Opinion

Jerry Falwell remakes Jesus in his own hypocritical image to better defend Trump

This week, evangelicals showed absolutely no qualms about brushing off Donald Trump having sex with a porn star just after his wife gave birth and then paying her six figures to keep it quiet.

As if it wasn’t enough to defend Trump there, one of evangelical Christendom’s more prominent leaders, Jerry Falwell Jr., went a step above and defended all of Trump’s major policy ideas as Christian with some seriously embarrassing — and easily refuted — nonsense.

Okay wow. There is a lot to unpack here. Where do we start?

First of all, Jesus’s teachings are aimed at everyone. Everyone. His teachings are basically a blueprint on how to be nice to others and treat others with love and respect. The idea that a man who preaches about God could, with a straight face, say some people are exempt from what Jesus says is mind-boggling. Has Falwell never read the passage about the Pharisees? Literally the only time Jesus got mad in the Bible was when rich and powerful people tried to use religion for personal gain. While that section more accurately pertains to people like Falwell, it’s easy to see Jesus preaching to pretty much anyone if given the chance, even Caesar.

Secondly, it was Caesar’s government that killed Jesus. Is Falwell comparing Trump to the leader of the empire that sentenced Jesus to be crucified?

Let’s break this down by the three specific examples Falwell used.

Jesus never said Roman soldiers should turn the other cheek in battle. Well, yeah. Jesus was anti-war to begin with. He didn’t get specifically political because he wasn’t talking to that audience — he was mostly talking to the impoverished Jews who were subjugated by these Roman soldiers — but Jesus taught in parables. Seriously, did you skip your Bible study classes? You’re supposed to extrapolate lessons from his teachings, not take them literal… Oh. Oh wow. Right.

No wonder you think the Earth is 6,000 years old.

Jesus never said that Caesar should allow all barbarians to be Roman citizens. No, he did not specifically say that. But The Good Samaritan taught us that we can’t judge a person by their ethnicity. And the story of his birth itself taught us that you can always make room for someone in need. But no, Jesus did not specifically talk about immigration policy in Rome at the time.

Jesus never said Caesar should tax the rich to help the poor. Nah, but Jesus was boys with a tax collector, so he clearly was pro-tax. Also, in the Acts of the Apostles, they were constantly pooling their resources together and splitting things evenly so everyone had enough. Frankly, I would argue Jesus and his followers were motherloving socialists.

It’s not like Falwell has ever been someone to take seriously. But he is very influential with millions of evangelicals, who will now, apparently, blindly support Trump, even when Trump’s actions are blatantly anti-Christian.

It’s an ugly look, Falwell, no matter what you try to tell yourself.

Featured image via screen grab/YouTube

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