Open Letter to Jerry Falwell, Jr: Drain the Swamp and Fire Karen Swallow Prior

President Falwell,

I have stood back in appreciation and watched your stalwart resistance against the Social Justice take-over of evangelicalism. We are not without disagreements, to be sure, but two of your recent actions are endearing to me.

The first recent moment in which I found myself applauding – and indeed, cheering – you was your dramatic unveiling of the stained glass figures you commandeered from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS). The removal of these windows from their chapel was a visible sign that new, less-conservative leadership is growing in the Southern Baptist Convention and they sought to no longer honor those who took the denomination to the right. I literally cheered you…out loud. I thought it was incredible showmanship and gutsy. That type of grit is rare in the sissified and nuanced evangelicalism of 2019.

The second moment I recently have to commend you for us is your bluntness in regard to David Platt’s ‘apology’ for praying for Donald J. Trump. While I don’t make any attempt to defend the President’s personal walk with Christ or his personal behavior, it is obvious that he does not hold antipathy toward God (distinguishing him from Democrats) and he takes the counsel of evangelicals. The notion that praying for him (not even with him, but merely for him) could be controversial is repugnant. Platt’s apology under pressure, if you follow his ministry as I do, was perfectly predictable (in fact, I predicted it). I find the faux outrage from the sniveling snowflakes in response to your terminology, ‘grow a pair,’ to be nothing but fakery and kabuki theater. Had Mark Driscoll said it in 2014, these same complainers would have been defending the phraseology. Pay no mind to these trolls. Their indignation is selective.

However, proving to me that you are legitimately fighting for the cause of cultural conservatism and a Biblical worldview, I must remind you to keep your own house in order. And at Liberty University, you employ one of the most progressive and leftist, subversive change-agents in evangelicalism. Her liberalism is notorious. She is largely the laughing stock of conservative Christians in this country. Her name is a punch-line and a joke among real believers. One of your professors at Liberty University is an important cog in the Social Justice wheel that’s trying to run you over.

Karen Swallow Prior

Sir, my assertion to you is that Karen Swallow Prior, an English Literature professor at Liberty University, is your enemy, an enemy of righteousness, and seeks to indoctrinate students contrary to Liberty’s mission in the world. My assertion is that she is playing for the other team, the Social Justice squad, and that she is undermining your credibility at Liberty U.

Nearly four years ago, Pulpit & Pen warned the world that Prior was a radical leftist in a post, Gay-Affirming Research Fellow at ERLC, Shocking Liberalism. Although some took exception to that article for being presumptive, everything we alleged was accurate and over time, verified. Dr. James White, when reviewing one of Prior’s article, acknowledged that her language was gay-affirming. Prior then, and now, serves the increasingly progressive Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which you might recall spearheaded an effort to get a Mosque built in New Jersey (because of the ERLC’s efforts, tax-payers ended up funding the actual construction of the physical building).

You probably know Dr. Prior personally, but you may not be aware of her decades-old effort at being an evangelical leftist change-agent. When she started teaching at your institution, she left her liberal Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Church and joined Thomas Road, probably to appear conservative (she is not). I wonder if you’re aware that one of the women largely responsible for the ousting of Dr. Patterson and the bringing about the removal of those stained glass windows is Dr. Prior, and she’s under your employ.

You might even think that Prior has been a stalwart opponent of abortion. Please, do not let her fool you. We can find no records of multiple arrests or any prosecutions for protesting at abortion clinics, as she has claimed. Her “long history of pro-life advocacy” is largely fabricated, I believe, as a way to wiggle into evangelical institutions. We can, however, find Prior giving glowing accolades of a book that argues against the pro-life position. We can find Dr. Prior saying that abortion is not murder. She also said that calling abortion murder is unchristlike. She also is on record saying that animal cruelty (in this case, dog-fighting) bothers her more than abortion. Don’t worry though, she’s against capital punishment, so it’s all good. In fact, Prior has even been glib about dining with the director of Planned Parenthood, almost reveling in the fact it didn’t kill her appetite. Here’s a partial list of all the news sites, commentators and blogs who have noted Prior’s compromise on abortion.

Dr. Prior seems intent on corrupting young people. Prior praised the “It Gets Better Campaign,” which is a pro-LGBT campaign targeted at youth and children and produced videos from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton encouraging kids in their homosexuality. Dr. Prior praised Common Core curriculum, calling it Good News (I kid you not). Prior endorsed the use of gay porn propaganda in high schools and colleges. And Dr. Falwell, the list of LGBT young people who credit Karen Swallow Prior with their spiritual formation and for giving them the courage to ‘come out’ is very long. That is happening right now at your institution. Several times Prior has headlined an LGBT film-fest and fundraiser called Level Ground. Clearly, you would never be invited to such a thing. But why is your professor invited to such things? Prior also endorsed the LGBT Revoice Conference, which has by now been resoundingly rejected as pro-gay by just about everybody who’s anybody (except for Dr. Prior, who continues to endorse it in spite of it being gay-affirming). We wrote even more about Prior’s liberal influence on young people in the post, The Liberal Influence on Children and Karen Swallow Prior.

Dr. Prior is a radical animal rights activist. Prior helped the ERLC put together the Every Living Thing Campaign, which is basically a list of rights for animals (they call it ‘animal welfare’ to confuse the critics). She put it together in partnership with the radical humane society, which is a lobbying arm of the Democratic Party that doesn’t actually operate any shelters or help any animals, every bit as liberal as PETA. This probably stems from her theological belief that pets go to Heaven because when you name them it gives them personhood. Prior says she wants an end to modern animal husbandry and factory farms “even if the economy of the country be damned.” In fact, President Falwell, animal rights groups chose Prior in 2007 to infiltrate evangelical organizations with leftist activism, and they are publicly on record saying so. Yours is the institution she infiltrated.

Dr. Prior is a political leftist as well. She was thrilled when Bernie Sanders came to Liberty University (which I understand is your attempt to provide students different perspectives, probably for apologetic purposes). But, I can find no such enthusiasm from Prior for any conservative speaker. When the late Rachel Held Evans was appointed to Obama’s faith advisory council, Prior was giddy with excitement and enthusiastically applauded her. Prior has given affirming words towards the anti-cop hate-group, Black Lives Matter. Prior ridiculed Mike Pence for following the Billy Graham Rule. Prior promotes and supports illegal immigration. Prior says that poor people in bad neighborhoods shouldn’t have firearms. Many have noted Prior’s political liberalism, including Janet Mefferd, who asks when she’ll be held accountable.

As a feminist (that’s a term she uses to describe herself), Prior has launched a ministry program with other progressive-liberal women to promote what they call “hospitable orthodoxy” (I’m sure you see through the term, Dr. Falwell).

President Falwell, both you and I desperately want President Trump to “drain the swamp.” I despise the Deep State, and I see what entrenched politico bureaucrats are doing to this country from within. But sir, you have your own swamp to drain. One of the chief antagonists standing against you, me, and all of Christian conservatism is under your employ.

If you, as a leader of a private religious organization, can’t fire an entrenched, subversive idealogue from your bureaucracy, then what chance does Donald Trump have to do that from public office?

President Falwell, you called Russell Moore part of the Evangelical Deep State. Russell Moore said he wishes there were a thousand more Karen Swallow Priors, and she literally works for him as a research fellow at the ERLC. Why is she working for you?

Please, President Falwell. It’s time for Karen Swallow Prior to go. She’s undermining you. She’s undermining your institutions. She’s undermining conservative evangelicalism. And most importantly, her positions all undermine a Biblical worldview.

Thanks for reading and please drain the swamp,
JD Hall

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