Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., called for the resignation of Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. after images surfaced of him on a yacht with his arm around a woman and their pants unzipped.
“Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling,” Walker tweeted. “As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor @LibertyU, I’m convinced Falwell should step down.”
“None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and @LUPraise deserve better,” he added.
LIBERTY UNIVERSITY’S JERRY FALWELL JR. TAKING LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Falwell is a key figure in the evangelical Christian community, and helped garner support for President Trump during his campaign.
The Liberty University president has apologized for the photo, but said that it was all in good fun.
“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell said in an interview this week with a local radio station located in Lynchburg, Va.
Falwell said that the woman in the photo was his “wife’s assistant” who was on the trip with them.
“She’s pregnant, so she couldn’t get her pants up,” he said in the interview. “And I had on pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either. And so I just put my belly out like hers.”
“She’s my wife’s assistant and she’s a sweetheart, and I should never have put it up and embarrassed her,” he added.
“And, anyway, long story short, it was just in good fun. That’s it.”
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The photo has been deleted, but critics have deemed Falwell a hypocrite, citing the Christian university ‘s rules of conduct, which require “modest” attire for students while on campus.
“If you’re running the largest Christian university in America maybe don’t put photos of yourself on social media with your pants undone on a yacht – with random women in bad wigs,” Meghan McCain tweeted this week.
“So gross, so hypocritical.”
Falwell said in his radio interview, “I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be a good boy from here on out.”
Falwell agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence from his role as president and chancellor of Liberty, where he has served since 2007 after his father, Jerry Falwell Sr., passed away. Falwell’s father founded the university in 1971.
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“Unfortunately, with this success and the burdens of leading a large and growing organization comes substantial pressure,” Jerry Prevo, chairman for the university’s board of trustees said Friday.
“Today, my colleagues and I on the Liberty University Board of Trustees and Jerry mutually agreed that it would be good for him to take an indefinite leave of absence.”
“This was a decision that was not made lightly,” Prevo added.