Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr., has responded to an attack on the evangelical college from MNSBC host Rachel Maddow.
Earlier this week, Maddow chatted with fellow host Chris Hayes on his podcast, “Why Is This Happening?” In it, Maddow called into question Liberty’s academic credentials, telling him:
We’ve got a new Justice Department spokesperson who’s from Liberty University, and Liberty University is founded by a televangelist so that your Christian child wouldn’t be corrupted by actual higher education, you know, and now that’s the spokesperson for the Justice Department.
She went on to ask if there will be “a resurgent intellectualism in hard line conservatism that isn’t the kind of white supremacist stuff that we’re seeing, which is the pseudo-intellectual stuff.”
You can listen to the podcast episode here:
Falwell responded to Maddow’s “stupid” comments during an appearance on Fox News host Todd Starnes’ radio show.
“She needs to study her history,” he said. “Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown — most of the Ivy League schools — were founded by preachers and evangelists, and that’s a long tradition in this country, and she just shows her ignorance and religious bigotry by making comments like that.”
The Liberty president is exactly right.
For example, Harvard University was established in Cambridge in 1636 for the sole purpose of training clergy. The school even received its name from minister John Harvard, the college’s first benefactor.
“Veritas,” the Latin word for “Truth,” was adopted as Harvard’s motto in 1643, but it went unused for nearly two centuries. By 1650, the country’s first college selected “In Christi Gloriam,” which means “For the glory of Christ,” as its motto.
The one-word motto was finally rediscovered in the mid-1800s, when President Josiah Quincy III discovered it in old school records, but it wasn’t received well. So from 1843 to 1847, the school used “Christo et Ecclesiae,” or “For Christ in the Church,” as its motto.