Falwell speaks

Interview addresses Trump endorsement

Politics — Donald Trump visited Liberty University Jan. 18 to speak at Convocation. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

Politics — Donald Trump visited Liberty University Jan. 18 to speak at Convocation. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

Editor’s Note: In an interview with the Liberty Champion, Jerry Falwell answered questions about some of the controversial issues regarding his personal support of Donald Trump for president. Liberty University does not support or oppose any political candidates.

Beginning as a multiple year friendship with Donald Trump, Falwell’s personal connection with Trump has transformed into a political backing for the upcoming presidential election.

Falwell said his friendship with Trump began when Trump first spoke at Liberty in September 2012. Falwell said he kept in contact with some members of the top management of Trump’s company and has recently had the opportunity to get to know Trump’s family.

Falwell said he has been focused on running the university, but he did spend time on the campaign trail with Trump during the weekend of the Iowa caucus.

“I got a call at 11 o’clock one Saturday morning,” Falwell said. “(Trump) said, ‘Can you be here at 5 o’clock this afternoon?’ and I said, ‘Well, you’ll have to pay to get me there.’ I put the family in a plane, and he paid for it.”

Falwell said he was not expecting what Trump would later ask him to do.

“I showed up (at) an auditorium packed with thousands of people,” Falwell said.

“I said, ‘What am I here to do?’ They said, ‘You’re the moderator.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So they handed me a microphone, and they said, ‘Welcome Jerry Falwell Jr.,’ and I’m walking out on stage in front of thousands and that was it. I introduced him, and then I sat down, and he and I just sat there in chairs for about an hour and discussed the issues.”

A university president and lawyer by trade, Falwell said he asked for some help before moderating.

“Luckily I had texted Sean Hannity earlier that day and said, ‘You do this all the time. Give me some ideas of some issues I should discuss with him,’” Falwell said. “So Sean texted me from his son’s tennis match some ideas of what to ask him. I used some of those ideas.”

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.”

Falwell said he and his family followed Trump to Council Bluffs, Iowa and Sioux City, Iowa where he moderated for Trump before coming back to Lynchburg.

“It was an experience of a lifetime, but it was a lot of fun,” Falwell said.

“I learned a lot from it.”

According to a statement released by Trump’s campaign in January, Falwell acknowledged why he chose to support Trump.

“(Trump) is a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again,” Falwell said in the statement.

Falwell has continued his support of Trump because he believes Trump is the businessman and not the politician the U.S. needs to be restored to a healthy condition.

“He is not part of the establishment,” Falwell said. “He’s been a businessman all his life, an entrepreneur. He’s not a career politician. He hasn’t been groomed to say all the right things to all the right crowds to get their votes. He’s just himself.”

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Falwell said he believes recent remarks in opposition of Trump are conditioned politicians scared of change.

“I really believe that what you are seeing happening this week is the establishment is having a seizure,” Falwell said. “They’re going ballistic because they are scared to death that they’re going to lose power. … They’re scared to death of Trump because he’s the kind of guy that will walk into Washington, kick over the tables, kick over the chairs, throw the bums out, start over, and do things that a career politician would never do.”

Falwell emphasized the importance of the fact that Trump has not held elected office before.

“I think he is what our Founding Fathers envisioned — citizen legislators — not career politicians to run this country,” Falwell said. “(They were) people who had their own businesses, their own jobs and who would take a break from that for a while to serve their country and then go back to their profession, not make a career out of being a politician on the tax payer payroll. I think Donald Trump fits that definition better than anybody else because he has been extremely successful in the private sector.”

Falwell, who was working for Liberty during its early financial struggle, said he admires Trump’s business skills. He thinks Trump’s skills will translate into an ability to help the U.S. recover from its almost $20 trillion debt.

“He doesn’t need the money,” Falwell said. “He’s paying for his own campaign. He’s not beholden to anybody like the rest of them are. He’s made a payroll with tens of thousands of employees, and nobody else on that debate stage has ever made a payroll and never will. They don’t understand it. They don’t know what it’s like to be a businessman who is trying to survive or a businesswoman who is trying to make it. …. Trump does. … I come at it from a unique perspective because I’ve been through experiences that most people haven’t. Keeping a school afloat for 20 years was my job as a young lawyer. I know what it takes, and I want somebody who’s done that.”

