Jerry Falwell Jr., Islamophobe, attorney, President of Liberty University, and son of the late Reverend Jerry Falwell Sr., has been asked by the Trump Team to lead a Higher Education Task Force. Both the Trump camp and Falwell say he was originally offered the job of Education Secretary. He turned it down because he preferred a job where he could remain at Liberty University.
Jerry Falwell Sr., a fiery Southern Baptist preacher, was a key member of the Fundamentalist Evangelical group that created the Christian Right, or “Moral Majority”, back in 1980. This group was responsible for the election of Ronald Reagan. Although the key issue they settled on was abortion and Roe v. Wade, that was not always the position of the Church.
When the Roe decision was handed down, W. A. Criswell, the Southern Baptist Convention’s former president and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas—also one of the most famous fundamentalists of the 20th century—was pleased: “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person,” he said, “and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.” (Politico)
The actual issue was desegregation, and the desire to prevent it. Paul Weyrich, co-founder of Heritage Foundation, worked together and determined “Religious Liberty” was the cause against which they could argue. The Bible dictated students should not co-mingle with those of other races. The Civil Rights Act and the suit against Bob Jones University were the rallying cry they needed to motivate their movement. Once Carter lost the election, Falwell took the credit on behalf of the new Moral Majority.
His son Jerry Falwell Jr. was brought up in this same environment, and he eventually took on his father’s role as president of Liberty University. He has been at the center of a lot of controversy over the past year, not only because of his early and unwavering support for Trump. Within days of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, he told students:
“It just blows my mind that the president of the United States [says] that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control,” he said to applause.
“If some of those people in that community center had what I have in my back pocket right now …,” he said while being interrupted by louder cheers and clapping. “Is it illegal to pull it out? I don’t know,” he said, chuckling.
“I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,” he says, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud applause while he said, “and killed them.”
“I just wanted to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course,” he said. “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.”(WaPo)
Needless to say, this made a lot of people uncomfortable even coming onto campus, especially young Muslim students. Many protested events at the school, most notably two high school juniors who sat out a high level debate championship.
Trump, who ended up settling a court case involving a for-profit university, has found in Falwell Jr., an ally. He believes in loosening the government’s role in the accreditation process for private universities and for-profit schools. This would roll back the gains made by President Obama. These included holding the schools accountable by having the loans tied to their records of getting students the jobs they were promised. “The goal is to pare it back and give colleges and their accrediting agencies more leeway in governing their affairs,” Mr. Falwell told The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Plus one for another white supremacist anti-government Christofascist to help bring about the Trumpocalypse!