I have said things in columns that I now don’t believe. It happens, but one should acknowledge it and move on. Claiming it didn’t happen isn’t the way to go.
Bryan Fischer once wrote in a column that African-Americans on welfare “rut like rabbits.” Now he denies it. Listen to an excerpt of Fischer’s radio show provided by Right Wing Watch. In it, he claims he never referred to African-Americans in this manner.
However, a review of the Wayback Machine tells a different story. Here is the column and the paragraph is below:
He later changed the paragraph to refer to Hispanics, Caucasians and African-Americans but he can’t say he never singled out African-Americans to start with.
In response to statements made yesterday by Mark DeMoss, this morning Liberty University sent along another statement about Mark DeMoss’ resignation from the Liberty University board of trustees.
Individual board members have varied reasons for their displeasure regarding Mark DeMoss’ comments to the Washington Post, most of which are not related to his disagreement with Jerry Falwell’s personal endorsement of Donald Trump or a belief that Mark DeMoss’ motivations were entirely political. Liberty would prefer to not inventory or detail all these reasons.
On March 1st Mark DeMoss — Jerry Falwell, Sr.’s chief of staff from 1984-1991 and head of the largest PR firm in America working exclusively with Christian organizations — told the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker that Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. made a mistake by endorsing Donald Trump for president. Then in late April, according to DeMoss, the executive committee of the Liberty University Board of Trustees voted to ask DeMoss to resign from the Board’s executive committee. For many years, DeMoss chaired that same committee.
When I became aware that DeMoss’ name had been removed from the Liberty University listing of trustees, I asked Liberty for comment. Today, the university sent this statement:
Mark DeMoss sent an email with his resignation on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, four days after the most recent Board of Trustees meeting. He was not removed from the Board of Trustees nor did the Board of Trustees ask for his resignation.
I then asked DeMoss about the resignation and he told a more detailed story:
On March 1st a Washington Post article appeared in which I expressed my disagreement with Jerry Falwell Jr’s formal endorsement of Donald Trump. Jerry and a number of fellow Liberty University trustees expressed to me and to the other trustees their disapproval of my speaking publicly about the subject.
At our April 21 executive committee meeting the committee voted to ask me to resign from the committee I had chaired for many years. I agreed, and did so in remarks to the full board the following morning.
Subsequently, on Monday, April 25, I sent a letter to Jerry and the chairman of the board and the new chairman of the executive committee, tendering my resignation from the board I had served for 25 years.
I asked Liberty University for a reaction to the DeMoss statement but did not get a response. (Since I published this post, Liberty responded. See the update below).
In the same March 1 Washington Post article, Jerry Falwell, Jr. said that his endorsement of Trump was not on behalf of Liberty University and that he didn’t intend to influence students or faculty. However, his influence may have spread to the Liberty executive committee members who, DeMoss said, voted for him to step down from a committee he once chaired. DeMoss told me he had been on the executive committee for eight years, and chose to leave the board completely once he stepped down from the executive committee.
Liberty University does not typically give details of the occurrences at its Board of Trustee meetings but since Mark DeMoss has contradicted the University’s response and offered a different version, here is a clarification:
While members of the Executive Committee individually asked Mark DeMoss to resign from the Executive Committee, no vote was ever taken by the Executive Committee to ask Mark DeMoss to resign. On Thursday, April 21, he was encouraged by members of the Executive Committee to remain on the Board and apologize to the Board. At the Board of Trustees meeting the following day, Mark DeMoss offered an apology to the Board and tendered his resignation from the Executive Committee. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the apology of Mark DeMoss in the Christian spirit of love and grace. Mark DeMoss sent an email with his resignation on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, four days after the Board of Trustees meeting. He was not removed from the Board of Trustees nor did the Board of Trustees ask for his resignation.
As I consider the matter, I wonder why it is acceptable to the Liberty board for Jerry Falwell to endorse a candidate as an individual not speaking for the univeristy, but it is not fine for a board member to express an opinion as an individual not speaking for the university.
UPDATE 2 – In response to Liberty’s statement, Mark DeMoss told me
- I was not encouraged by members of the Executive Committee to remain on the board; Jerry Jr was the only committee member who spoke to me that evening—after they had the attorney [Liberty’s general counsel] call and ask for my committee resignation.
- The committee said nothing to me about apologizing to the board the next morning. Jerry had suggested that two months earlier and I told him I would do so in person at the April 22 meeting.
- I did not tender my resignation in the full board meeting—I informed them of it. I tendered my resignation the night before to the attorney who called me on behalf of the committee. He told me if I chose not to resign they would vote to remove me (from the committee).
