Jerry Falwell Jr.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/15/16

  • CitizenLink, formerly Focus on the Family Action, is now the Family Policy Alliance, because the last name was too “confusing to many people.”
  • Virginia high school debate teams are boycotting the state finals hosted by Liberty University because of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s statements attacking Muslims.
  • A supporter of the bill to make the Bible the official state book of Tennessee says that the measure’s opponents in the government are almost “saying that we have to substitute hostility towards religion for a tolerance and acceptance of religion.”

Jerry Falwell Jr.: Donald Trump Is America's King David

In an interview with Liberty University’s student newspaper last week, the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., defended his endorsement of Donald Trump.

Falwell, who has compared Trump to Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King Jr., said that conservative Christians who oppose the candidate should remember that “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer.”

He also noted that it “is sad to see Christians attacking other Christians because they don’t support the same candidate or the candidate who they believe is the most righteous.” Of course, attacking others for being phony Christians for not supporting their candidate of choice has been standard practice for the modern Religious Right movement that was, in part, founded by his father.

Falwell recounted how he was very impressed by the presidential candidate’s 757, gushing over how Trump served his guests Wendy’s cheeseburgers and put a video of an Elton John concert on the television.

Trump then asked Falwell to stay the night and follow him on his campaign stops for the next day. “We went to the airport, and there was Trump’s 757 all lit up on the runway,” Falwell said. “So we walked on the plane, and we thought we certainly would be sitting in the back with Secret Service. But he said, ‘No, come on up.’ He brought us up front. He’s got this big living room with this big screen TV. He’s got a master bedroom he showed us. Then he let my son and his wife actually sit in the cockpit to take off because my son’s a pilot. Then we sat there with him the whole time, just across the table.”

Falwell said he was impressed by Trump’s hospitality on the flight.

“He offered us food, … so he brought out Wendy’s cheeseburgers,” Falwell said. “He ate cheeseburgers, and we ate cheeseburgers. Then he put on a concert. He found out that when I grew up in the 70s, I was an Elton John fan. So, he put the concert on the big screen. He was doing it all himself. He was the one serving the food. He was the one waiting on us. I thought it would be like caviar and something fancy, but it was cheeseburgers — Wendy’s cheeseburgers.”



Despite disapproval by some Liberty alumni and others in the community, Falwell believes Trump gives America the best chance to be great again.

“It is sad to see Christians attacking other Christians because they don’t support the same candidate or the candidate who they believe is the most righteous,” Falwell said.

“God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer,” Falwell said. “You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor. We’re not voting for pastor-in-chief. It means sometimes we have to choose a person who has the qualities to lead and who can protect our country and bring us back to economic vitality, and it might not be the person we call when we need somebody to give us spiritual counsel.”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 3/1/16

  • Jerry Falwell Jr. has recorded a robo-call for Donald Trump in which he attacks Ted Cruz. Presumably, Cruz is now regretting having launched his presidential campaign at Falwell's Liberty University.
  • Speaking of Cruz, he rolled out his Religious Liberty Advisory Council, which is predictably filled with a bunch of anti-gay activists.
  • Theodore Shoebat is a big fan of security at Trump rallies roughing up reporters: "Glad to see these little manipulators being stood up against."
  • Richard Viguerie can't believe "we’re talking about electing a man (Trump) potentially who may have serious psychological problems. I think he’s a serious narcissist. That should be frightening to America to put a narcissistic person in charge of our nuclear arsenal."
  • Finally, David Lane is, as usual, alarmed and outraged: "The Supreme Court of the United States forces on America a never-ending, ever-expanding revolutionary movement that leads to moral anarchy. Empowered secularism demands the increasing criminalization of its greatest enemy: people who hold a Christian worldview."

Son Of Moral Majority Founder Tells Pope To Keep Out Of Politics

A New York Times profile today of Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr., heirs to their respective fathers’ evangelical dynasties, included one very surprising line.

Falwell Jr., who is Donald Trump’s most prominent evangelical endorser, took issue with criticism of his preferred candidate:

I really believe that anybody on the left or the right that tries to invoke the teachings of Jesus to say they should vote for this candidate or that candidate, I think they’re stretching Scripture.

Then, this afternoon, as Trump engaged in a war of words with Pope Francis over the GOP presidential frontrunner’s hardline anti-immigrant policies, Fallwell Jr. — who has compared Trump to Jesus — told CNN:

Jesus never intended to give instructions to political leaders on how to run a country.

