American evangelicalism has a problem with authority, and the resignation of former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has forced it to the surface.
Falwell’s departure and the ignomious circumstances that prompted it were met by some evangelicals with protest: Why is the media saying he’s our guy? What makes Jerry Falwell Jr. an “evangelical leader”? I don’t follow him.
For an outsider looking in on the movement, this may seem like a protest in bad faith. It’s not. “I’ve been in evangelical circles for 30 years,” says a representative tweet. “Falwell’s dad certainly was someone who had a vision for Liberty and had a lot of influence, but I have never heard anyone EVER refer to Falwell Jr.