Jerry Falwell, Jr., the President of Liberty University, has apologized for posting an odd photo to his Instagram account.
Over the weekend, Falwell posted and quickly deleted a photo of himself standing next to a woman, identified by The Christian Post as his wife’s assistant, with both of their pants unzipped and their stomachs out. The photo, which was reportedly taken at a Trailer Park Boys themed costume party hosted by the Falwells, caused many to criticize the Christian university president.
On Wednesday, in an interview on WLNI’s MorningLine, Falwell provided some context to the photo while also noting that he has apologized to all who were personally affected by the photo.
Talking about the woman standing next to him in the photo, Falwell told MorningLine, "She’s pregnant, so she couldn’t get her pants zipped. I had on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a long time, so I couldn’t get mine zipped up, either. And so, I just put my belly out like hers.”
“I should never have put it up” and “embarrassed her,” he added, noting that he has “apologized to everybody” involved.
The photo of Falwell went viral after Robert Downen, a faith and religion writer for the Houston Chronicle, shared a screenshot of the photo to his Twitter account. Dow captioned the photo, “Wut is happening."
wut is happening pic.twitter.com/8iEOr9EeRQ— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) August 3, 2020
Amy Sullivan, religion and politics journalist and former TIME editor, also posted the photo to her Twitter account, captioning it, “Several million women who sat through years of purity lectures would like a WORD.”
Several million women who sat through years of purity lectures would like a WORD. pic.twitter.com/xhkwd3Lsw8— Amy Sullivan (@sullivanamy) August 3, 2020
Sullivan further criticized Falwell noting that “The woman is not Jerry’s wife or daughter, which makes the placement of his hand … not compliant with the Billy Graham Rule.”
Context: the Falwell family was in Florida and threw a "Trailer Park Party" for all their friends on a yacht (unclear if it's theirs). The woman is not Jerry's wife or daughter, which makes the placement of his hand...not compliant with the Billy Graham Rule. /1— Amy Sullivan (@sullivanamy) August 3, 2020
According to the Christian Post, many others called Falwell a hypocrite, pointing to the fact that, in the photo, he is breaching several rules from Liberty University’s code of conduct, including rules that prohibit students from consuming media that contains “lewd lyrics, anti-Christian message, sexual content, nudity, pornography.” Students must comply with these rules whether they are on or off-campus.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.