With these remarks, Falwell Jr. is denying the very premise of the Religious Right movement … which was shaped in large part by his father, Jerry Falwell.

Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority with the explicit goal of pressuring politicians to follow what he believed were the Bible’s dictates, holding up a Bible at events and telling his audience, “If a man stands by this book, vote for him. If he doesn’t, don’t.”

Falwell engaged in battles over the social issues generally associated with the Religious Right, harnessing his “moral majority” of voters to “turn back the flood tide of moral permissiveness, family breakdown and general capitulation to evil and to foreign policies such as Marxism-Leninism.”

But he also applied his reading of the Bible to more surprising issues. Falwell wrote in 1980 that the “free-enterprise system is clearly outlined in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible.” An early People For the American Way report outlined what this meant to Falwell in practice:

Thesis Number 16 of Falwell’s “Ninety-Five Theses for the ‘80s” is: “That the free enterprise system of profit be encouraged to grow, being unhampered by any socialistic laws or red tape.” What “free enterprise” and “socialistic laws” mean to moral majoritarian leaders is clear from Jerry Falwell’s statement that, “I think we ought to take the shackles off (business) and get rid of outfits like OSHA.” … Falwell has even taken on the progressive income tax system. He has said: “I don’t think a guy who makes a lot of money should pay more taxes than a guy who makes a little.”

Falwell infamously also used his reading of the Bible to argue against desegregation. Brian summed up his line of argument a couple of years ago:

He preached against Brown v. Board of Education, which banned racial segregation in public schools, telling his church, “When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line. The true Negro does not want integration.”

Falwell kept his private Christian school segregated to help families avoid integration in public schools and opposed the Carter administration’s attempt to challenge the tax status of segregated schools. He also subscribed to the belief that black people were under “ Noah’s curse on Ham ” and argued that school “facilities should be separate.”

“If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made,” he said, warning that integration and interracial marriage will “destroy our race.”

Nobody is responsible for what their parents say, but Jerry Falwell Jr. is very consciously carrying on the legacy of his father as president of Liberty University and as a conservative activist and evangelical leader. He might be angry that some of his fellow evangelicals and the pope are criticizing his favorite presidential candidate ... but he could do with a small dose of self-awareness. 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 1/20/16

  • Michael Farris blasts Jerry Falwell, Jr. for fawning all over Donald Trump: "Shame on you, Jerry Falwell, Junior for elevating success in business over the principles of right and wrong that flow from giving priority to the Word of God over the priority of a balance sheet. I am deeply saddened."
  • Michael Savage is not happy about Sarah Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump: "I’m afraid we’re seeing the meltdown now of the campaign where they’re turning to the very same people who destroyed Romney. They’re undermining him from within."
  • The National Organization for Marriage came up $17,850 short in its end of the year fundraising effort.
  • Linda Harvey asks, "Is abortion God’s judgment on America? Are we enacting, through 'choice,' our own spiritual demise, our own 'flood' of destruction? It’s a deeply troubling thought."
  • Finally, Rick Green has scored an extremely important endorsement in his bid for the Texas Supreme Court: Ray Comfort.

Falwell Jr.: Donald Trump Like Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr. And Jerry Falwell

Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, asked Donald Trump to speak at the school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day yesterday “so that Mr. Trump would have the opportunity to recognize and honor Dr. King on MLK day.”

This didn’t seem to register with Trump, who didn’t spend any time discussing the late civil rights leader, outside of saying he would “dedicate” the large crowd to King.

But Falwell Jr. spent plenty of time lavishing praise on Trump, claiming that the business mogul has demonstrated his Christian “fruit” by creating jobs and getting involved in philanthropic work, gushing that “Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught in the Great Commandment.”

He also compared the GOP presidential frontrunner to Jesus Christ, King and his father, the late televangelist Jerry Falwell, explaining that none of them were “politically incorrect.”

Among the elder Falwell’s “politically incorrect” statements include his support for South Africa’s apartheid government and racial segregation in the U.S., specifically denouncing King in his sermons.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 1/13/16

  • Perhaps South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been reading too many history books authored by David Barton: “We’ve never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion. Let’s not start that now.” 
  • Family Research Council President Tony Perkins says the “evidence” of Obama’s impact is everywhere, “from terrorists attacks on our streets to the confusion in our classrooms.”
  • Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute is the latest Religious Right leader to endorse Ted Cruz
  • Accuracy In Media warns that “communist groups have manipulated the cause of Black Lives Matter.”
  • Lastly, Don Feder wants to share some important advice: “We could get the Constitution back one day. Electing someone like Ted Cruz would be a start. But even that is no assurance. We’ll need to raise up a generation — like the one that produced the Constitution — to rise to rebellion and overthrow a judicial tyranny supported by the political elite.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/7/15

Bernie Sanders At Liberty U & Pope Francis At CATO

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke on Monday morning at Liberty University. Liberty was founded by Jerry Falwell and has, under his son’s leadership, grown to be a huge and influential part of the Religious Right’s cultural infrastructure. The school has a tradition of drawing attention to itself by inviting politicians to its mandatory student convocations.

