In 2019, Liberty University opened a “think tank” aimed at providing fodder for the Christian Nationalist side of the culture wars. The “Falkirk Center for Faith and Liberty” — named after Liberty’s then-President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk — was intended to “equip courageous champions to proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ, to advance His Kingdom, and renew American ideals.”
It ended up being a haven for right-wing Christians to spread their political propaganda… which everyone predicted given the two people whose names were portmanteau’d together to create it.
And now it’s officially dead.
Or at least completely rebranding now that Charlie Kirk’s contract won’t be renewed.
We already knew Jerry Falwell Jr. was out of the picture. After his colossal creepy sex scandal last year, more than 400 current students and alumni called for the school to remove any association with the Falkirk Center because they believed it was taking the focus off of Jesus.
Now, according to the New York Times, Charlie Kirk won’t be there either. The school “quietly opted last fall not to renew [Kirk’s] contract.”
… when Mr. Kirk’s one-year contract expired, Mr. Falwell had recently exited and the landscape at Liberty looked different. Scott Lamb, Liberty’s senior vice president for university communications, said he personally made the decision not to renew the contract. “We gave it a lot of thought,” he said, “and we decided to allocate our resources in different ways than that partnership with Charlie.”
Mr. Kirk’s departure comes with an awkward linguistic challenge. The Falkirk Center was named in part as a portmanteau of its figureheads, Mr. Falwell and Mr. Kirk. The organization will be renamed the Standing for Freedom Center — or the Freedom Center, for short.
A uniquely dumb name has been replaced by a generically dumb name.
At least that matches the quality of the center’s output. The place was called a “think tank,” but there was never any actual thinking going on inside. That’s not even a cheap shot at them; they simply didn’t do what normal think tanks did. There were no white papers. No articles. No peer-reviewed publications. It was mostly a mixture of memes, self-promotion of right-wing figureheads, and a way to funnel money to Donald Trump‘s campaign.
Liberty said the decision to part ways with Kirk was in motion before the students called for the shutdown of the center. Which suggests they wanted to close the place down mere months after it opened.
No Falwell. No Kirk. It’s a win-win!
(Screenshot via YouTube. Portions of this article were published earlier)