Progressive Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne recently reached out to Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, to host a prayer meeting on Liberty’s campus. The cordial email was met with a swift and hostile reply: if Claiborne even so much as sets foot on the campus, he will be promptly arrested by campus police.
To put it another way, a Christian asked a Christian to gather at a Christian college to join in Christian prayer, and the Christian threatened the Christian with handcuffs.
You would think that a shared prayer, even among Christians with different political beliefs, would be allowed or even encouraged. But Falwell’s hostility may be due to the fact that Claiborne had been challenging him on Twitter over his strong support of Donald Trump.
Right Wing Watch reports:
Claiborne is the leader of The Simple Way in Philadelphia and co-director of Red Letter Christians, a group that “mobilizes individuals into a movement of believers who live out Jesus’ counter-cultural teachings,” including opposition to materialism and capital punishment…
Claiborne shared his letter and the response from Liberty University’s police department on his Facebook page Thursday night. The letter warns that under Virginia law, trespassing is a misdemeanor “punishable by confinement in jail for not more than twelve months or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both.”
Trespassing. That’s what Falwell says Claiborne would be doing by visiting his school and attempting to pray. Even if Claiborne has openly criticized Falwell’s political moves, you would think even Falwell would be willing to put that aside in the name of God.
It’s ironic that, for all of Falwell’s overblown rhetoric about how public schools have kicked God out of the classroom, he’s the one preventing prayer on campus.
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