Jerry Falwell Jr. endorses Trump

“He is a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again” RNS

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Bert Perry's picture

Or, as the Pyromaniacs crew noted; Four Bankruptcies, Three Wives, Two political parties, one big problem, and shame on us if we portray him as a good family man or businessman.  Put more bluntly, if we claim that, people are right to ask us what we've been smoking, and if they can have some, 'cause it must be good.

 

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

M. Osborne's picture

Looking at what Falwell said: “He is a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.”

I'll allow Christian brothers the conscience to vote for whom they think will be best for the country's future...but the endorsement-ese is unsettling.

  1. As Christians, what's our mission, and what's our vision for the future? Christ's kingdom, or American greatness? What do we want to be known for in the public square? Christ's kingdom, or our brand of American greatness?
  2. Do we really want to publicly declare our reliance on any human being to lead our country to greatness? To what kind of greatness can a sinful human being lead a country? If this is questionable for any human being, how much more questionable is it for someone like Donald Trump? My king was spit on. He wore a towel and washed feet. Donald Trump doesn't look anything like that.
  3. Are we so motivated by a political agenda, that it's worth it to fudge our assessment of a person's character in order to advance him?
  4. Do we ever want to hold hands so tightly with a political leader that their performance ends up reflecting on our judgment, or our witness? Can't we instead speak with conviction about the issues to which the Bible speaks, and then note our agreement with the candidate as a corollary? If any man speak, let him speak the oracles of God.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

TylerR's picture

Editor

I've stopped paying attention to political news, and won't tune back in until Iowa and New Hampshire are over. Then, we'll have a good idea of how this will shake out. Until then . . . I might as well buy some tarot cards.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Darrell Post's picture

Just a quick scan through some conservative, though secular political blogs. Many are blasting Falwell Jr, and evangelicalism as a whole for gross hypocrisy. Sad that unbelieving political conservatives have more discernment than Falwell Jr. apparently has. One I read said something like, "in exchange for the endorsement, Liberty U will now get an on campus casino and resort."

Wayne Wilson's picture

"Just one of the more obvious proofs that “evangelicals” are culpable for our culture’s moral and spiritual demise."

"As if four more years of amoral narcissism in the Oval Office might cure the country’s ills. Have ye not read Isaiah 30:1-7?"

Jonathan Charles's picture

Those endorsements are embarrassing for those who made them.  Jeffress warned voters about voting for Romney, then he endorses Trump?  

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

M. Osborne wrote:

Looking at what Falwell said: “He is a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.”

I'll allow Christian brothers the conscience to vote for whom they think will be best for the country's future...but the endorsement-ese is unsettling.

  1. As Christians, what's our mission, and what's our vision for the future? Christ's kingdom, or American greatness? What do we want to be known for in the public square? Christ's kingdom, or our brand of American greatness?
  2. Do we really want to publicly declare our reliance on any human being to lead our country to greatness? To what kind of greatness can a sinful human being lead a country? If this is questionable for any human being, how much more questionable is it for someone like Donald Trump? My king was spit on. He wore a towel and washed feet. Donald Trump doesn't look anything like that.
  3. Are we so motivated by a political agenda, that it's worth it to fudge our assessment of a person's character in order to advance him?
  4. Do we ever want to hold hands so tightly with a political leader that their performance ends up reflecting on our judgment, or our witness? Can't we instead speak with conviction about the issues to which the Bible speaks, and then note our agreement with the candidate as a corollary? If any man speak, let him speak the oracles of God.

On #1. This is really a false disjunction. There is no reason we cannot pursue both obedience to Christ and a better nation. (There is also such thing as actual national greatness apart from mere opinion. Much of that can be derived from Scripture.)

On #2... "Do we really want to publicly declare our reliance on any human being to lead our country to greatness?" It's admittedly hyperbolic to put that much importance on one guy. But at the same time we shouldn't underestimate the influence one effective, well-informed man of good character can have. On the second half of #2... all this is true, but it's important to note that Jesus did not come to reign at His first advent. He comes to reign in Rev. 19 (any many OT parallel prophecies) in majesty and unapologetic exercise of righteous power... not washing feet. But there is still no resemblance to Mr. Trump, I'll give you that.

On #3... It's interesting to me that Trump endorsers often refer to him not being a politician. I think I want to write a longer post on that. I don't know if it's passion for an agenda that blinds these leaders to what Trump is really like. I suspect part of it though is overvaluing the pipe-dream of the elected non-politician. It's a pipedream because, by definition, any man who manages to get elected is a politician.