Trump has taken some opposition from religious leaders who remain in disagreement with his policies. According to CNN, Pope Francis said Trump “is not Christian” if he wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and deport undocumented immigrants.

However, Falwell said he thinks evangelicals should think about elections differently this time around.

“In the past (evangelicals) would vote for somebody who claimed to share their views on social issues, but promises were almost never kept,” Falwell said. “Evangelicals and conservatives were betrayed repeatedly by politicians who had claimed to be conservative socially and fiscally as candidates but went a different direction once they took office. Now I think conservatives have reached a point where they want somebody who has succeeded in the private sector, not just someone who makes the right promises in speeches. Many of them see Donald Trump as the tough guy who will protect and defend
us in perilous times.”

“He’s perfectly suited to serve as the political leader, and I think that gives evangelicals comfort,” Falwell said. “That’s why a large majority of them are supporting him, and I think maybe after the country is saved and restored, perhaps evangelicals will start voting in traditional patterns again.”

He said saving the country from terrorist attacks, runaway debt and open borders has to be the first priority.

“All the other issues will be moot if we don’t save the country,” Falwell said.

“When we step into our role as citizens, we need to elect the most experienced and capable leaders,” Falwell said on Facebook Jan. 27. “As I said, Jimmy Carter is a great Sunday school teacher, but the divorced and re-married Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan saved this nation when it was in nearly the same condition that it is today. Jesus said judge not, lest ye be judged. Let’s stop trying to choose the political leaders who we believe are the most godly because, in reality, only God knows people’s hearts. You and I don’t, and we are all sinners.”

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.”

Because of Falwell’s position at Liberty, he had the university release a statement Jan. 26 stating the university does not endorse or oppose political candidates. It also said Falwell’s choice to endorse Trump is a personal choice and not a decision as the role of university president. Liberty cannot legally endorse a candidate for presidency and keep its nonprofit, tax-exempt status as a university.

Falwell also addressed the rumors that contributions were made so Falwell would support Trump for president.

“Trump has never made any contributions to Liberty or to me or to my family,” Falwell said. “Neither has (he) promised any donations. It has never even been discussed.”

Liberty students came out in full force March 1, the presidential primary in Virginia. Students cast 1,215 votes at the Vines Center with 90 of them for Trump. Though Trump did not win the Liberty precinct, Falwell said on Twitter that he was “proud of @LibertyU students for voting their conscience today and thinking for themselves unlike those at many univ who blindly follow admin.” He said students need to vote in the November presidential election.

“If the wrong person is elected this fall, then the Second Amendment will be in jeopardy almost immediately because (with) one more liberal justice on the Supreme Court, you can say goodbye to the Second Amendment,” Falwell said. “ A 5-4, 6-3 liberal Court will transform this country into something that all the young people at Liberty won’t even recognize when they get my age. That’s the bottom line if they don’t vote.”

Falwell continued to emphasize the necessity of students to fulfill their responsibilities as Americans.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Trump or Cruz or Rubio or whoever they support,” Falwell said. “I have my own personal opinion about who would be the best president, but students need to vote, and they need to vote whether they like the nominee of their particular party or not because there’s too much at stake for them to stay home.”

Rodriguez is the news editor.


  • Dear Editor(s),

    This is a sad, sad piece to print in your school’s newspaper. Please remove it and think about what it stands for over and against what Liberty University stands for in this world. Mr Falwell’s comments are full of half-measures, compromises, and an ideology rooted in threats which never accomplishes much. It is beyond comprehension that Mr Falwell has said so much of this and that this campaign of indifference to legitimate questions of his candidate continues. Adding to this the difficult statements which have been voiced against the trustees of this university are creating an atmosphere that should be foreign to a Christian institution. Regardless if we disagree over candidates and political positions, or agree, this article represents everything that is wrong with one sided journalism that only seeks to embolden without a voice of appropriate challenge. Please remove this article. I am a Liberty University alumni who lived on campus for 4 years during my college degree. I have a closet full of Liberty University clothes that I no longer can wear in public because of the acts of the current chancellor of this university. I never thought I would be this embarrassed by my college, a college that had a vision of changing that world. This post will probably be deleted or never posted if it is moderated, but I hope that whoever reads this will take its message to heart. Liberty University should be better than this.

