April 4th, 2012, I reported partial results of a recent meeting by Liberty trustees during which a substantial portion of the business dealt with trustee concerns about Mark Driscoll coming to the campus to speak. In a post entitled, "Liberty University trustees unanimous--Mark Driscoll is not welcome," I reported:
Sources say trustees took a vote, and the vote was unanimous indicating that Mark Driscoll is not welcome at Liberty University. In addition to Driscoll's "potty mouth" approach to pulpit etiquette playing a role in their decision, his "Reformed" theology, Acts 29 Network, and the provocative hedonistic understanding of a___ s__ came up as well (XXX). Trustees were apparently flabbergasted that Driscoll was considered for an invitation in the first place.
After several trustees spoke to the issue, two motions were made. In general, the first motion was to unequivocally express that LU trustees disapprove of Mark Driscoll's invitation to speak in chapel and provide a marriage conference based on his unacceptable views stated in Real Marriage. A second motion indicated the formation of a "vetting" council for future speakers at Liberty University, a council predominately made up of sitting trustees.1 Both motions passed unanimously. We wait to see if LU officials are going public with the full details.
The same day, I received an email order entitled "Cease and Decist [sic] False Statements Regarding Liberty University Trustees" from General Counsel for Liberty University, David M. Corry. I see no need to log the email here since it has been posted numerous times on the net elsewhere. And, as Tony Kummer, owner of SBC Voices blog rightly notes, the demand notification had so many grammatical errors contained in it, one would have legitimate reason to query, "Is this a prank?" Mr. Corry followed the initial email with an apology (in the beginning portion) for the hasty but official "Cease and Decist [sic]" notification:
First let me apologize for the grammatical and typographical errors made in my haste to send an email communication last evening before choir practice. Despite my sincere efforts and still being late, I did not sufficiently proof what was sent and have unintentionally diverted attention from the real issue here.1
If I understand Counsel correctly, choir practice apparently took precedence over officially delivering a "Cease and Decist [sic]" order on behalf of Liberty University. While I am unsure how LU administration feels about this, I remain quite confident Mr. Corry's Music Minister is elated indeed.
In the initial "Cease and Decist [sic]" sent to me, Mr. Corry indicated that LU was prepared to post an announcement which might prove "embarrassing" to me. He wrote, "Additionally, Liberty University may have to take swift action publicly, naming you, to protect and restore its reputation, which action may prove embarrassing to you." In my first response to Mr. Corry, I stated my full cooperation with LU's complaint, and conceded I would issue whatever retraction and/or correction necessary to comply based upon LU's specifying precisely what was incorrect in the piece I posted. I unequivocally stated:
I will fully cooperate and swiftly retract and/or correct any factual misinformation I've written if you will provide me with documentation on precisely what I stated that is factually incorrect. But I see no reason to take the entire post down at this time. Supply specific corrections, and I will comply asap... I will most certainly and immediately correct any factual errors I posted...I look forward to the documentation for the factual misinformation you allege I posted. Again, I will post an immediate correction once I obtain from you specific information. Know also I remain unmoved about being embarrassed over this ordeal. The truth is, I deserve to be embarrassed if I posted misinformation of the slightest sort2 (embolden added, underlining original)
In a response to me, Mr. Corry failed to offer a single correction for me to post. I once again made my intent clear. If Mr. Corry would be specific, I would act swiftly to accommodate: "Now one final time: Yes, by all means, let's cooperate. I will fully comply with your demands, Mr. Corry. Reasonably demonstrate my errors, and I will correct, retract, and even remove--if necessary--the post in question, and do so swiftly and completely" (embolden added).3
Unfortunately, Mr. Corry refused a second time to offer any indication precisely what was incorrect about my report from sources on the trustee meeting. In fact, he condescendingly replied, " Mr. Lumpkins: I will not be drawn in further nor will I perform legal research for you. I have made myself as clear as possible and you have chosen your path" (embolden added). Not only did Mr. Corry state I posted incorrect information, he further charged me publicly5 with breaching Virginia law but would not even take the time to: a) state which law I allegedly breached; nor, b) give me any hint as to how I allegedly broke the law.
Consequently, LU made good on their threat to "embarrass" me by posting a public announcement about my blog being purportedly used to "clearly...disseminate misinformation about Liberty University and to cause strife and harm to the university." In addition, Liberty University Vice President, Johnnie Moore, continued to tweet about the "false information" my post allegedly contained. Evidently, Moore also is alleged to have "refuted" my report to Liberty Student News which initially posted my piece but subsequently withdrew it, tweeting an apology for the "scam" my post apparently was:
Liberty University may think the worst of this is over. It is not, I assure. News media venues are already reporting the issue, and doing so I might add, with much more clarity and transparency than one is getting from Liberty Mountain. I just spent a half hour on the phone with a major news outlet concerning this issue. Nor is it clear the path I will pursue since LU has publicly ridiculed my intentions, skewed my publication, and apparently offered tainted information resulting in at least one unofficial news source for the Liberty University community portraying my piece as a "scam."
1an email to me from Mr. Corry. And, yes, I have both the email and a screen shot
2an email to David M. Corry. And, yes, I have the email and a screen shot
3an email to David M. Corry. And, yes, I have the email and a screen shot
4an email to me from Mr. Corry. And, yes, I have the email and a screen shot
5yes, publicly. Note I was not the one to initially post Mr. Corry's letter. Instead Mr. Corry sent the notice not only to me but also to at least two other recipients one of which was the wrong recipient--wordpress.com--having nothing to do with me or my blog platform!