Under the Dark Spell of Trump, Jerry Falwell Jr. Is Damaging Public Christian Witness


Source: National Review


August 25, 2016 4:00 AM

With his partisan, reckless comments, the Evangelical celebrity dishonors his Christian faith. Why do some Evangelical Christians act in ways that reinforce some of the worst stereotypes propagated by their critics? Take Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, which claims to be the largest Christian University in the world. Falwell, together with the Reverend Robert Jeffress, a pastor and televangelist, has been among Donald Trump’s most enthusiastic Evangelical cheerleaders.

How enthusiastic? In his recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, Falwell called Trump a “leader with qualities that resemble those of Winston Churchill” — demonstrating a staggering historical ignorance about Churchill and a stunning blindness about Trump.

Winston Churchill was arguably the greatest orator of the 20th century; in the 21st, Trump is among the most banal. Churchill possessed extraordinary knowledge of history and policy; Trump is the most ignorant major-party candidate in U.S. history. Churchill was extraordinarily prepared to become prime minister; Trump would be the least qualified American president ever.

Falwell’s analysis is sloppy and shoddy. For example, he complains about the $19 trillion national debt while failing to note that, under a President Trump, it would explode. Trump has gone out of his way to criticize those who want to reform entitlement programs, which is the great driver of our debt. He’s promised to double (to $500 billion) the amount Hillary Clinton will spend on infrastructure. And his tax proposal would drain trillions from the Treasury.

There is nothing in Mr. Trump’s agenda to suggest that he has any interest in “less government.” The president of Liberty University also said Trump will “take the battle to that enemy [ISIS].” But as recently as last fall, when the Islamic State controlled larger areas in Syria and Iraq than it does today, Trump was saying that ISIS was not ours to take on and that we should “let Russia fight it.” That is hardly taking the battle to the enemy. Trump now says he would declare war on ISIS but wage it with “very few troops.” We’d win the war with “unbelievable intelligence.” As usual with Trump, one should put the emphasis on “unbelievable.”

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