One pitfall of claiming to speak for God is that God doesn’t always cooperate.
Glenn Beck once said Ted Cruz had the best chance of winning the GOP nomination because God was on Cruz’s side. Now that Cruz has dropped out, is God disappointed?
Beck wrote a post for his website where he downplays the fact that Cruz is out.
What is happening in this election is normal. If you think it’s abnormal, you aren’t looking back far enough into history. Civilizations go through this. Societies aren’t a straight line of growth. There are down waves for every up wave.
Tomorrow is just Wednesday.
It’s another day where each of us has an opportunity to be a moral person. To defend Liberty. To protect our neighbor’s rights, and count on him to defend our own.
No big deal. When Cruz was in the race, Beck and his fellow Cruz crew breathlessly reminded us that the nation was at the abyss, going to hell in a hand basket. Cruz was the answer.
Now, tomorrow is just Wednesday.
If you mean a new Israel or a covenant nation, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore — writing for The Gospel Coalition — says no.
The Founders were influenced by Christians but there is no religious test in the Constitution. Moore says the Bible doesn’t assign America a providential place in history. Moore makes it clear that Ted Cruz’s stump verse of II Chronicle 7:14 was a promise to Israel and not to America as a political entity.
While Moore didn’t call out specific people, this is a pretty clear rejection of David Barton’s Christian nationalism on theological grounds.
Previously, I believed that at Liberty University, David Barton was viewed positively as a great historian. Since he speaks there frequently, some in certain circles must believe that. However, I was surprised to learn that Barton’s reputation is not as positive in the history department. John Fea was able to get a first hand look into the matter from a former history graduate student at Liberty. Russ Allen has his masters degree from Liberty and attended a talk given last week at Liberty by Barton. About Barton and his history classes, Allen told Fea:
The first time that I heard Barton’s name was in a graduate-level history classroom at Liberty University. In that setting Barton was almost unanimously viewed as a model of someone engaging in historical fallacy. His works are discussed only in light of their faults and supplemented with strong scholarly criticism.
This is pretty encouraging and raises my estimation of Liberty’s history department.
After Barton speaks to the student body, the history department must be busy undoing his many fallacies.
The Christian radio empire K-LOVE (complete list of stations) is in the middle of their Spring Pledge Drive. To be blunt, the constant solicitations are annoying.
After hearing a claim recently that K-LOVE’s CEO Mike Novak’s salary is over half a million dollars, I decided to do some exploration of K-LOVE’s finances. K-LOVE is one of two radio enterprises run by Educational Media Foundation (Air One is the other). Because EMF is a non-profit, their finances are available via their 990 form. The organization is quite large and took in just over $152-million during 2014.
Concerning the salary claim, it is true that CEO Mike Novak got a hefty sum of $531,256 in 2014. Numerous employees, including one of the DJs got over $200k in compensation. K-LOVE pushes an “easy” giving level of $40/month on the air and their website. It takes 1107 people making that monthly pledge just to pay Novak’s salary. By comparison, the executive director of Doctors Without Borders, Sophie Delaunay, got just over $160k for running an organization that took in twice what K-LOVE received in donations.
K-LOVE also spent $267,463 on “pledge drive coaching.” The return on investment was phenomenal in 2014 in that they raised over $32-million attributed to the effort.
As annoying as the gimmickry is, it is apparently quite successful.
Are Board Members Paid?
In reviewing K-LOVE’s claims about their finances, I found one claim to be technically true but misleading. On their website, K-LOVE says:
K-LOVE claims that the Board of Directors at large serve without compensation. While it is true that the 2014 990 form doesn’t report any income paid to non-staff board members, CEO Mike Novak is one of the board of directors and is well compensated. However, readers wouldn’t know that by reading the website. The website description makes it seems as though none of the board members get paid. When one looks at the list of board members on K-LOVE’s website, at large members are not identified.
The 2014 990 identifies CEO Novak as a salaried board member:
Does K-LOVE Need Your Money?
K-LOVE’s net revenue over expenses for 2014 was over $64-million. At $40/month, that means 133,761 donors could have given their money elsewhere and K-LOVE would have covered operational expenses. While it clearly takes lots of money to run a high quality media operation, it may come as a surprise to donors who sacrificially give $40/month that K-LOVE is doing quite well financially.
I am not saying that K-LOVE is doing anything wrong (although I think they could make it more clear that staff board members are handsomely paid). My intent is simply to provide potential donors with information that is not provided by K-LOVE. It may be that your local church or food pantry needs that money more than this mega-station.