How Could a Serious Man of Faith Endorse Trump?

The Context

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.”

Trumping Morality

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.

PAT: Uh-huh.

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)

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Glenn wrote this essay on September 12, 2001. Are we the same people now?

ED JONES / Contributor | Getty Images

Twenty two years ago today on September 12th, 2001, Glenn wrote an essay called "The Greatest American Generation." These were his visceral thoughts immediately following the 9/11 attacks. This beautiful essay calls upon the American spirit to rise to the occasion to pull us through what was one of the darkest days in our nation's history. He called us to unite around the common vision that unites us as Americans.

Yesterday, Glenn revisited this essay, wondering if we are the same people who could have pulled through that dark hour. Do you still believe the things that he wrote in this essay? Or have we become a people too divided to overcome a tragedy of the magnitude of 9/11? Consider these questions as you read Glenn's essay below, "The Greatest American Generation," published on September 12, 2001.

I've always believed that the greatest American generation is the one that's living, in the here and the now. The question is not if this is the greatest American generation. The question was when were we going to wake up? I remember staying at my grandparents' house in the summer when I was small. Every morning my grandmother would open the attic door and call up, "Kids, time to wake up." For me she'd have to do this a couple of times before I'd lumber out of bed and cross the cold, squeaky wooden floor. But finally, I would. And she'd be there in the kitchen ready with breakfast. My grandfather was already outside in the henhouse because there was work to do. They were hardworking, good and decent people. Seemed to me that they were from not only a different time but a different place. They weren't.

The spirit of our parents and our grandparents isn't from some foreign place. It hasn't died out. It's a flame that flickers in all Americans. It's there and it's ready to blaze to life when we're ready to face the challenges that now lie at our feet. It's what sets us apart. It's what built this country. It's why our borders still teem with the poor and the tired and those yearning to be free, burned with zeal in the hearts of millions of immigrants from every corner of the Earth who came here in search of a better way of life. The flame that Lady Liberty holds is the American spirit which burns deep within all of us, no matter what our race, gender, our religious background. And today the world is watching us. It's really nothing new. It always has.

Since the dawn of man people dreamt of a better life, dreamt of a better way, of freedom. But it was Americans that finally found a way to build it. And out of all that we've built, the powerful machines, the computers, the weapons of mass destruction, hardware and software that we spent millions on every year to protect and keep the plan secret, our biggest seeming secret, the one the world wants most of all, isn't a secret at all. It's something we freely give to the rest of the world. And while it seems self‑evident to us, for some reason it can't be duplicated. Yet it can be passed on from person to person, torch to torch. It's the American spirit.

If you weren't trapped in one of those towers or on a plane or in the Pentagon, then you have great reason to humbly give thanks today, not for our lives but because we're the lucky ones. God hasn't forsaken us. He's awakened us. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, he's gently called out, "Kids, it's time to wake up! We've been given another chance."

Thousands of years ago in Babel, the great civilization in their arrogance built a tower that reached the sky. It crumbled and they were scattered. Our heart and steely symbols of power and wealth may have crumbled, but we have not been scattered. Americans aren't ever going to scatter. Let the world recognize through our actions today that those firefighters in New York are not the exception. They are the rule. Americans don't run from burning buildings. We run into them. It was a beautiful fall morning on the edge of the land created through divine providence. Coffee shops were open. Children were on their buses and people easing into another typical workday when America's greatest generation heard the voice: "Kids, it's time to wake up."

Several times we've ignored the voice. We've drifted back into twilight sleep muttering, "I know, I know, in a minute." But finally we are awake and out of bed, for there is much work to do. The task before us is much more daunting than what our grandparents and parents faced, but we are stronger, a more prepared nation. The torch has been passed. We are the greatest American generation. The American spirit is alive and well. Our flame has not burned out. It had just been dimmed while we were asleep."

Remembering 9/11: A call to unify as Americans

Robert Giroux / Staff | Getty Images

Glenn often harkens back to September 11, 2001, as a pivotal day for the American spirit. When American Airlines Flight 11 hit the South Tower at 8:46 a.m. that sunny September morning in Manhattan, there was no question that September 11 would become one of the most consequential moments in American history. However, in that moment, the outcome of that day was yet to be determined.

