83 thoughts on “Disclaimers Redux”

  1. HAHAHAHA! Looks like Falwell is awfully sensitive about his run in w/ the purple teletubby! I love book disclaimers. Great find whomever!

  2. As one who was at LU at the same time as Mr. Roose, the book seems pretty accurate to me. It was an enjoyable read. I love the statement on the disclaimer that the book “contains quite a bit of fiction.” Yeah, way to be vague, there.

  3. The Tinky Winky thing has grown almost to urband legend status. I had always heard it was the triangle on his head that gave him away.

  4. I’m not a fan of disclaimers, but coming from a BJU background, I’m impressed that Liberty University would even carry this book in their store. At least they offer their students some small measure of freedom (that BJU would never do).

    1. I thought this too! BJU would rather stock ten dozen copies of Standing Without Apology 😀 though to be fair I doubt very many colleges would have books critiquing them in the bookstore.

      1. I thank God for Jerry Falwell and Liberty Univerity.

        The spiritual impact that he has had on our country has been fantastic. He gave voice to thousands that had no voice.

        His private and public life exuded love for our Saviour. He was a staunch supporter for life in and out of the womb, and I must say from where I stand he fought a faithful fight. Was he perfect? certainly not, who is?

        Liberty University allowing the book to be sold in the store is just evidence that the university is not close-minded and does allow for varying beliefs with or w/out the disclaimer.

        Thank God for christian heroes like Jerry Falwell!

        1. I’m sure if it was your university you would have allowed the book…only in “lil” Clint’s perfect world….and only for folks who have done nothing but sit on the sidelines and complain about others.

        2. Hmm, I feel the exact same way about Billy Graham and his ministries.

          I can’t say that I’m a fan of Falwell. I’ve never heard anything bad about Liberty (I have family that went there). But, the way Falwell took over PTL was shady and dishonest, and so I lost any respect I had for him from that, not to mention, he preached a lot of hate, and I think the world has too much of that as it is.

          Don’t be mad at me, though, Greg. 😉

        3. RobM or Ricardo – Are either of you going to police this site and warn Scorpio about his virulent remarks about Falwell as you did to me on my comment about Franken? The SFL police only those with whom they disagree it seems, Ummmm….much like the fundies do.

        4. @greg I wouldn’t call Jerry Falwell a racist, but I have no idea what all he’s done, and may well have said/written racist/bigoted things. Racist & bigot are strong words, but did not call Falwell a cancer or insinuate there should be any violent action taken against Falwell.

          BTW, I’m not imagining things am I? Jerry Falwell is deceased, right?

          I don’t have a lot of good things to say about him, but if someone said he was a cancer or imply he should be silenced, I would gladly speak up. Not a fan of name calling, but it I can’t say it’s untrue.

        5. Falwell betrayed the victims of Bob Gray of Trinity Baptist, Jacksonville Florida. He dismissed the innocent victims of sex abuse by Bob Gray, a career of sexually abusing children in the church that at least some deacons and other church leaders knew about and covered up. Falwell called the victims “a bump int he road.” He was a disgrace and a consummate religious fake.

        6. Bassenco, ARE YOU SERIOUS!?

          That’s disgusting. I HATE that mentality. (i.e. the managawd is still to be lifted up even though he destroyed the spirit of so many people)

        7. Natalie – I don’t know how old you are but surely you are not so gullible to just “believe” anything bassenco says are you?

        8. greg – is that you John?
          If not, move along, nothing to see here.
          I know John and BASS did not agree on many things.

        9. Greg, I’m a graduate of Trinity from 10+ years ago, and have read Bassenco about the Trinity issue over at FFF (in fact, I’ve seen her get brutally attacked over there by people who STILL believe that Gray is innocent) as well as here.

          Trust me, she’s on the level, and the girl’s got balls to go up against the big dogs like she’s done.

        10. This is what Falwell said: “When you hit a bump in the road–the pastor has mentioned six months here of challenges–forget the bump in the road. That’s all it is. You’ve got to move on.” The “challenges” were the legal cases and public scrutiny caused by the victims of Bob Gray coming forward. Falwell dismisses them as “a bump in the road.” All their grief and the depravity of what that church leadership did to them was nothing compared to the church continuing to grow.