Sanders stated upfront and unapologetically that he is pro-choice and pro-gay and that he knew most of the people in the audience disagreed with him about that. His speech focused on the themes of economic hardship and inequality, urging students to grapple with the morality and injustice of poverty, huge income and wage gaps, children dying for lack of health care and Republican budget proposals to slash safety-net spending for poor children and families. Sanders, who was raised Jewish but currently claims no religious ties, quoted Pope Francis’s critique of the global economy and warnings against the “idolatry” of money.

Sanders was received politely, but there was plenty of resistance to his message, and not just on abortion or marriage equality.  Nick Corasaniti at the New York Times reported from the event:

“Calling on us to help the neediest, that resonates with me as a Christian,” said Quincy Thompson, the student body president, who had a chance to briefly meet Mr. Sanders after the event. “But as a Christian, I think the responsibility to help them falls to the church, not the government.”

The idea that helping the poor is not a job for the government but for the church is a core teaching of Christian Reconstructionism that has spread throughout the Religious Right, the Tea Party, and the Republican Party, carried by people like David Barton and Michael Peroutka.

Liberty’s President Jerry Falwell, Jr. also took exception to Sanders’ approach to economics, sticking with the gospel of small government:

“I think it was Margaret Thatcher who said that the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money,” Mr. Falwell said in an interview after the event, making the case that he thought working toward a limited government and lowering taxes would “create the tide that rises all ships.”

A different strain of the Right took on a similar theme on Tuesday, when panelists at the libertarian CATO Institute, whose lobby features a quote from Ayn Rand, addressed Pope Francis’ critique of the  global economic system at an event titled, “Blessing or Scourge? Capitalism through the Eyes of Pope Francis.” Francis will visit Washington, D.C. next week.

Catholic University of America President John Garvey and National Catholic Reporter columnist Michael Sean Winters portrayed Francis’ statements as well within the tradition of Catholic social justice teaching and in line with comments from his papal predecessors.

Jay Richards is an assistant professor in the business school at Catholic University and a senior fellow at the creationist Discovery Institute who authored a 2010 book called “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem.” Richards, whose Twitter handle is @FreemarketJay, suggested that Francis’ views on capitalism may have been distorted by his experience in Argentina, which Richards says ranks near the bottom on “economic freedom” indicators. The pope’s beef is not really with free-market capitalism, he says, but with the kind of cronyism and corporatism found in his home country— an argument that has been advanced by other Catholic conservatives but doesn’t reflect the scope of Francis’s critique of current global economic and financial systems.

The CATO panel was moderated by Marian Tupy, editor of CATO’s HumanProgress.org project. Tupy argued that the pope is ignoring evidence that capitalism has lifted millions of people out of poverty. Two of Tupy's articles critical of Francis’s economic critiques were distributed at the event, one of which concluded condescendingly, “Pope Francis has a big heart, but his credibility as a voice of justice and morality would be immeasurably improved if he based his statements on facts.”

 

 

Bob McDonnell Joins Liberty University's Jesse Helms School Of Government

Beset by legal troubles, former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has joined Liberty University as a visiting professor in government.

In a press release yesterday, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. (son of the school’s founder, televangelist Jerry Falwell) praises McDonnell’s conservative bona fides and welcomes him to Liberty University’s Jesse Helms School of Government — yes, that Jesse Helms.

McDonnell, a longtime friend of the university, said he is delighted to contribute to Liberty’s world-class academic programs and to train students to make a significant positive impact at every level of government.



Liberty President Jerry Falwell said the university will tap McDonnell’s extensive career experience in business, law, public policy, and government.

“Gov. McDonnell will add another dimension to the educational experience of Liberty students by teaching leadership,” Falwell said. “He achieved great success as governor in making Virginia one of the nation’s most business-friendly and fiscally sound states while getting people to work together for the common good. These experiences uniquely qualify him to teach our students about every aspect of serving in public office.”

