For the better part of two years, the religious right has tried to peddle a false narrative about Donald Trump. The nation’s so-called moral guardians would have us believe that Trump was chosen by God himself to make America great again. Heck, to hear them talk, God wanted Trump in office so badly that he was the one who hacked the election, not Russia.
The religious right would have us believe that fueled by a newfound faith in Jesus, Trump is fulfilling God’s plan for America. But what about the almost daily outrages that come from this White House? Oh, silly us. None of that matters. What really matters is that we now have a president who has brought a culture of life back to this country after eight years, and who is committed to the sanctity of marriage.
We got a lovely example of this false narrative on Tuesday night from one of the leading generals in the Trumpvangelical Army, Jerry Falwell Jr. It’s no secret that Falwell adores Trump–so much that he thinks Trump is evangelicals’ “dream president.” Never mind that Trump has proven himself to be a horrible human being, and has done nothing to change that impression since taking office. This is a man who sees fit to plaster a private cell phone number on social media, mock the disabled, revel in degrading women, and retweet violent and hateful memes attacking his foes.
But from where Liberty University’s president is sitting, any outrage over Trump’s behavior is a lot of fuss over nothing.
Complaining about the temperament of the @POTUS or saying his behavior is not presidential is no longer relevant. @realDonaldTrump has single-handedly changed the definition of what behavior is “presidential” from phony, failed & rehearsed to authentic, successful & down to earth
— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) January 10, 2018
Wow. It’s no secret that Falwell inherited his father’s warped moral compass. But this is simply breathtaking even by his low standards.
So when Trump saw violent memes attacking Hillary Clinton and CNN, he was being “authentic”? And when he fired off horribly degrading comments about Mika Brzezinski and Kirsten Gillibrand, he was being “down to earth”?
Twitter was not at all impressed with Falwell’s definition of authenticity.
— Aaron New (@DrAaronNew) January 11, 2018
So decency & dignity no longer matter? Interesting.
I remember the screeching spasms of moral outrage when sober, decent family man Obama wore a tan suit, or invited Beyoncé to the WH.
Maybe that wasn’t really about morals. Hmm.. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/5qaH6Xla2NLoading...
— Covfefe-a-Lago (@MichellesDude) January 10, 2018
Oh you mean this! pic.twitter.com/dAyljk61gY
— Stable Genius (@Eakin19) January 10, 2018
I guess love of money has replaced love of Christ in Falwell's and Trump's new version of Christianity.
— ReSister🌊 (@LoriWilliams550) January 10, 2018
By Falwell’s logic, if I were to share hateful and violent memes about my ex-wife, I should be able to claim that I was merely being “authentic” about the hurt I felt from the three years of abuse I had to endure. But I wouldn’t be able to get away with that. Instead, I would probably be told–not asked–to seek counseling. And if I were a father and I found out that my son was making degrading remarks about women on Twitter, I wouldn’t be complimenting him for being “down to earth.” I’d be taking a sledgehammer to his phone.
Riddle me this, Jerry. If your kids acted in the way Trump did, would you be praising them for being “authentic” and “down to earth”? And would you say the same for any student at Liberty? I know that if any chief executive at a secular university were to suggest that this behavior is even remotely acceptable, there would be immediate calls for his or her removal.
Last summer, when Falwell continued to support Trump in the face of Trump claiming “both sides” were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, dozens of Liberty alumni returned their diplomas in protest. After this latest screed from Falwell, that trickle ought to become a flood.
(featured image: screenshot courtesy WDBJ)