          I heard about it first from people who heard him directly. But here’s a source:

          And Natalie, thank you for the kind words. But I don’t have balls. The idea that integrity is somehow lodged exclusively within male genitals is actually a fundy myth. I have a backbone. Unlike the wannabe fundy suck-ups who cover all kinds of perverted sins in order to get a place at the table with their ridiculous, pompous, windbag idols.

    2. This book would have NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER been allowed in the library at my former fundy church’s Bible College. It would have been banned right along with Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, Grace Awakening, etc.

      The disclaimer is ridiculous, but I guess that is their concept of “equal time” and a lame attempt at a rebuttal.

      Stocking it in their library also allows them to know which students are reading it.

      It’s a trap!



      1. Oh, my fundy u didn’t have anything from anything Falwell.

        They had dismissed him as an unholy liberal.

  5. Yeah, I heard the Tinky Winky thing too. Funny how I never thought about it representing gays until I heard it preached from the pulpit by an IFB “pastor”. I know I’ve said it before, but I have to wonder how many others don’t think about things like this until a “pastor” points them out?

  6. looks like an interesting book! in a way it’s kinda like how Al Franken came to BJU and got the official tour, pretending that his “son” wanted to go there. i love the title of that book – “lies and the lying liars who tell them.”

        1. you are correct, cancer is perhaps a bit too positive of a description for Frankin.

        2. Al Franken = Cancer.

          I’m sorry this type of attacks are totally uncalled for.

          If you don’t agree with Franken’s IDEAS, then don’t vote for him. Or support the other candidate. Obviously half of the voters in his state supported him. We will have to see what happens on his next election.

          I may disagree with what the party in power in my state is doing right now. We have a way to correct this: the ballot box.

          Words are important.

  7. I go to Liberty University now, and I can say that I’ve been angry several times about what LU leadership does. Still, I do appreciate a conservative Biblical education, so I’m finishing my MA in Theology there.

    1. See, I read this kind of stuff and think “This guy has no idea.” I’m not trying to minimize your position, just provide some context. Try going to PCC or BJU. I did. After going through there, it is very amusing to hear people complain about Liberty.

        1. @BASSENCO, at almost any institution of higher education, we learn things we really don’t want to learn and have their political views and philosophies rammed down our throats. I wish things were different, but the so-called bastions of hope that fundy U’s claim to be are doing the same thing just in the opposite direction.

          We have to look past all of these things if we want a college education. Some people wade through fundy U and some through modern liberal U.

        2. Except Fundy U will tell you it has the absolute corner on absolute truth. Other schools allow for a degree of uncertainty and imprecision.

      1. I can say I’ve been to both sides. Spent 2 years at PCC and then transfered to Liberty. I am grateful for the education I received at LU and appreciate the opportunity I had to finish my degree. (LU is pretty much the only accredited college that will transfer in PCC credits.) Having said that, there were still many things I disagreed with the administration on–and I was both a full time student and staff member at LU.

        1. Going to bible college did 2 things for me. It made me an atheist and it gave me the desire to go study in a real school.

          The deeper irony is that going to university caused me to step back from being an atheist. In the midst of a philosophy class (yes, the irony is multidimensional) the professor said that god was the principle of all that is good.

          This idea has stuck with me. I realize that this doesn’t make me a traditional monotheist or a christian. (I’m okay with that., but I do love the ironies of my life.

  8. Kevin Roose has a sincere desire to ease tensions in The Culture War. (He wants lots of people to read his book.) He made an honest effort to understand his fellow students. He also made some honest observations – like how his floormates in his dorm seemed sexually repressed.

    I think the sexual content mentioned refers to the opening chapter that describes a student prayer group requesting mercy, for a couple of students who got caught at a wild party, and were too stupid to post several photographs on My Space.

    However, I did have a literature professor who once told the class that when people write autobiographies and memoirs, “they lie”.

    The book is great. Very interesting.

      1. I’d say so. I read through it pretty quickly. I never went to Liberty U. either, and I liked it.

        The author is sincere, and was genuinely curious about people on the other side of a cultural divide. Not all that different from him, although his Liberal Quaker parents have different attitudes and values.

