The evangelical leader is putting politics above prayer and calling the cops.
It turns out Trump cheerleader Jerry Falwell Jr. does have his limits.
Yes, the president of right-wing Liberty University publicly stood by Trump after he bragged about assaulting women, and then defended Trump after he praised white nationalist terrorists in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.
So when it comes to Trump, Falwell refuses to make any kind of stand for decency. But Falwell recently did draw a very strict line when a left-leaning Christian leader offered to join Falwell in peaceful prayer on the Liberty campus.
Shane Claiborne, founder of the Red Letter Christians movement, invited Falwell to pray with him as part of a two-day revival event in Lynchburg, Virginia, the home of the Falwell’s evangelical university.
“Claiborne is hosting the event near Liberty University to try and show believers can be evangelical and care about the environment, the poor and the immigrant,” according to Christian Today.
Falwell’s response? Claiborne received a letter threatening to have him arrested for trespassing, a crime for which he could be jailed up to a year and fined $2,500 if he dared show up on Liberty University property uninvited.
BREAKING: I sent @JerryFalwellJr a sincere request to pray with us at the #LynchburgRevival. His response? A letter threatening up to a year in jail and a $2500 fine if we attempt to pray on campus @LibertyU, even with students and alumni. Here are both letters. pic.twitter.com/hiGq3C0Zh5
— Shane Claiborne (@ShaneClaiborne) April 5, 2018
So much for brotherly love.
Falwell’s the son of the late Jerry Falwell Sr., who founded Liberty University as a bastion of right-wing evangelical education in the 1970s.
Falwell Jr. has continued much of his father’s tradition of placing partisan politics above faith. He spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention about the need to unite behind Trump, who would “uphold the Second Amendment” and “appoint conservative pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.”
Farwell’s defense of Trump after he praised white supremacists as “very fine people” last year even stunned some Liberty University students.
A former head of the student government association at Liberty told NPR at the time, “In defending the president’s comments, Jerry Falwell Jr. is making himself and, it seems to me, the university he represents, complicit.”
Falwell will defend Trump’s white nationalism in the name of Liberty University, but he won’t allow peaceful progressive prayer.