But in Trump's case in particular, the neglected question is "what is a politician?" A politician is someone who makes deals in order to accomplish goals and who is skilled in getting lots of people to support him. Every single thing Trump has accomplished has involved using the skills of the politician, including all of the worst things we associate with the term "politician." He simply has done it in the private sector. Why is all the smarminess of political maneuvering "not politics" when it's in the private sector? The use of power and wheeling and dealing and leveraging assets and so on... this is politics, whether in campaigns or in corporate takeovers.

On #4, I think this is just about always a better approach, especially for leaders who's core responsibility really doesn't include influencing elections.

M. Osborne's picture

On #1. This is really a false disjunction. There is no reason we cannot pursue both obedience to Christ and a better nation. (There is also such thing as actual national greatness apart from mere opinion. Much of that can be derived from Scripture.)

I suppose it is, if what I meant is that we can pursue only Christ's kingdom or only national greatness. I recognize we can pursue both, that there are Christian elected officials doing just that. Sloppy rhetoric, I suppose. But what I was leading into was what people think of when they hear our name. (And maybe you'll say that they can think of two roles or two emphases. And that's true, too.) And I was leading into the other questions as a unit, of whether we turn Christianity into one more special interest group. I was thinking about that "Oh, him" moment when people hear a person's name.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

Bert Perry's picture

Per Aaron's and Michael's comments, a pastor once told me that I was one of few people he knew of who could be active in both politics and church without compromising one.  Now I'll leave it to those who know me well (some of y'all are getting there, praise God) to answer whether I manage this, or ever did, but there is a reality that now, as in the time of Paul, those who engage in politics often succumb to the siren song of power instead of acting on what is right. 

Conversely, a Christian can, per Romans 13 and such, do well in both areas simply by remembering that power is simply a tool that should, in God's economy and by God's grace, be used to do what is right.  A great example is when Paul rebuked the magistrate who had whipped him without a trial; it was not as big a deal for Paul himself, but presumably Paul knew that the magistrate's abuse of him would correspond to his abuse of many others if he were not rebuked.  I would guess this made the process of trial less painful for citizen and subject alike. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

dmyers wrote:

Jerry Falwell has posted this to his Facebook page, which expands on (and clarifies) his rationale for endorsing Trump:  

https://www.facebook.com/jl.falwell/posts/10153957123057848

 

Looks like the university president needs a remedial rhetoric class.  That was just plain sad.  As I noted above, Falwell's rationale for supporting Trump can be refuted as 4, 3, 2, 1.  4 bankruptcies, 3 wives, 2 political parties, 1 big problem.  You've got to be nuts to believe that a guy who left investors and taxpayers holding the bag for billions of dollars of loans is going to be the guy to lead our country back to solvency.  Just plain nuts.

And the guy who can't deal with Megyn Kelly is somehow going to find the je ne sais quoi to deal with Assad, Putin, or for that matter Hilliary Clinton?  Dream on.   

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Rob H's picture

This is clearly a sign of a fool signing on with a fool. Both define the other. Take the warning either way - we're headed into deep waters of trouble with the characters and events on our horizons.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I don't think name-calling helps...  Especially when there are so many hard facts that should direct people away from Trump.

Meanwhile, more from Falwell..   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/01/27/jerry-fa...

In my opinion, this nation needs a citizen legislator who is a tough negotiator, one who has gone head to head with the best business minds in the world and won, a businessman who has built companies from the ground up, and who will use those experiences to be tough with China, ISIS and nations that are taking advantage of the United States by stealing our jobs.

It is more of the fantasy of the non-politician elected official.

Bert Perry's picture

....what do we call a person who denies their need for repentance in light of Psalms 14:1, Psalm 53:1, Proverbs 10:8, and the like?  I'm not entirely convinced that it is wrong to call Trump a fool--that's what the Bible calls people who do what he's done.  No?

It's also worth noting that the WashPo column is more or less his Facebook post, but with paragraphs and corrected grammar.  Really, Trump resembles little so much as the schoolyard bully that is blindly wandering into a situation where his opponent isn't going to back down--he's running full speed for his comeuppance.  We need to pray that he gets this at the hands of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, not Vladimir Putin or someone else who's got his finger on the nuclear button.

Yes, as Falwell notes, he has persuaded city councils to do his will, and has persuaded investors.  I don't think he's got what it takes, however, to play in "the show" any more than the new kid in class A has earned his ticket to Wrigley, Fenway, or Shea.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I don't want to put Falwell in the same category, but it's certainly possible to make a case for Trump fitting the biblical idea, especially the Proverbial idea, of the fool.

