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

Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country’

Jan 2, 2019

By Joe Heim

Jerry Falwell Jr., 56, took over as president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in 2007, following the death of his father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the school. He lives with his wife, Becki, in Bedford County, Va.

You said recently that conservatives and Christians should stop electing nice guys. Aren’t Christians supposed to be nice guys?

Of course, of course. But that’s where people get confused. I almost laugh out loud when I hear Democrats saying things like, “Jesus said suffer the little children to come unto me” and try to use that as the reason we should open up our borders.

It’s such a distortion of the teachings of Jesus to say that what he taught us to do personally — to love our neighbors as ourselves, help the poor — can somehow be imputed on a nation. Jesus never told Caesar how to run Rome. He went out of his way to say that’s the earthly kingdom, I’m about the heavenly kingdom and I’m here to teach you how to treat others, how to help others, but when it comes to serving your country, you render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. It’s a distortion of the teaching of Christ to say Jesus taught love and forgiveness and therefore the United States as a nation should be loving and forgiving, and just hand over everything we have to every other part of the world. That’s not what Jesus taught. You almost have to believe that this is a theocracy to think that way, to think that public policy should be dictated by the teachings of Jesus.

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23 comments on “Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country’

  • …That’s not what Jesus taught. You almost have to believe that this is a theocracy to think that way, to think that public policy should be dictated by the teachings of Jesus.

    Very good. So, nobody at Liberty “university” should claim that the teachings of Jesus should dictate public policy on free access to abortion services.
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  • Ah!  But you are underestimating the fundamentalist’s well coached skills in Humpty-Dumptism!

    Believe me, Alan, I don’t – I live in the so-called bible belt of the USA…
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  • A nice little reminder from history here:

    https://twitter.com/BBCInOurTime/status/1081165955923931136

    Charles I believed he was appointed by God, yet #OnThisDay in 1649 Parliament voted to put him on trial

    And here’s the link to the In Our Time programme on the BBC iPlayer for those who can access it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00kpzd6

    If a king who believed himself to be appointed by God could be executed in the 17th century, surely a teensy-weensy impeachment isn’t too much to ask in the 21st? 🙂
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  • I wonder what Jerry Fuckwit Jr. thinks right now. Trump has said of the government shutdown that if he doesn’t get his wall he’s going to sulk for months or even years and unpaid government employees and the rest of the country can go fuck themselves while everything goes to hell in a handbasket for that length of time. Turtleneck Mitch has apparently withdrawn into his shell and wants no part in trying to solve this. His only concern is maintaining partisan unity and to hell with bipartisan negotiation or putting country before tribe. Trump is threatening to declare a national emergency to get his wall but in truth the only emergency that needs fixing is that Trump is president.

    Scotland might be a bit nippy at this time of year but thank fuck I don’t have to live in America.
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  • The whole concept of a president shutting a government down strikes me as utterly bizarre. Does it happen anywhere other than the US? In 2010-11 Belgium went through 589 days without an elected government, but that was slightly different: it was 589 days without a legislature, not 589 days without government services or programmes. So state employees still got paid, hospitals still ran, social services were still provided, etc. etc.

    The underlying attitude – that government is an optional extra, that state services aren’t really required – strikes me as an inherently Republican phenomenon. Why should Republicans care about a government shutdown when their most cherished goal is a libertarian state with no social safety nets and no public provision? No wonder they keep threatening them at the drop of a hat.

    Meanwhile you have the disgusting irony that federal workers are not being paid because the president is stopping them from doing their job; while that same president is not only continuing to be paid, despite, you might think, a government shutdown being all the evidence required that he simply isn’t doing his job, but actually giving a pay rise of $10,000 p.a. to his senior administration officials, including VP Pence:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/01/04/while-federal-workers-go-without-pay-senior-trump-administration-officials-are-poised-get-raises/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0511d986a0a6
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  • As an evangelical Christian but with no pretensions to sainthood, it seems to me that Christians like Falwell keep on disregarding what it says in the Bible about why it’s not a good idea to put our faith in leaders. I can understand why many evangelicals voted for Trump over Clinton. I cannot understand why they do not hold Trump accountable when he crosses the line when it comes to his words, actions and policies. Or, maybe I can. It’s long been a temptation to use the power of the state in the service of a particular religion. Many evangelicals are frightened by the possibility that the dominance of Christianity in our nation is fading and so they seek to fight this by turning to figures like Trump. It’s much easier to do that instead of concentrating on loving God and loving our neighbor.
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  • I can understand why many evangelicals voted for Trump over Clinton. 

    Genuine question, David: why did they?

    Many evangelicals are frightened by the possibility that the dominance of Christianity in our nation is fading and so they seek to fight this by turning to figures like Trump. 

    Ok, I understand the fear, in theory at least … but how is Trump the solution to it? How can anyone look at Trump and see a man who lives his life by the lights of Christianity?
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  • David, Marco

     

    My wife and I have two other couples that we have regular meals together either at our respective homes or go out somewhere. All English except for me. Three weeks ago, it was the turn of one of the other couples to host. The after dinner conversation turned to Brexit and I was alarmed to hear both couples voted for it. What they threw back at me got me a little riled. It was the usual crap about refugees going around in gangs robbing people I asked for statistics and none could provide any. Our hostess piped up about immigrants taking money out of the country back to their “own”. Both couples have had holidays with us in our flat in Cyprus, but that’s okay (raises eyebrows). I have told the story before but, one couple came back from South Africa broke after a business failed. They sold up everything and took it to SA and left it there but that doesn’t seem to count either. The other couple is thinking of buying a flat on Menorca, where they have been going for over twenty years, but that is fine because they are English and can go anywhere and do anything. The world is theirs. They claimed other wrong doings by immigrants which they had no evidence to present but still kept to their beliefs. The tension in the room grew and I felt completely isolated apart from my wife who was silent throughout unable to believe what our friends were saying. We left there with the usual hugs and kisses but nothing I said had changed anything they thought they knew. This is the low level racism I have encountered all my life and feared it would not take much for these people to feel empowered to bring these feelings out into the open with no real evidence needed. All they need is sound bites to quote, which they see as making them an authority on the situation.