    • Falwell has taken a lot of (arguably deserved) criticism over his decision to publicly endorse any candidate, let alone Trump (who I do not personally support at all). This was a legitimate article, however, given the fact that he deserves a chance to explain himself, which is something that every critic (including myself) wants to hear: why in heaven’s name does he think Trump is a good choice, and why is he publicly involving himself in politics at all, given his role as the president of a nonprofit university? Also, it’s a big deal that a student was given the chance to interview Falwell about this whole controversy at all — particularly with Liberty’s excessive emphasis on its public image.

      So no, sir, there is absolutely no reason why this article should be “removed,” and it is not one-sided journalism. I am just as upset with all of this nonsense as you are, but we ought to be reasonable about it. You’re a college-educated adult and an alumnus (not “alumni”) of Liberty University, for Pete’s sake.

    • Can I have them ? I am interested in having your Liberty University clothes…since you will no longer wear them.

    • I agree. I am not a Donald Trump fan and I hate Jerry Jr. endorsed him. But I don’t see how you can demand they take down this post and that you can’t wear your Liberty clothes just because you don’t agree with it.

    • I think it interesting that many of those critical of Dr. Jerry Falwell Jr., some of whom claim to be alumni, call him the Rev. Jerry Falwell. I am absolutely certain that Jerry Falwell Jr. hasn’t been ordained. David was a very complex character who at times was very repentant for his sins. One of the problems that I have with Donald Trump is that he seems to neither recognize his sin or to have repented of it. But God has used many people that are surprising choices. By his Grace God used Luther whom I believe had quite the problem with alcohol and Charles Spurgeon, whose use of tobacco products led to throat cancer. Luther in fact, for political purposes, supported a member of royalty in his polygamy. I also believe that David was an unrepentant polygamist. At least that is not one of the sins he specifically lists as having repented of. Perhaps, even though I disagree with him, Jerry Jr. sees something in Donald Trump that I have not yet come to see clearly and that’s maybe a reflection of God’s grace in Jerry Falwell Jr. life. I am certainly not going to judge that. I think those who judge Jerry harshly and transfer that judgement to LU are unjust. I also hope that Donald Trump proves to be a work in progress, who history looks back on as one who met Jesus and whose life was change. Shouldn’t that be our prayer.

  • This article takes a quote from Pope Francis out of context. The Pope’s words were not intended as this article implies. The Champion needs to fix this error.

  • You never know what one may encounter until you arrive. No matter what the Presidential Elections reveal, prayers are needed. Thank you.

    comments of interest;
    ‘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.”

    “He doesn’t need the money,” Falwell said. “He’s paying for his own campaign. ”

    “…proud of @LibertyU students for voting their conscience today and thinking for themselves unlike those at many univ who blindly follow admin.”

  • So he was wined and dined and now he thinks Trump is comparable to King David? I think Falwell has either lost it or is a cheap date.

    • David was those things but spent the rest of his life repenting and paying for his sins. I don’t recall any repentance from Trump. In fact he states he’s done nothing that requires forgiveness. Which means he is sinless.

    • What a terrible analogy Falwell makes to King David. David *repented* of his adultery and murder when confronted with them. Trump has never expressed regret about his serial adultery, scamming Trump “University” “students” etc.

    • Sadly, true, in Falwells own words…blinded by the lights and glimmer. We have a friend who’s a college senior, a strong Christian, who heard that LU was “supporting Trump”, and took the school off his list for grad schools. No matter what Falwell believes, people perceive that Falwell represents the University. Optics.
      Also, David was striving after God, as the scripture tells us, Donald Trump has never revealed that he is striving after God, and Trump has had plenty of opportunity to tell us that he is, so it is a poor comparison.

    • Mr. Falwell could have been a true Nathan to Donald Trump. Thankfully, David had no personal jet to soothe Nathan into syncophancy.

  • Charles Hardage

    Years ago my first year teaching and coaching with my dad we went to a sports medicine clinic in Alabama one of the guest speakers was a Doctor Who happened to be a Christian but brought out a real good point when administrators hiring position for their staff evening Christian schools the number one thing should be finding excellent physician number two should be one that fits the criteria of the school the reason for this picking a good Christian above a good physician or surgeon is like saying in surgery it doesn’t matter if my patients lives or dies all that matters how I make my cut.I,amclass of 77 Liberty Grad and totally understand we need a a business man to help straighten out our country.I think some of the other candidates good Christian people but won’t help in the White House.Just being a Christian isn’t good enough.That being said I would love to have a strong Christian candidate with the business spunk and backbone.Just don’t see that candidate right now.So we must pray and seek for the best candidate for the situation at hand.