        It’s definitely not like if Al Franken wrote it, as someone presumed up thread.

        1. what i meant was that the two books are similar in the sense of an outsider coming to a fundamentalist school to try and get an inside perspective. their methodology was similar, but their intentions and conclusions are obviously very different.

    1. If I hadn’t lost my voice I would have LOLed but instead it came out as a kind of weird squawking sound that scared my daughter.

    2. Ergun Caner is featured in this book. He’s sort of like the Mike Warnke of converts-from-Islam. Right?

    1. Not to vindicate Falwell, but Falwell did not write the article accusing aforementioned toy as being gay. It was published in a publication sanctioned by the University, but did not come from Falwell personally.

    2. Hey, I’m not saying Tinky Winky is gay, but if he’s not, he’s missing a good chance. 😆

    3. I’m not a Falwell fan either… but I know Carolyn and she’s great. Carolyn is a very fair-minded conservative I met way back on the old LeftOut mailing list.

  9. Roose did have nice things to say about the TRBC choir. I’ve seen them on their live online service, and have to agree with him that they are great.

    I am also shocked that LU didn’t outright fire Ergun Caner after his lies about his background. I got an online video course that he taught, and thought the guy was full of himself even before the scandal broke.

  10. Liberty and/or TRBC removed from their archives all sermons where Falwell defended racism. So, I’m not too impressed with any “academic freedom” that might be proclaimed from there. Saying they’re better than BJU is neither a compliment nor good.

    1. Ha! “Better than Bob Jones” could be said to be morally & academically praiseworthy of most High Schools & up in America (fundy schools excepted from that broad paint stroke).

      1. Nix the academic shot. I have no clue what their academics are there. It’s not much praise to say somewhere is better than Bob Jones though.

    2. What’s the best answer? If they were to leave them in their archives, someone would use it to prove the school is presently racist or those are the views Christians presently hold. Or some fringe lunatic would listen and use it as “proof” of his own racism. “I believe such and such about those kind of people, and so does Jerry Falwell!”

      Ought someone to save them under a file called, “Sermons Once Sadly Accepted but Now Repudiated and Publically Apologized For”? (Although I admit I don’t know what Liberty has publically done or not done.) If you are repentant of your past and you no longer believe what you once espoused, wouldn’t you want such messages expunged? But I can see that that looks like a coverup, too, and it could be an attempt to deny the past. But how do you otherwise deal with stuff you no longer agree with?

      1. Thanks for the great thoughts PW. We all have stuff in our past we don’t agree with anymore. I used to be a virulent KJV advocate, and a by-the-book koolaid drinker. I’m not going to go around trumpeting that like I still believe it. If I was a pastor of a church that used to be KJVO, and was no longer, I would remove the sermons that I preached about KJV onlyism..

        1. @SDG & PW – Thank God finally someone else can see the forest despite the trees. Everyone so wants to jump on the bandwagon that they impugn a good man and unverstiy’s reputation for some very silly matters, some of which may or may not be true. SDG when you spoke about being hard-core “KJV only” makes me embarrassed to think of how downright dogmatic and stupid I was over this issue. I even have some old bibles with fundy notes that I’m debating whether or not to get rid of because after I die I don’t want people, mostly my kids,(attach a disclaimer maybe) to read that stuff and think I still held those beliefs.

          This walk with the Lord is a journey. I think its safe to say that most of us have made mistakes. If I had preached racism in the 50’s (this is the first I’ve heard of it,btw) I would want those deleted as well, now if confronted on it I wouldn’t hide the fact, but praise God that I have new light and grace on the matter!

          Jerry Falwell made mistakes no doubt. I was just so proud that when he rubbed shoulders with the social/media elite or was on television, you can be sure that he presented the gospel message clearly and was not ashamed of the gospel, he actually was friends with Larry Flynnt, the pornographer, and gave him the gospel message, this after Flynnt published a vile pornographic parody about Falwell’s mother, I personally don’t know if I would have been strong enough to have done that even now.

          Even so come Lord Jesus!