     

    I stopped hoping that that these people would be able to work things out for themselves and think outside the box. Facts are not what these people work with. I am not even sure that it is instinct. They have created a perseption of the world that I don’t recognise. I have the added advantage of seeing the equivalent in Turkish as well. I see no difference in the way this  perseption has a hold on them. I see layers in society. They see two blocks. Them and us.
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  • Hi David!

    Is there any sign that Evangelicals recognise the damage they are doing to their brand? That they are perhaps permanently (for a generation and more) shutting off any claim to a more virtuous life?

    Or is this, for most, a recognition of the way they should have conducted themselves all along, more coercively?
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  • Olgun, #11

    I can’t reply to that right now – I’m still too incoherent with rage and contempt to do it justice. But I will – tomorrow, if I get chance.

     
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  • Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country’

    I should be pretty obvious that while the view from inside a YEC bubble is imagined fantasy, there is minimal scope for any imagined prediction based on a forward view, derived from objective study, measurement, or expert advice!
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  • Olgun, #11

    I’ve drafted a long reply, but it’s really about the dismal state Britain finds itself in (and which I see as the explanation for the existence of the kind of attitudes held by your friends), so it doesn’t fit on this thread at all – I’ll post it on the Open Discussion thread instead.
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  • Marco #10

    …but how is Trump the solution to it?

    Don’t forget the ultimate (yet intellectually ridiculous) get-out-of-jail card of the religious: “The ways of the lord are many”…
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  • Cantaz #16

    Ok, but on that basis it really couldn’t matter less who gets elected. After all, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28.)

    On that basis, they could have happily elected Hillary Clinton. How come God can move in mysterious ways and work for good with Trump but not with Clinton?

    “The ways of the lord are many” is the kind of thing Christians would say to console themselves after the wrong (from their POV) person got elected. It’s not a reason to actively support Trump over Clinton.

    So my question to David still remains: why would Evangelicals look at Trump and see a good Christian? I genuinely don’t get it.
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  • …On that basis, they could have happily elected Hillary Clinton. How come God can move in mysterious ways and work for good with Trump but not with Clinton?

    Because US evangelicals dislike Clinton much more.

    “The ways of the lord are many” is the kind of thing Christians would say to console themselves after the wrong (from their POV) person got elected.

    It’s also the kind of thing (together with “we’re all sinners”) I’ve heard, more than once, from evangelicals (southern baptists, to be precise) when the issue of Trump’s morality comes up.

    Religion and politics, particularly here in the Southern US, are still inextricably intertwined.
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  • david.graf.589 says:
    As an evangelical Christian but with no pretensions to sainthood
     
    It’s always been my understanding that the Christian concept of a saint is one who has been granted admittance to heaven, rather than someone who has had his/her name entered into the cannon of saints which are celebrated by one or more churches.  So, I have to wonder why anyone who did not aspire to sainthood would be a Christian, evangelical or otherwise?  Maybe I’m missing something.
     
    By the way, over the weekend, I saw a video in which Professor Krause “debated” William Lane Craig.  Not sure when the debate took place but it was published on October 21, 2018.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj4nbL53I-E)  The subject was whether superstition has any place in 21st century life – has science buried god?  Professor Krause very quickly called out the lies and distortions of Craig and other religionists.  It was a pleasure to watch the professor.  In my opinion, people have been too nice, for too long, to those who want to live in the ignorant past.  Three cheers to Dr. Krause!!  
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  • Cantaz #20

    I really think we need to resist the temptation to think in terms of heroes and villains. Let’s acknowledge and respect the good things people do, and reject the bad ones. Pedestals invariably disappoint in the end.
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  • RE:  Cantaz, #20

    As someone who lives in a glass house, I try to keep a grip on myself and I hesitate to throw stones at others.  I’m not entirely sure what either Dr. Krause or Dr. DeGrasse Tyson did or did not do, but unless they are accused of, or admit to, abusing children – as did the Most Reverend Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney and a host of other clergy of all ranks and denominations – I will continue to be impressed with their intellectual achievements.  I do not condone, and I condemn, unwanted sexual advances, but it’s my understanding that both professors have denied the accusations made against them.  Furthermore, I believe there are degrees of guilt for nearly all offenses.  I don’t believe an inappropriate or boorish act is equivalent to drugging and raping a non-consenting adult – the name of that great paragon of morality, Bill Cosby, comes to mind, or to taking advantage of an innocent child.  So, even if Dr. Krause and/or Dr. DeGrasse Tyson, do not meet all of our expectations – a point that I do not as yet concede – I will continue to hold both professors in high esteem and respect.  Dr. Krause and Dr. DeGrasse Tyson defend our positions in public appearances, and as they provide us with the tools to understand our world and our place in the cosmos, so, in my opinion, they are entitled to the benefit of the doubt unless and until they are convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors. 
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  • Marco and Michael,

    What I meant with my short comment above was simply that the problematic situation in which LK and DT are in does not help the secularist cause’s image.

    I realized the comment was superfluous as soon as I finished writing it, and clicked the delete button to get rid of it, but that obviously didn’t work (?).

    I agree with all of your comments above.

     
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