  • Michael M Kraft

    Whether Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr, wants to acknowledge it or not his supporting of Donald Trump as a private individual has caused a major problem for Liberty University that may have some unintended consequences on current and future students and their enrollment thereof. Rev. Falwell is the Chancellor of Liberty University and is tied to Liberty University. While acknowledging Rev. Falwell right to support whomever he chooses as a Presidential candidate his actions of endorsing Donald Trump as a private individual now indirectly associate Liberty University with supporting Donald Trump and everything he says and does as he is the Chancellor of LU. How can we balance Rev. Falwell right as a private individual to support whomever he chooses politically without tarnishing LU image as our Chancellor is supporting Donald Trump whom swears, curses, belittles and makes fun of many different individuals? Possibly, moving forward after this election year the LU Board of Trustees would be wise to pass a resolution for any current or future Chancellor in their contract with LU to agree as a condition of employment not to endorse any candidates for political office as their actions indirectly (like it or not) reflect upon the image of LU.

    • I’m afraid you’re right, see my comment above about a friend of ours.

    • I don’t know but I would say for those out here holding jobs we have already been questioned who we support and looked down on in disdain. I’m starting to think it would have been better at a military vet to get my degree elsewhere although I have others Liberty was a good choice.

    • I don’t know but I would say for those out here holding jobs we have already been questioned who we support and looked down on in disdain. I’m starting to think it would have been better as a military vet to get my degree elsewhere although I have told others Liberty was a good choice.

  • I am a bit confused as to how this endorsement is evennlegal under the current laws. Yes, I understand that this is a personal endorsement, but as a lawyer, Jerry should know that it is not that black and white. Employees at the university have been warned not to speak out either at work or on social media about Jerry’s endorsement. He had opened the university up to unnecessary criticism with recent remarks about Muslims as well as his endorsement of a candidate. He has refused to acknowledge that trumps success is a direct result of inheritance, and that Trump us been known at least as much for his massive failures. Trump himself has even stated that even when a deal went south he came out on top. It just hasn’t been as widely reported that the people he came out on top of were his employees. If we were to relate Trumps version of America with his business practices (which Jerry is asking us to do), we would be forced to accept that, in a best case scenario, the average worker would be used and exhausted like a commodity for the benefit of the nation. Much more important than this, and the point to which all Trump supporters fall short of comprehending, is that the office of the President is far more involved than the role of economic leader. Trumps own views on national security and trade have bugun to strain international relations even bofore he has been nominated to run as the Republican candidate. Trump encourages the outsourcing of jobs to China and the implementation of Chinese business models. Trump has also informed the world that he intends to use natural resources and trade (currently at protected rates) as bartering tools to expand his power. These ideas, coupled with threats again send free speech and the media, as well as Trumps inability to form a single coherent thought (and maintain that thought from crowd to crowd) are just the tip of what makes Trump (and Jerry) dangerous to the uninformed.

    • Michael M Kraft


      It would be a very sad day if employees of LU cannot disagree with Rev. Falwell political position. Very sad…

      “Employees at the university have been warned not to speak out either at work or on social media about Jerry’s endorsement”.

      If these remarks are accurate that would then make LU a cult as that type of control is what people in cults do.

      God Bless

      Michael M Kraft

  • Mr Falwell, with all due respect, David Repented. You Cannot compare this with Trump when Trump himself specifically says that he had not nir doesn’t see the need to Repent

  • Mr. Falwell’s understanding of Scripture must be called into question if this article accurately reflects his views.

    Christ never suggested that Christians were not supposed to judge others. The idea that He gave was that righteous judgment must be employed. The necessity of judgment and discernment is emphasized throughout the New Testament, and the thought that since we cannot know Mr. Trump’s heart we should not question his actions is absurd.

    Additionally, comparing Mr. Trump to David is ridiculous. David established a deep relationship with God. He then made a series of horrendous choices, but when God called him out on those choices (through Nathan) he was devastated. He repented and turned back to God, desiring the restoration of a relationship that had been damaged through his own actions. His reaction to correction illustrated his heart. How does this apply, in any way, to Mr. Trump? He is an unabashed adulterer and liar who does not believe that he needs forgiveness.