Dr. Shawn Akers, dean of the Helms School of Government, said the governor’s recent visit was a pleasant surprise to the students, who were eager to learn from a seasoned leader.

“The students’ eyes lit up when he walked into the class. They were so excited to hear directly from someone who has been on the frontlines of the important public policy battles in America,” Akers said. “The Helms School is proud to welcome Governor McDonnell, who has a proven record in public policy and conservative activism, and who shares in the biblical principles and servant leadership that are so important to Liberty University.”

Shawn Akers, the dean of the Helms School and McDonnell’s new boss is best known here at Right Wing Watch for his extreme anti-gay rhetoric, such as his comparison of gay rights activists to Nazis and his claim that the military now imposes a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” on Christian service members.

Akers has also derided anti-bullying programs as “a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and communist countries” and accused gays of bullying Christians, whom he called “the weakest members of our society.” He even believes that “the homosexual activist community” is a religion.

McDonnell is a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University (then called CBN University), where he wrote a now-notorious thesis, and it was widely rumored that he might lead Regent after he left office.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/25/13

  • Rand Paul will join Ken Cuccinelli and Jerry Falwell, Jr. at a campaign stop at Liberty University. 
  • The right-wing myth that Obama is behind a change in the Marines’ dress cover has become so widespread that the Commandant of the Marine Corps had to put out a statement refuting the charges.
  • Rick Scarborough “must respectfully take issue with Dr. Russell Moore” who, he says won’t defend Christians who “are persecuted for refusing to bend the knee to the gay agenda.” 
  • Finally, “ex-gay” Dennis Jernigan describes his “anthem for ex-homosexuals.”

Falwell Jr. Says Trump's Convocation was 'Probably the Best one in the History of the School'

As we have noted over the last few days, there has been a bit of confusion over the remarks that Donald Trump recently delivered at Liberty University when he told the students at this Christian university: "Don't let people take advantage; get even!"

Trump, of course, is standing by his remarks and so is Liberty University, as chancellor and president Jerry Falwell Jr. told Newsmax that Trump's Convocation speech was "probably the best one in the history of the school" and that his message of "get even" was not "contrary to what Jesus taught at all":

The excitement was palpable in the room and the students were just so enthusiastic and excited about Mr. Trump's visit. And it was probably the best Convocation - we have three Convocation's a week here; have for years - probably the best one in the history of the school and I've heard that from literally hundreds of students that feel the same way and it was really a great day for Liberty University and we've made a great new friend in Donald Trump.

...

You know, Jesus ... the Associated Press article quoted where Jesus said turn the other cheek, but Jesus also ran the money-changers out of the temple in anger with a whip. And so there is a time to be tough, there's a time to, I wouldn't necessarily say get even, but there's a time to look out for yourself and for your family and for your country and to defend yourself and I don't think that's contrary to what Jesus taught at all.  

Mitt Romney to Liberty University

Delivering the commencement address at Liberty University has become a rite of passage for Republican and conservative leaders such as John McCain, Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris, and today it has been announced that Mitt Romney will deliver the 2012 Commencement address at the school founded by the late Jerry Falwell and currently led by his son, his son, Jerry Falwell, Jr.:

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced today that Gov. Mitt Romney will address Liberty University graduates at the 2012 Commencement ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at Arthur L. Williams Stadium.

“We are delighted that Governor Romney will join us to celebrate Commencement with Liberty’s 2012 graduates," said Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. "This will be a historic event for Liberty University reminiscent of the visits of Governor, and then presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan to Liberty’s campus in 1980 and of President George H.W. Bush who spoke at Liberty’s 1990 Commencement ceremony.”

This will be Governor Romney’s first appearance at Liberty University. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. will also be making remarks during the ceremony.

Liberty University's 39th Commencement will celebrate the achievement of more than 14,000 graduates with more than 34,000 guests expected to attend. The ceremony will also be broadcast by streaming video to the families of Liberty’s 70,000+ online students around the world.

Liberty University prides itself as training the “replacements” of the current Religious Right leadership, but despite its name the university has banned people on campus from accessing a local newspaper that wrote about LU’s huge sums of aid from the federal government, refused to recognize a College Democrats club, inculcates students in ultraconservative, anti-gay and anti-evolution courses, and trumpets a professor who wants to outlaw pornography.

Maybe Romney, who is selling his $5.25 million ski lodge, can stop by the Liberty Mountain Snowflex.

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