        2. @SDG,

          It is true our personal convictions change with time. I look back at some of my writings from college and I’m ashamed :-). But I’d never try to hide them per se. I agree that if a church is trying to move on from KJV onlyism it might be appropriate to remove those sermons and writings. But it would also be appropriate to acknowledge the change. And that is my chief problem with many Fundy organizations. What they do is quietly just expunge the history and then, like this disclaimer, pretend that it never happened. It is one thing to say, “you know I was wrong” and quite another just to quietly pretend you never were.

          In this case honesty and being upfront is essential to trust. I still say the best solution is letting it all air out in the open. You can’t change the past, but you can change the present. You do that by acknowledging the past and looking forward to the future.

      2. Most of those sermons are from a time when there wasn’t a Liberty University. It’s just revisionist to remove them. People who don’t like Falwell will find plenty of fodder to fed on. Leave them up and say this was the way it was back in the 50’s and 60’s.

      3. Well, as my Grandmother used to say, “Either poop on the pot or get off”.

        Either have the book without a disclaimer and let the students come to their own conclusions or don’t have it at all because they believe that it is mostly fiction.

        Putting disclaimers in books biases the book to one side.

        It’s like the banks or the orchard keepers putting a disclaimer in “The Grapes of Wrath” when it was published. We KNOW that it was written from a farmer’s perspective, and take it as such.

        Same thing, IMO.

      4. @PW, unfortunately history is history. You can’t rewrite it. Expunging the history only makes Fallwel and LU look even more guilty. The best answer? IMO would be to let it air out in the open. Tell people this is what it once was and we despise that. Instead, by covering up it leads me to believe nothing has changed. They may be more politically correct, but nothing has changed or at least that is what I’m inclined to agree with a disclaimer like this.

        @Greg, The problem isn’t that good fruits can’t come out of Fallwel’s ministry obviously they can, but you don’t excuse the person nor his actions because of the end result. The ends don’t justify the means. If Fallwell did or said those things then he is a bad person and that is that. He doesn’t get a free pass because he preached a few sermons you liked. He doesn’t get a free pass because God has used him in anyway. God can use Satan himself to be his instrument (Job) of righteousness. Should we excuse Satan since he was used by God?

        To me it is troubling when you start to look at Fundy organizations and realize the corruption and abhorrent personal convictions of their founders. When they put so much emphasis on the student/subject being perfect when they themselves are anything but that it makes you wonder, “why the hell did I waist so much energy making them happy?” And here I’m speaking less about LU particularly and more about my personal experience in Fundy land including BJU. At BJU I was supposed to be perfect. At BJU I was supposed to just play my part and always do good with a smile on my face regardless of who walked over me. Then I hear of scandals and listen to sermons from BJ senior and it makes me sick to my stomach. Why did I waist so much time trying to please BJU or my Fundy Pastor. It wasn’t for God it was for them. So the question of whether Fallwel is corrupt is of huge importance. There are no free passes when you are trying to work out those details.

        1. “Let it out in the open” is right.

          Many years ago, I wrote an online essay defending the Southern Baptist view of women. Not only was it on my site, it was also on a politics/commentary site. When I discovered and embraced Biblical Equality, I didn’t take action right away, but got in a position where I had to do something.

          A couple of people liked what I said and wanted to use it for something. I did not give permission because I said I no longer believed it. Then they tried to change it to something even worse than I had believed. I really didn’t approve of that. 😕 What I ended up doing after that was getting the essay removed from the commentary site and re-posting the full essay with a rebuttal on my own site.

          I said some things back then which I now believe are wrong, and I have repented. I cannot deny it thanks to web archives, but I can publicly explain where my thinking has changed and reject my previous beliefs.

          Liberty, BJU, and the like need to do the same. Hiding evidence of incorrect and/or sinful past beliefs and practices is no longer possible. Sweeping under the rug fails. Public repentance and taking a new stand for the right thing is the best way to go.

  11. I don’t have a problem with people repudiating their past publicly and making disclaimers about things said during that time but there is a difference between doing that and saying that you ‘never’ did or said such a thing.

    1. True. And that’s part of why God warns us so much about being careful of what you say. If you’ve spouted hateful speech – especially if it’s recorded – you must then continue and continue and continue to apologize for it, explaining that you once held such sinful views but no longer do. You can NEVER pretend you didn’t once say such things, and you can’t act as if one blanket apology covers it all. Every time those old things come up again, as they do in our day and age, you must repudiate it again. That probably gets frustrating, but that’s part of the price for not following God’s Word in the first place! (Not that any of us do, but those in leadership are in a special place of responsibility.)