    I believe that Mr. Falwell is horribly mistaken about Mr. Trump’s qualifications for the presidency, but he is entitled to his conclusions. He is not entitled, however, to misuse Scripture to support his candidate.

  • Falwell’s reference to King David is unconscionable – I would think he should know better. His father would be turning in his grave if he weren’t already in heaven. Donald Trump is certainly no King David! The comparison would be laughable if not so pathetic. David was not a murderer and adulterer at the time the Lord called him, and he paid dearly for those sins, though forgiven by the Lord. But taken as a whole David is known as “the man after God’s own heart. How Jerry Falwell, Jr. cannot understand the importance of character in our leaders is beyond me.

  • This is sad because it shows the mendacity that evangelicals will stoop to in order to justify supporting Trump. Yes, David was “a man after God’s own heart”, which means that David, even though he sinned, continued to seek after God. Falwell would twist that to imply that God is a god after David’s heart, “endorsing David” warts and all. God loved David INSPITE of his sins, not DESPITE his sins.

    It’s safe to say that Trump’s admission that he never had to ask God for forgiveness, making ghastly non-Christian boasts about how he is “a great Christian”, and not even being able to differentiate between an offering plate and a communion plate all point to just how un-Christian and ungodly Trump actually is.

    For Falwell to try to equate David and Trump is just pathetic.

  • I have to agree with Mr. Falwell….we don’t need a preacher in the White House…we need a leader. Our gun rights are in serious jeopardy if Hillary wins the general election

  • Trump is not really self-funding his campaign. He has made a loan to his campaign of several million dollars, in addition to raising several million more. However, he has stated that he will start to fundraise from major donors after winning the primary. He can then have his campaign pay him that loan back. Another scam, in the tradition of Trump University.

  • How convenient for Reverend Falwell to leave out the part where David went before God and begged for forgiveness. Convenient, but Biblically unsound. Mr. Trump has stated publicly that he has no need to ask God for forgiveness. A sad day when people of faith choose which parts of the Bible they will quote, but leave out the full story.

  • Comparing David and Trump…..Really? One wrote Psalm 51 the epitome of repentance and forgiveness, and the other will ask for forgiveness if he ever needs it…great comparison!

  • “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer.”
    Yes, but King David repented! Far from exhibiting the broken and contrite heart of Psalm 51, Mr. Trump said he’s never asked God for forgiveness.
    Based on what we’ve seen recently, Mr. Trump would have any would-be Nathan thrown out by his goons.

  • As a graduate of the Seminary at LU I was very disappointed in Jr.’s endorsement of Trump. But comparing him to King David is really off the mark and takes this whole episode to a new low. I find it interesting he wants us to express our opinions but won’t answer our questions, just blocks everyone on twitter. He takes Scripture out of context, if he knew half of what his father preached he would know that we are to judge those who call themselves brothers as Trump does. Trump claims to be the biggest reader of the bible yet cannot pronounce one of its books, he claims to be a great Christian yet continues to insult and demean anyone who disagrees with him. Jr., you sold yourself to the highest bidder and now put your trust in man and his riches.

  • The headline quote alone is all the warning that a sincere lover of truth needs. The statement regarding King David is strictly in reference to his governing the nation, and in no way refers to his unclean heart while he was defiling his neighbors wife. The ‘grace is a license for sin’ crowd will plead for all the sin they can, even to the point of making God a ‘respector’ of persons, which directly opposes the revelation of scripture. Make no mistake; all those that are found to be lovers of Jesus Christ are those who ‘keep His commandments’. Any person that believes otherwise is simply following a ‘form of godliness’ while ‘denying the power thereof.’

  • “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer,” Falwell said.

    Right. David was also punished for being an adulterer and a murderer; his son, Absalom, led a revolt placing the entire kingdom in civil war. Within two generations after David, the kingdom split in two. I’ll pass on having another King David, thanks.

  • “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer,” Falwell said.

    This is truly an amazing statement. Trump has boasted in print that he has taken many married women to bed. He says he has never asked for forgiveness. David repented whole-heartedly (Psalm 51). David was forgiven, but remember, the divine consequences were severe, and led to horrible civil wars during his life. What will be the consequences for America with an unrepentant man like Donald Trump? How will a holy God bless such a man and those who put him in power?

