In an interview with Liberty University’s student newspaper last week, the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., defended his endorsement of Donald Trump.
Falwell, who has compared Trump to Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King Jr., said that conservative Christians who oppose the candidate should remember that “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer.”
He also noted that 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.” Of course, attacking others for being phony Christians for not supporting their candidate of choice has been standard practice for the modern Religious Right movement that was, in part, founded by his father.
Falwell recounted how he was very impressed by the presidential candidate’s 757, gushing over how Trump served his guests Wendy’s cheeseburgers and put a video of an Elton John concert on the television.
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.”
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.”