 people throughout the world. Comparing this pandemic’s statistics to those of a previous flu outbreak is logically precarious: That flu has run its course; the coronavirus has barely begun.

But your statement’s second half makes us really wince. You suggest, without a whiff of evidence, that North Korea pow-wowed with China and cooked up the coronavirus as a bio weapon. A question: Why would China brew a disease that would kill its own citizens, then take measures to protect those citizens, and then spread that disease to its trading partners? In other words, why would China intentionally harm its own economy? Even more important, why are you — the president of a Christian school — spreading false reports? That’s prohibited in so many passages in the Bible.

Again, please be quiet. Stop embarrassing us.

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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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