  • Trump is not repentant King David. Falwell’s endorsement of Trump is an affront to the gospelling of Jesus Christ. Trump has supported with donations and his own words Planned Parenthood and still supports through his foundation a UN FOUNDATION CALLED GIRLS UP which gives money for abortions throughout the world. He is part owner of a strip club in New Jersey. He is vulgar and a bully. He has spent this campaign not talking about the details of solutions to our problems but using crude language against his opposition. He calls protesters ‘bad people’. He supports expansion of government in health care. Mr Falwell should turn in his Christian ‘card ‘

  • Dr. Falwell is a little confused. Trump is not David, he is Saul. The people wanted a big strong king, who would protect them from the pagans around them. God gave them what they clamored for, so that they would learn the error of their ways. Saul was arrogant, always convinced he had the best ideas, and listened to top men instead of the still, small voice of God.
    Instead, they needed David, which God gave them eventually. David is the antithesis of Trump. A humble man, although David committed grievous sins, he sought God’s forgiveness. David was not a great King and the ancestor of our Savior because he “made great deals’, but rather because he opened his heart to God.
    Dr. Falwell’s father was a great man of God whose heart’s desire was to train champions for Christ. Dr. Falwell Sr. sought to do God’s work, patiently and tirelessly working for decades to achieve his goals. Dr. Falwell Jr. is a worldly minded man who is trying to take a shortcut, sure that God will bless it if it turns out alright. He is forgetting another lesson from David – the disaster David created when he took shortcuts to move the Ark of the Covenant, assuming if his end goal was a good one, God would bless the endeavor.

    As an Alum of Liberty University and a current MBA student, I feel the need to distance myself from a school that is lead by a man who seeks man’s ways instead of God’s. While Dr. Falwell can call out “Give us a king like the nations”, some of us will pray and work to find a man who is truly after God’s own heart.

  • The thing that disturbed me the most about Rev. Falwell’s remarks was his purported Scriptural justification for his view. He said, “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer.” I do not know Chancellor Falwell, but I hope that this remark was thoughtless rather than calculated, because it reflects a serious misunderstanding of the Scriptures. When God searched for a replacement for King Saul, he was looking for “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). He subsequently selected David, who was such a man (Acts 13:22). He was humble before God; he loved God; he sought God’s honor above his own advancement; and he had a desire to truly shepherd the people of God. In fact, one of the main points of the book of Samuel is that the most important quality to be the king of Israel was not ability but a humble and loyal heart (1 Samuel 16:7). This is precisely the opposite of what Rev. Falwell is arguing regarding whom Christians should support for President. It is true that, later in life, David committed the grievous sins of adultery, deception and murder, for which he was forgiven and for which he was nevertheless severely chastised. However in the aftermath of his sin, David demonstrated that he truly did know and love God by his genuine repentance (Psalms 32 and 51) and by his humble, submissive response to God’s chastening (see 2 Samuel 16:5-12). Donald Trump not only has committed adultery, but brags about it, and he has even said that he doesn’t remember asking God’s forgiveness for anything. I would argue that being the President of the United States is different in many fundamental ways from being the King of Old-Testament Israel. However, irrespective of the political merits or demerits of Rev. Falwell’s views on the presidential race, his misuse of the Bible constitutes a grave error. Rev. Falwell, if you want to vote for and even endorse Donald Trump, go ahead. But please, please do not misinterpret the Scriptures to try to justify it.

  • Carolina Cooper

    The difference between King David and Trump, King David repented when shown the error of his ways. All Trump does is yell “liar”, make threats, take them to court, incite more violence, and double down on every evil thing he does. I’d say he’s more of a King Saul than a King David.

  • well, king David did horrible things, but he repented, Mr. Trump on the other hand says he has nothing to repent to God.
    Isn’t that the key for salvation?
    David’s example is not something in Trump’s favor, but the opposite.
    David understands it, he says in Psalms 32:
    Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

    We’re living in an interesting time, fellows.

  • Pingback: No, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Donald Trump Is Not Just Like King David

  • This is so, so sad. To compare David, who was consumed with passion for God his entire life and quickly repented after being confronted with his sin, to a man who clearly has no clue what an Evangelical is and is clearly mean, disrespectful and egocentric….. that comparison is broadcasting to the world that Falwell has walked right off the cliff.