      1. This becomes part of your testimony, good or bad. It is part of who we are now. I freely proclaim I am a recovering pharasee. It’s is part of my testimony now. I want folks to know, I was that way. I chose to be an IFB kool-aid drinker. Over time God revealed the truth to me and I stopped. I think folks need to see that. It may help them on thier journey. That’s what so great about this site. I had no idea this was so widespread. I thought there were just a few rejects like me here and there. Hopefully the internet and sites like this will help irradicate bad IFB, which is most of them by the way.

        1. The thing is, we all have shtuff we have to backtrack from. Ever read Matthew 24:34?

          Those are not Jerry’s words that need to be explained away…

      2. The problem is elevating all this crap to doctrinal status. All it does it creates a ton of confusion and makes these people “walk back” all this junk. If BJJr and triple sticks had complied with the law, they wouldn’t have lost their tax-exempt status, which has done nothing but bite them in the butt.

  12. I have followed Falwell’s career since the early 70’s as he was somewhat of a distant family friend and I went to Liberty later on. He was a man who was willing to get out in front and as a result often took many arrows….some he deserved for stupid comments he made such as after 9/11. I have many things I disagree with him over, most notably his constant fund-raising (though I don’t believe for a minute he was in the ministry for his own personal gain but was trying to build a university) and IMO an over-emphasis of homosexuality. I believe it’s sin but I think it’s one Christians often focus on because few of us ever struggle with it like we might gluttony, gossip or even infidelity, and the degree to which he got involved in politics.

    But there are some facts that should also be stated:

    1. I’m not sure Falwell ever preached racist sermons as claimed. Rather he did preach a sermon against pastors getting involved in politics and marching during the civil rights struggles. He later apologized and said he was wrong.

    2. Tinky Winky became an easy club to beat Falwell up with ridicule by those who were against his conservative agenda. In truth, there were over 140 articles written about the “possibility”, the “rumor”, the “truth”, etc, of Tinky Winky being a character representing homosexuality written in such newspapers as The Washington Post, NY Times, and magazines like Time and People. A Lexus Nexus search will reveal this to be true. Joe Combs was the editor of Falwell’s paper and wrote the article in question. Ultimately though, Falwell does have to take responsibility as it was his paper. It was a stupid thing to do just from a PR position.

    3. Falwell, while still very conservative, led a lot of Independent Fundamental Baptists out of the lunatic fundy fringe. IMO that is one of the best things he did. These people aren’t the KJVO types who only believe in 200 year old hymns. They have made great strides.

    4. I was a student at Liberty in the early 80’s and didn’t finish. It was far too strict and I didn’t fit into their mold. LOL. Today it is far, far different. Indeed it is still conservative but I see it on par as a Christian university like Biola…far, far from the realm of the BJ and PCC realm.

    5. I read the book in question by Kevin Roose and really liked it. I think he was very fair and quite frankly, thought Liberty came off looking pretty well. I don’t think the school should really have a disclaimer but I appreciate them selling it even when they don’t agree with everything in it. I go up for football games occasionally. The last time I was in their bookstore I found books from Whoopi Goldberg, Rosi O’Donnel and a number of authors and personalities they would not agree with theologically or sociologically. They do allow their students a level of adulthood that fundy schools never have. I appreciate that.

  13. I actually bought a copy of this book at the Liberty University bookstore when it came out and this disclaimer was not there. I also was there a few days ago, looked at a copy of the book and again there was no disclaimer. I’m not saying for certain that there never was one, but I highly doubt it.

  14. As a Soon to be graduating student of LU, I read Roose’s book, and I can say, that yes, the disclaimer was definitely there in some early copies…
    As For Jerry Falwell, No, the man wasnt perfect, but he owned up to his mistakes, unlike many of the folks in IFB churches…
    I never met the man (He died the semester before I arrived on campus), but I did visit his office my first year here. On one of his bookshelves stood a tinky-winky doll-He received HUNDREDS during the controversy. The dolls that he didnt keep in his office were given to his grandkids…

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