How would September 11 be remembered in history textbooks? Would it be the beginning of the end of our Republic? Many thought so and for just reason. Our country was under attack. Planes hijacked by our enemy were headed towards the buildings that represented the institutions that comprise the fabric of our republic. If there was any day that called into question our nation's future, it was September 11.

New York City firefighters and a photojournalist work at Ground Zero after two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin TowersRon Agam / Stringer | Getty Images

But the American spirit had a different narrative in mind. Instead of caving to the narrative that the hijackers attempted to write, the American people rose to the occasion that duty beckoned. As Glenn wrote in an essay the day after the September 11 attacks, "Americans don't run from burning buildings. We run into them." And we did. Many remained there as their final burial place.

The American people rose to the occasion that duty beckoned.

As New York Governor Pataki remarked, "On that terrible day, a nation became neighbors." We weren't Democrats. We weren't Republicans. On that day, we were Americans. We chose to write a different narrative in the history books following 9/11, one of resilience, bravery, brotherhood, and the triumph of the American spirit.

As Glenn so poignantly wrote on September 12th:

The spirit of our parents and our grandparents isn't from some foreign place. It hasn't died out. It's a flame that flickers in all Americans.

And that flickering light turned into a roaring fire on that pivotal day, one that not even the fires in the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, or the empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania could consume.

We chose to write a different narrative in the history books following 9/11, one of resilience, bravery, brotherhood, and the triumph of the American spirit.

But can we say the same about the American people today? Do we still carry the flickering flame of the American spirit that has been passed down to us from generations past? As Glenn reflected today, 22 years after penning those words, he isn't so sure. And I'm not either.

A candlelight vigil for the victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attack is held at Union Square in New York City.Evan Agostini / Contributor | Getty Images

The same American spirit that we relied upon to pull us through September 11 seems to be a waning flame in a torch that few are clinging to. We are increasingly losing sight of what it means to be an American. Common principles that we traditionally shared across party lines are now being vehemently contested, both by the ruling class and in the public square. This is not the same America that triumphed over September 11.

We are increasingly losing sight of what it means to be an American.

This raises the troubling question: Could we endure another attack of a similar magnitude? Would the triumph of the American spirit dictate the narrative of that day, or would a foreign enemy steal the pen from liberty's fingers? These are the tough questions we must wrestle with in our pivotal moment as a nation.

But these questions aren't devoid of hope. There is still time to recall those timeless principles that transcended party lines on September 11 and united us as Americans. There is still time to nurse the waning flame for those who are committed to holding liberty's torch. There is still time to view our political opponents as, in the words of Pataki, "neighbors," whose livelihood and future depend on the survival of our great nation.

There is still time to recall those timeless principles that transcended party lines on September 11.

But that window is short. We must strive towards unity now if our nation hopes to, as Lincoln said in his own time of division, "endure."

As Glenn wrote in that essay on September 12, 2001, we must be, "awake and out of bed, for there is much work to do. [...] Our flame has not burned out. It had just been dimmed while we were asleep."

Acouple cary the American flag down a lower-Manhattan street a week after the September 11 attacksRichard Baker / Contributor | Getty Images

Flames cannot flicker forever. If they are not nursed, they will flicker out, leaving darkness in its wake. It's time to wake up. We must be attentive and awake, nursing the remnant of liberty's flame until it is blazing like it did 22 years ago today. We cannot let it die on our watch. Too many people have sacrificed too much for us to drop the torch.

Is your wallet ON FIRE? You can thank Bidenomics for that.

Biden has been touting the alleged success of his economic plan. But why are 61 percent of U.S. consumers living paycheck to paycheck? In Wednesday's Glenn TV episode, Glenn showed you all the ways that the Biden admin has been skewing economic figures in their favor to boost their PR campaign. But one thing is for certain: the Biden admin's reckless spending continues to drive up inflation. You feel this every time you go to the grocery store or fill up your car with gas.

What's worse? The Biden admin doesn't even factor in groceries and gas into their inflation rate! Don't be fooled when they boast that they've brought interest rates down. The prices of products the average American consumes every day remain nearly doubled to what it was under the Trump admin.

See for yourself. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the most popular grocery items priced under the Trump admin and the Biden admin.

Cost of 1 Dozen Eggs

Price of 1lb. Ground Beef

Price of 1lb. Chicken

Price of 1 Gallon of Milk

Price of 1 Liter of Soda

Price of 1 Loaf of Bread