  • Whether Rev. Falwell should speak or not is up to the University policy makers but the fact that he compares Mr. Trump (I’ve never asked for forgiveness because I’ve never done anything that needs forgiving”) to King David is astounding to me. King Cyrus, maybe. King Nebuchadnezzar, more likely but David, a man described as after God’s own heart? Those who think that they need a “strong” man to stand up for their Christian culture in my opinion are looking in the wrong place. God will stand up for His own. I think we would be much better served by a man who starts his day on his knees asking God for that protection. I’m embarrassed that the “evangelical” vote is going to a man such as Mr. Trump. We are called to be salt and light, not the frightened persecuted hiding behind a bully.

  • My son and I are both graduates of Liberty. My daughter also attended and was employed by the university and worked with Jerry Sr. We are all deeply concerned by the image of the university that our friends have of L.U. as a result of this incomprehensible endorsement. There are candidates in the race that are true supporters of our Constitution who reflect our Christian values. Why endorse a strip club owner who disrepects women, minorities and the handicapped? We are not electing a pastor, but should we support someone who has been a lifelong supporter of abortionists and thinks he is “a great Christian” because he has a Bible his mother gave him and attends church on Easter and Christmas? I am greatly disappointed that Jerry can be bought with a cheeseburger.

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  • It is hard for me to imagine the damage Falwell’s stance and explanation has done and will do to the image of the university among citizens of the US. And this is nothing to say the damage it will do to the image of Christians in the minds of those who need to be reached and brought to Christ.

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  • Mr. Falwell,
    It’s bad enough that you have endorsed a man who should not be anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. To say Trump is not conservative enough doesn’t even scratch the surface. Based on his previous statements, he is not conservative at all. His claim of now being a conservative is 100% fraudulent. That is clear. But worse yet, Trump is unhinged. I don’t want his hands (large or small) anywhere near the nuclear launch codes.
    But then you sink even lower by dropping into the shame-on-you tactic when it comes to the vote. Get something straight: If the choice in November is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I won’t vote. And if anybody tries to shame me into voting for Trump, I will shake the dust off my feet and walk away. (Matthew 10:14 – or as Trump would probably say, Matt 10: one-four.)

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  • I will not vote for either Trump or Clinton if that is the choice in November. Trying to shame me into voting for Trump will not work.

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  • During my four years at Liberty University I believed in Liberty’s mission and vision. To my liberal friends, I defended the University’s leadership, arguing that Liberty is different from what the left portrays it. Jerry Jr. proved me wrong, Donald Trump embodies everything that the left paints us to be. A self centered, prideful, egomaniac who uses their position of power at the expense of others. I can no longer fight this narrative, I must know accept it.

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  • As a Liberty graduate, senior executive at a Fortune 300 company and board member for other public companies, the actions of J. Jr. make me ill. He continues to not only to degrade Liberty’s reputation, but also the value of the diploma the school provides . Regardless of political viewpoint, our university president has a responsibility to the students and alumni in furthering the schools academic reputation. Public endorsement by a university president for such a divisive individual is not only strategically short sighted, it’s shallow. Having the university put out a statement that it does not endorse a candidate is too little too late. The fact that he needs to do this interview in the school newspaper continues to ruin the reputation of the school and further blurrs the lines regarding the schools involvement in these actions. It’s shocking that the Board of Trustees have allowed this to continue and makes me question what strategic direction they have for the school. My heart breaks for the current students and recent graduates who are looking for jobs in a competitive field or trying to get into top graduate schools. Liberty is now in the press because of this controversy and unfortunately not because of its academic accomplishments for the student body . I received notice of this article by a friend who is also a senior executive at another fortune 300 company. He thought I was joking when I told him I graduated from this school. Unfortunately, the school’s reputation is becoming just that, a joke. Which is sad for those who payed good money and worked diligently for their diploma. I will not be donating any further money until the president and the school administration move the focus back to providing a quality education for the students. I sincerely hope Liberty will one day have a positive reputation regarding academics in the business world which is what we all deserve.

    Christopher O-Liberty graduate 1999

  • It’s so disheartening to hear a public figure Like Falwell endorse someone who has consistently played dirty politics while saying he is against the establishment. My opinion of Trump remains the same while that of Falwell has nosedived. Sickening.

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