An evangelical university famous for its conservative ideology is partnering up with a similarly controversial activist to create a new religious film.
Liberty University, founded in 1971 by televangelist Jerry Falwell, will team with former child star-turned-Christian activist Kirk Cameron to produce the 90-minute film, slated for release later this year. Cameron said the film will answer questions about why God lets bad things happen. The partnership was announced last week during Christin television program "Praise the Lord,” which airs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Liberty's Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said on the program that Cameron is the "example of the type of graduate that Liberty is trying to turn out" and praised Cameron for "using your profession to impact the culture, and that’s what we’re trying to do in every profession.”
“So that’s why we decided to partner with you on your newest project," Falwell Jr. went on to explain. "We’re trying to create tens of thousands of Kirk Camerons and put them out there.”
Cameron and Liberty University have both made a point of supporting conservative candidates and causes over the past several years. Liberty has hosted many Republican politicians (including Mitt Romney in 2012), while Cameron has defended Todd Akin (of "legitimate rape" fame) as a "good man" who "is defending life."
But the thought of "thousands of Kirk Camerons" might strike particular fear into the hearts of LGBT advocates familiar with the "Growing Pains" actor's track record on issues like same-sex marriage.
Cameron gained infamy in March of 2012 after he told CNN's Piers Morgan that homosexuality is "unnatural" and "ultimately destructive." Despite criticism, Cameron later defended the comments, saying to Fox News' "Fox and Friends" hosts, "I don't think anything I said surprised anybody as a Bible-believing Christian."
Mathew Staver, the school's vice president and law school dean, meanwhile has made several anti-gay statements and supported the criminalization of homosexuality in the southeast African country of Malawi. And after 9/11, Falwell Sr. said gays and lesbians, among others, were partly to blame for "help[ing] this happen."