Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, endorsed Donald Trump for president on Tuesday. The endorsement came as a huge disappointment to Glenn, who deeply respects Mr. Falwell: "I really like Jerry Falwell. He's a good man. Liberty University is a great university. I can't say anything bad about Jerry Falwell or the University. He's a great man."
Men of Faith and the Trump Factor
Jerry Falwell isn't the only evangelical leader singing Trump's praises. Robert Jeffress, who leads First Baptist Dallas and is a Fox News contributor, has been introducing Trump on the stump. As a pastor, Jeffress cannot officially endorse any candidate and maintain his church’s tax-exempt status, but he's made his choice very clear: “I want you to know I would not be here this morning if I were not absolutely convinced that Donald Trump would make a great President of the United States.”
In a brilliant essay, Dr Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University (yes, that Dr. Everett who wrote This Is Not a Daycare, It's a University), perfectly expressed how principles and character matter: "Party affiliation and political positions do not matter. Personal conduct, public statements, theological integrity and moral consistency do."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council agreed with the sentiment when he endorsed Ted Cruz on Tuesday: "Ted is a constitutional conservative who will fight for faith, family and freedom. He will defend our right to believe and live according to those beliefs. Our families will be protected and freedom will once again mean something in America."
Common Sense Bottom Line
Dr. Everett summed it up best: "I believe in morality more than I do in money. I hold to principles more than I yearn for power. I trust my Creator more than I do human character. I’d like to think that all this, and more, makes me an informed and thoughtful citizen and voter. I’ve read, I’ve listened and I’ve studied and there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing, in this man’s track record that makes Donald Trump 'on my side.' I refuse to let my desire to win 'trump' my moral compass. I will not sell my soul or my university’s to a political process that values victory more than virtue."
Enjoy this complimentary clip from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: So you're talking about Jerry Falwell.
PAT: Yeah. For one. But there's others.
GLENN: Yeah, I really, really like him. I really like Jerry Falwell. He's a good man. Liberty University is a great university. I can't say anything bad about Jerry Falwell or the University. He's a great man.
PAT: Just a surprising endorsement.
GLENN: I think what you have to understand -- and, Pat, we've had -- you know this. We've had one very big evangelical leader. Huge. Uge. Who said to me when I said, "Come on. Really. What is going on here? You know better than this. What is going on?" You know. Two Corinthians, you know better than this.
Quote, Glenn, I'm just going to leave it at this. You know all the work we're doing and all the service we're doing and all the things we're doing all around the world.
Just leave it at this, he's a very generous man. He's a very generous man.
And as I said to that individual, "That I believe would be in the Bible under bribery. You can call it what you want, but that's bribery."
STU: You're not accusing Jerry Falwell --
GLENN: No, no, no.
STU: This is not that person at all, to be clear.
GLENN: I have no idea. I take Jerry Falwell at his word. I have nothing bad to say about Jerry Falwell at all or Liberty University. He is a good man. This is somebody else that has said this to me, what? Two months ago. And it's shocking. It's shocking. But you just have to -- you just have to look at -- I mean, remember, Donald Trump is a deal-maker. You come to the table, you're either for him or against him.
You know, the Democrats didn't like it when the George Bush said to the Islamists, "You're either for us or against us." Those are people that were crucifying people. This president, the one we have currently right now, has that same policy, where if you're against him, you're dead. It just doesn't matter. You're just nonexistent. And he will send his people out to get you. They will do everything they can to hurt your business.
All you have to do is kiss the ring. All you have to do is just bow. Genuflect. The only reason why Donald Trump is coming after me is because I won't give him what he demands. My silence. That's it.
That's it. I'm just saying what he has said -- we're playing on the air what he has said. He can't take anyone disagreeing with him. You have to be a loser, a has-been, a crazy person, a drunk, a whatever. Whatever.
GLENN: If you don't agree with him, you're over. He's a very dangerous man. And I don't know if, you know, anybody at this point is even listening to me, who, you know, is thinking about voting for Donald Trump. And, you know, I doubt it. Just seeing the vitriol. I don't know how to reach those people, and I wish I did.
And I really -- it makes me sad because we have been together for so long and you have stood with me for so long and you have been right with me when we learned about the progressives, when we learned about history, and I showed you all of this. I showed you all of this. I warned about this very thing happening. And it's happening. It's why I preached loved and tolerance. You can't be angry. You can't be -- it wasn't because of Donald Trump. I knew this Donald Trump-like character would appear because they always do.
Father Coughlin is a very great example. When you have economic security and physical security challenged and people feel insecure on those two things, a demagogue always approaches and says, "I will fix it all." And that's why you cannot -- you have to know what your principles are.
And that's why it's disappointing to see people like Jerry Falwell, who, again, I love and adore the man, I just disagree with him on this. But here's a man who should know better. Because the people are crying out for a king right now, and that never ends well.
The reason why I've said it in the past that I would send my kids to Liberty University -- I'm Mormon. I'd send my kids to Liberty University. Because I'm not afraid of my kids learning about different theology and everything else. They'll make their own mind up. They'll know. They'll find the truth. I encourage them: Seek on your own. Find the truth. So I'd send them to Liberty University because Liberty University teaches the fundamental principles.
How Jerry Falwell who can have in his -- one of the best law schools in the country, great law school, has a mock Supreme Court there on campus, how he can think that Donald Trump is going to be the guy who is going to pick four Supreme Court justices that will protect religion is beyond me. It's not in him. It's not in him. But to each his own.
Featured Image: Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. (R) presents Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with a sports jersey after he delivered the convocation in the Vines Center at the university January 18, 2016 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Although Falwell said the university does not endorse a particular candidate, he left no question as to who he is supporting in the 2016 presidential race. Highlighting Trump's conservative credentials, charity and politically incorrect speech, Falwell said, 'I see a lot of parallels between my father and Donald Trump.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)