Son of the famed evangelist Jerry Falwell and president of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr., gave an interview to The Washington Post this Tuesday where he made the argument that supporting President Trump is an inherently Christian thing to do.
Speaking to the Post’s Joe Helm, Falwell said that evangelicals who reject Trump may be bringing their morality into question.
“You’ve been criticized by some other evangelical leaders about your support for the president,” Helm told Falwell. “They say you need to demand higher moral and ethical standards. You disagree with them on that?”
“It may be immoral for them not to support him because he’s got African American employment to record highs, Hispanic employment to record highs,” Falwell replied. “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.’”
When asked if Trump could do anything that would cause Falwell to stop supporting him, he replied, “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,” Falwell continued.
Helm then asked him if it’s “hypocritical for evangelical leaders to support a leader who has advocated violence and who has committed adultery and lies often.” To that, Falwell explained that Jesus declared everyone to be “sinners.”
“I don’t think you can choose a president based on their personal behavior… you choose a president based on what their policies are. That’s why I don’t think it’s hypocritical.”
Falwell’s comments about evangelical support for Trump weren’t the only part of the interview to generate backlash. At one point, he seemed to denigrate the poor, saying they don’t have much to offer society.
“A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume,” he said.
The comments on the poor even prompted a rebuke from Fox News commentator Brit Hume, who called Falwell a “disappointing man.”
Falwell is such a disappointing man. Does he not remember the impoverished woman in Luke 21, who gave a pittance, leading Jesus to say she had given more than the rich because she gave all she had?
— Brit Hume (@brithume) January 2, 2019
“Falwell is such a disappointing man,” Hume tweeted Tuesday evening. “Does he not remember the impoverished woman in Luke 21, who gave a pittance, leading Jesus to say she had given more than the rich because she gave all she had?”
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