In case you forgot, rape culture prevails

At Liberty University, the "Christian life" apparently includes covering up sexual assault

· Dec 13, 2016 Tweet

The Wall Street Journal

I recently read in the news that Liberty University has hired Ian McCaw as its new athletic director. I vaguely recognized the name, so I did some further research. It didn’t take me long to remember he was the athletic director at Baylor University who did not report a sexual assault that was alleged against some of his football players and brought to him by the victim herself.

There is also a currently a lawsuit filed against McCaw by Jasmin Hernandez. She alleges McCaw knew one of his football players, Tevin Elliot, was a sexual predator, and McCaw both failed to protect her and acted indifferently after Elliot raped her.

McCaw resigned from Baylor and has not been formally convicted any crimes regarding these allegations. Regardless, this is a man who had information brought directly to him that five football players at his university had gang-raped a young woman, and he did not report it. This isn’t like forgetting to pick up the milk — this is inexcusable. I believe this man should not be in a job anywhere outside of a prison, let alone another college campus.

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That said, I don’t want to discuss how unfit McCaw is for this position because I feel as though there really isn’t much discussion in that area. I do want to discuss how this man got hired at one of the nation’s most prominent Christian universities.

Liberty University was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., and for this name I needed no refresher.

For those that don’t know, Rev. Falwell was a professional idiot, disguised as a televangelist and Baptist pastor. He was a disgusting man, and it is difficult to think of someone that has more expertly used religion to mask their bigotry, stupidity and ignorance. This is a man who said in 1999 that the antichrist is living among us, and he is, of course, an adult male Jew. This is a man who said in 2001 that gays, lesbians, abortionists and feminists deserve the blame for 9/11. He taught these things to children. He told them that if they did not believe him, then they would go to hell. He was repulsive in every conceivable way.

He served as the president of Liberty University until his death in 2007, after which he was succeeded by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. Now, I don’t advocate jumping to immediate conclusions on a person based solely off of what that person’s parents did, so I wanted to give Falwell Jr. a chance, but he has only proven that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Falwell Jr. has said if the sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump were definitively proven to be true, he still wouldn’t hesitate to cast his vote for Trump. In addition, he censored a column in Liberty University’s student newspaper criticizing Trump’s “locker room talk” comments. Now, he has hired a man who has through his actions shown that he values the success of his football team more than the safety of his students.

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Falwell Jr. in a statement said, “If you look at what Baylor was able to do during [McCaw’s] tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going.”

Who on Earth would want to model their athletic program after McCaw’s Baylor? The only reason this man is the president of any university is because his charlatan father founded one and gave it to him. The attitudes and beliefs he advocates for are unacceptable and must be challenged wherever they are found.

To the students of Liberty University: Take action and speak out against your repulsive president and the people he supports and hires. It is shame that this has happened, but the time for action is now.

To Jerry Jr., I have only this to say: It’s not too late to change, and you can still turn things around. The mission statement of your university states that you will “encourage a commitment to the Christian life,” and you can still do everything in your power to show that you really do believe that. But if hiring men like this and supporting what he has done is truly your view of the “Christian life,” then you should reevaluate what religion means to you before you have to face God.

It is highly important for students on all college campuses to be aware of these things. While I don’t believe our university would ever hire a man like this — listening to Jerry Falwell puts in perspective how good our leadership is — we must be educated on these things so we can be sure to do everything in our power to make sure something like this never happens here.

Kort Driessen ([email protected]) is a freshman majoring in neurobiology.

This article was published Dec 13, 2016 at 6:00 am and last updated Dec 12, 2016 at 10:41 pm


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