Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. raised a few eyebrows among the anti-Trump cabal when he told the Washington Post it may be “immoral” for evangelical leaders “not to support” President Donald Trump.
The basis of the opposition to that declaration being the established narrative from Trump’s critics that he’s an immoral man, “a leader who advocated violence and who has committed adultery and lies often,” as The Post’s Joe Heim asserted while interviewing Falwell.
The left spins policies such as Trump’s hard-line stance against illegal immigration as racist and morally wrong, as well.
Falwell was asked if he should demand higher moral and ethical standards from the president, as some evangelical leaders are said to have argued.
“It may be immoral for them not to support him,” he said. “Because he’s got African American employment to record highs, Hispanic employment to record highs. They need to look at what the president did for the poor.”
“A lot of the people who criticized me, because they had a hard time stomaching supporting someone who owned casinos and strip clubs or whatever, a lot them have come around and said, ‘Yeah, you were right,'” Falwell continued. “Some of the most prominent evangelicals in the country have said, ‘Jerry, we thought you were crazy, but now we understand.'”
When asked if there is anything President Trump could do jeopardize his support, Falwell answered with a resounding “no.”
“Only because I know that he only wants what’s best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically ‘conservative,’ but it’s going to be what’s best for this country, and I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country,” he added.
As for Trump’s failing, Falwell said we are all sinners, pointing to Mitt Romney, of all people, as an example of a “decent human being” who may have done things “we just don’t know about.”
“When Jesus said we’re all sinners, he really meant all of us, everybody. I don’t think you can choose a president based on their personal behavior because even if you choose the one that you think is the most decent — let’s say you decide Mitt Romney, ” he said. “Nobody could be a more decent human being, better family man. But there might be things that he’s done that we just don’t know about.”
“So you don’t choose a president based on how good they are; you choose a president based on what their policies are,” he said.
A comment Falwell made about the poor was taken out of context by the media, as seen when Mediaite claimed he “attacked low-income people and suggested they are worthless to society.”
Falwell was talking about why it’s important to elect leaders who will do best for the prosperity of America, which enables the U.S. to do good in the world.
“Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history?” he said. “It’s because of free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth. A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume.”
As expected, the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd pounced on the opportunity to trash Falwell, leaving one to wonder where was all this moral clarity when former President Bill Clinton was bedding White House interns.
Never-Trump Republicans also got in on a rush to wield Jesus as a political weapon.
Here’s a sampling of the responses from Twitter:
SNL could do a fun skit of Jerry Falwell in a toga talking about how he can't imagine Caesar doing anything that would hurt the Republic.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) January 1, 2019
Jerry Falwell Sr. had some reservations about supporting Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. But once he decided Reagan was the only option he told the @washingtonpost the Moral Majority would mobilize for him "even if he has the devil running with him."
Like father like son. https://t.co/HenS1MCxjQ
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) January 1, 2019
I’m starting to get the crazy idea that Jerry Falwell Jr. might not be all that familiar with any of the parts of the Bible at all https://t.co/t7XMXXcUY0
— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) January 1, 2019
Dear Jerry Falwell Jr. (@JerryFalwellJr): You may want to read the words of Jesus:
"And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied."
Luke 6:20-21 https://t.co/QFZJs69sEJ
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 2, 2019
The reason Trump gets along so well with Christian Right leaders is that he is a con man and they are also con men. https://t.co/chgDGnHKO5
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) January 1, 2019
This quote should be stamped on Falwell’s tombstone: “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.” https://t.co/fu6AQRr9n8
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) January 1, 2019
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