"Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Liberty University" by Shealah Craighead / Public Domain

How Jerry Falwell Jr. found his MAGA religion

Jan 3, 2019

By Elizabeth Bruenig

Jerry Falwell Jr. is once again spreading his uniquely modern, American version of a business philosophy roughly based on the religion known as Christianity.

In an interview with The Post’s Joe Heim, Falwell claimed, among other things, that Christianity offers no guidance on how states ought to operate (“Jesus never told Caesar how to run Rome,” Falwell says, implying that Christ’s crucifixion under Roman law may have been just from a Christian point of view); that only theocrats believe Christians ought to govern according to Christian principles; that poor people are less spiritually capable than rich people; and that God has ordained “two kingdoms” for humankind, one of which is bound only by the rules of national self-interest, and one of which — heaven — is bound by the law of God.

Falwell’s entire view of Christianity and politics more or less tracks back to that last confusion. I suspect it stems from a mistaken reading of Augustine, the fourth-century African saint who wrote “The City of God,” a massive treatise on history, philosophy and the Christian religion. In “The City of God,” Augustine develops a theory of two cities: the earthly city, and the heavenly city.

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