May 22, 2012 : By Office of Communications & Public Engagement - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Liberty University became the subject on a national TV show last week when comedian Bill Maher attempted to diminish the significance of Gov. Mitt Romney’s Commencement speech there on May 12.
On “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO last Friday, Maher called Liberty “not really a college” and ranted about creationism. The video has been widely disseminated on the Internet, inviting hundreds of comments, including many from Liberty students defending their school.
Chancellor and President Jerry Falwell, Jr. released this statement to the media on Monday:
“Maher is a comedian whose words aren’t meant to be taken seriously, and he’s proven by his parody, once again, that they shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, though, some people do take the man seriously and will likely be deceived by his false statements.
“In reality, Liberty is a fully accredited liberal-arts university. With over 90,000 students, it is the largest private, nonprofit university in America, the largest university in Virginia, and maintains more than 275 programs of study, including a fully accredited School of Law, and a forthcoming School of Medicine. The same science textbooks are used at Liberty that are used at other major universities. Liberty teaches the theory of evolution as well as the Biblical account of creation (including that the universe could have been created with the appearance of age just as the first man and woman were created as adults) and students make up their own minds on the issue.
“Liberty is proudly an institution that adheres to the Judeo-Christian values upon which our nation was founded and upon which millions of Christians have based their lives and beliefs. It is sad that Obama donors like Maher seem to fear debating the issues on the merits and instead resort to ridiculing their opponents deceitfully.”
Alumnus Tally Wilgis (’05), now a pastor in Baltimore, Md., fought back against Maher’s attack on Wednesday. On his website, he writes: “Judging from the polite golf claps of his normally rabid audience, I believe a fair argument can be made that the piece itself simply wasn’t received as being very funny. … In addition to failing on funny, Maher gets an ‘F’ on his facts.”
Wilgis said it was ironic that one of those “facts” was that our founding fathers went to “real colleges.”
“Here’s the real humor: Every college cited as a ‘real’ college was founded by and for the purpose of delivering a distinctively Christian education, the same principle upon which Liberty University was founded in 1971,” Wilgis said.
Wilgis gives an account for each president and institution Maher mentioned. Read his article here.