A massive snowball fight instigated by Jerry Prevo led to complaints to the health department for Liberty University violating COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Jerry Prevo was quick to apologize for violating the governor’s executive order. And yet here is what is troubling. Prevo is willing to apologize when he wants to and is selective about it. In the wake of the violence at the United States Capitol he has not apologized for the operating Falkirk Center which continues to spit out poisonous toxins of Christian nationalism which is what led to the January 6, 2021 coup attempt. Will he own the mistakes of the Falkirk Center and apologize for the problems its creating? Not a snowballs chance in hell.
“Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on his own dunghill.“
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Romans 13:1-7 ESV
The snowball fight in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day!
On Sunday January 31, 2021 it snowed in central Virginia. According to Channel 10 news in Roanoke, Lynchburg got four inches of snow. Jerry Prevo looked out of his window, and the former Alaska pastor went outside an instigated a snowball fight on the front law of Liberty University. In the process people violated the Virginia Governor’s COVID-19 restrictions about social distancing. And face masks were not worn by many students. The local government received 120 complaints. Lynchburg County Health Department noted that Liberty University violated Executive Order 72. The County Health Department issued a letter to Liberty and required the following guidelines.
- Ensure that all social gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors are limited to no more than 10 persons.
- Ensure that all students, faculty and staff on the campus comply with the requirement to maintain six feet of social distancing, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Ensure that all students, faculty and staff on the campus comply with the requirement to wear face-coverings any time that six feet of social distance cannot be maintained between people who are not part of the same household. This requirement applies both indoors and outdoors.
On February 2, 2021 the newly appointed President of Liberty University issued a statement apologizing for instigating the snowball fight. he said he messed up. This is a what he said.
This past Sunday morning as I opened the curtains and looked outside, I saw a Liberty University campus covered in deep snow. Having lived in Alaska for the past fifty years, I own a lifetime of memories of joy spent in outdoor winter fun with friends. Lynchburg hasn’t seen a good snow in over two years and much of our student body comes from areas of the country that never see snow at all.
I donned my gloves and coat and headed outside and immediately engaged in some snowball fights with a few students. From that small beginning, I invited them to meet on the front lawn to continue the fun with more students. The student body took to the idea, they showed up in large numbers and had the snowball fight. I stood front and center and led this event.
I messed up. We did not think through or communicate the need to wear facial coverings and remain 6 feet apart in compliance with Virginia Governor’s Executive Orders for the suppression of the spread of COVID-19 or even our own COVID-19 Operations Plan. And the size of the group was not in compliance either.
We made a mistake in not enforcing the guidelines that we have followed routinely and sincerely for these many months. We have had a strong record of compliance and containment of COVID-19 from the start, and we want our community to know that Sunday’s snowball event was not done with a heart of defiance. The mistake was one of being caught up in the moment of the day. I and my leadership team apologize for not leading our students to abide by COVID-19 protocols during this event. I am truly sorry for how this activity may put our students and university in a negative light, potentially diminishing the hard work of many dedicated employees and volunteers. We rededicate ourselves to our solid commitment to communicating and reinforcing to students, faculty, and staff the mandate to comply with all COVID-19 policies, including physical distancing and the wearing of facial coverings.
In conjunction with this announcement, we have also taken down the social media posts about this event, which could tend to undermine a culture of compliance.
I am firmly committed to the health and safety of our students at Liberty University, as well as their spiritual and emotional health. We hope to foster more fun and excitement for our students in the days ahead, but we will do so while abiding by our health and safety protocols.
And with that social media post about the snowball fight were taken down. You can see that the social media has been taken down in the Liberty Champion. If you want to read more about this snowball fight you can do so in the following media articles.
- NBC News, “Liberty president responds to snowball fight controversy.”
- Virginian Pilot, “Liberty president apologizes for hosting maskless snowball fight.”
- ABC News, “Liberty president apologizes for maskless snowball fight.“
Jerry Prevo is Quick to Apologize…Except When He Won’t…
This blog which is an outsider to the Liberty University community was struck by how quick Jerry Prevo apologized in the snowball fight. This blogger who saw plenty of snow when he lived in Montana and Wisconsin understands the appeal. And while a mistake was made there is another aspect to this apology that haunted me. Currently the Falkirk Center is still operating. Its continuing to pump out the poisonous bile of Christian nationalism. The theology that led to the assault on the United States Capitol comes from material that the Falkirk Center is cranking out. And yet Prevo won’t take responsibility for how the University is encouraging dangerous propaganda which provokes people to violence. This blog would like to ask were there any students that were involved in the Capitol violence on January 6? What about alumni? Any alumni that have been arrested and processed by the Department of Justice and facing charges that came from Liberty University at one point prior in their life? Whereas Jesus said ‘blessed is the peacemakers’ the Falkirk Center continues to promote more toxic poison. The Capitol insurrection or coup attempt as some are classifying it left 5 dead. In addition two police officers involved in the violence committed suicide from the likely PTSD that came from the violence. And Jerry Prevo stands indifferent to it all…why? While its good that he responded to the local health department, why does he ignore this other issue? Maybe what needs to happen is a snowball fight within the Falkirk Center itself. But again when it comes to Jerry Prevo this blog expects very little. Will Jerry Prevo ever apologize for how the Falkirk Center provoked violence? Not a snowball’s chance in hell!