Prov. 15:2

Prov. 12:15

Prov. 12:16

Prov. 13:16

Prov. 14:16

Prov. 17:7

Prov. 19:1

Prov. 29:11

...and so many more

 

 

WallyMorris's picture

Foolish people make bad decisions, whether you're the President of the United States or president of a Christian college.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Bert Perry's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Foolish people make bad decisions, whether you're the President of the United States or president of a Christian college.

...is that in Scripture, I believe foolish doesn't just mean you make bad decisions, but rather indicates significant moral faults.  No?  That would be why we would want to be extraordinarily careful about calling someone a "fool" from our perspective--it doesn't just mean you lack common sense.  And from that perspective, Trump's life does (in my view) rise to that level--his multiple bankrtuptcies, affairs, and divorces clearly put him in that category, as well as his statements about repentance.  I can't say that yet about Falwell.  His decision perplexes me and I have to wonder what he's thinking, but I don't see it as a major moral fault yet.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

WallyMorris's picture

I never said that making bad decisions was the only characteristic of a foolish person, only that, if you are a foolish person, then you will make bad decisions.

Proverbs, as we would expect, has much to say about the fool and foolishness. All of us have some of "the fool" in us, from birth. The questions are "How much of a fool are we, and what are we doing about it?"

Bad decisions can reflect foolishness. If someone makes bad decisions due to foolishness, that person will make other bad decisions because of that foolishness.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Ron Bean's picture

Trump got a major endorsement this week from the reverend Jerry Falwell Jr. It does seem strange that a Christian leader would endorse a candidate who's kind of a poster child for the seven deadly sins: Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Which in this case -- Is living on his head.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Ron Bean's picture

Trump has admitted that he has been generous with people (including the Clintons) in exchange for favors. We need to consider the possibility that he may have "made a donation" to Liberty that may have prompted the endorsement. It wouldn't be the first time such an event occurred.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Joeb's picture

Remember Tea Party darling Sarah Palin also endorsed Trump and it's rumored that two other canidates my jump on the USSS Trump if they don't do good in Iowa.  Those people are Rick Santorum and HUCKABEE.  Maybe these people are disillusioned with the Tea Party especially now that a Tea Party Gov in Michigan has poisoned  1000s of children in flint to save a few bucks and when  confronted with tests  showing this they said our tests show its safe. The Gov's  people tests were diametrically the opposite of the outside test twice and then oops we messed up you were right.  If oops you were right was concocted and the Michigan Governor knew. By By Governor to prison. Add in the fake Tea Party activists planned parenthood videos that were so fake a Tea Party appointed DA (Appointed by Perry) cleared planned parenthood and charged the activists. Maybe these Christians see the writing on the wall if this Flint situation turns worse.  I don't know if Trump will win. My hope is the carnival barker will loose and Ted Cruz will run the table.  I guess will see if the idiots win.  Maybe will all have to smoke something if Trump wins.  

Bert Perry's picture

Joe, reality here is that the Governor isn't Tea Party (he's pretty mainstream GOP, really), nor did he have anything to do with the Flint crisis.  That was precipatated by the city's desire to save a few bucks to save pensions (which are massively overcommitted, just like Social Security), and they ignored a ton of signs that the decision to withhold pH balancing chemicals was wrong.  Now the state board doesn't get off completely, but we just as certainly cannot blame Governor Snyder.

And yes, other GOP people are foolishly coming alongside Trump, but I really don't see how the very real Planned Parenthood footage comes into this.  Make no mistake; those are very real Planned Parenthood employees saying those and the full footage has been released.  Nobody had a gun to their heads forcing them to say those things.

And no, Rick Perry (no close relation) is also no darling of the Tea Party, nor is the DA.  I looked up her church, and it appears to be pretty straight southern PCUSA.  The charges are that it somehow corrupts Texas government records to have a fake California driver's license, and they're charging the would be buyer of fetal organs (that they know did not actually want to take possession) but not the would be seller--which has admitted that they were willing to sell the organs.

Which is a long way of saying that the DA's office is going to have some explaining to do on why they brought these charges, and I think in a just world, it would result in some disbarments in the DA's office.  The case they brought simply has "Nifong" written all over it.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

WallyMorris's picture

From the Time-Life book series "The Third Reich: The New Order":

"Hitler's rise to power was not the result of any public affirmation of his dark concept of racial purity and world domination; it was much more the product of national despair, confusion, and fear."  (p.7)

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com