(RNS) — The news that Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. allegedly sought out President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to help prevent the release of some embarrassing personal photos has rocked the mediasphere for mostly political reasons.
Those have to do with whether Cohen’s intervention led Falwell to issue a crucial evangelical endorsement of Trump ahead of the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.
Falwell, who has denied Cohen’s account, is an ardent champion of the president. Just this week Falwell tweeted that Trump was owed an extension of his term as “reparations” for the time spent on the Mueller investigation.
But while some evangelicals faulted Falwell for his endorsement of a president whose behavior has been at odds with many evangelical values, the allegations of racy personal photos call into question Falwell’s own behavior and whether they align with evangelical sexual mores.