In a move that has confused many the Reverend Jerry Falwell, President of Liberty University and founder of Jerry Falwell Ministries, announced last week that he would be changing his name to an Ichthus, the popular symbol of a fish intended to identify someone as a Christian. Falwell made the announcement during last week's chapel service at Liberty University.
"We're still getting all of the paperwork done, but it is my sincere hope that by this time next week you will all refer to me by my new name." Said Falwell. "I think this new adjustment in my life shows that even a guy as old as I am can change and get hip with the times. If I'm going to reach out to today's youth culture I've got to get on board and be groovy and swell like all you young folks here today."
Because Falwell's new name will simply be a symbol many expect that they will have to refer to him as The Preacher Formerly Known as Dr. Jerry Falwell.
"This could get very tiring." Said Marie Larson, a Junior at Liberty. "From now on we won't be able to simply say 'Dr. Falwell' but we'll have to say 'The Man Formerly Known as Dr. Falwell.'"
Others are concerned as well that Falwell's move could cause problems in the Christian community at large.
"I've got an Ichthus fish on my car." Said Chris Milner, a Lynchburg resident. "I don't want people to see that and say, 'Hey look, that guy has the name of the guy formerly known as Jerry Falwell on his car. Let's get him!"
Still Falwell is determined to go through with the change.
"Barring any unforeseen problems the change should be effective by this Friday." Said Falwell. "From that point on if you want to send me a letter, make sure you put my correct name on the address. Otherwise I won't know who you're talking about and I won't get your letter."