President Donald Trump has clarified the role of Religious Right favorite son Jerry Falwell Jr. in his administration: leading a task force on higher education.
It hasn’t been a secret what members of the Religious Right sought under their Christmas trees this year, and voters playing the role of Santa Claus delivered: Donald Trump for president.
If there’s anyone out there who still thinks the Donald Trump presidency won’t be so bad for separation of church and state, chew on this: Trump offered the job of Education Secretary to Jerry Falwell Jr.
That’s right: Trump was prepared to turn the U.S. Department of Education over to a biblical literalist who would have been absolutely unqualified for the job.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reiterated his desire to change a federal law that prohibits houses of worship from endorsing candidates during his speech last night at the Republican National Convention (RNC).
“At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits.
Jerry Falwell Jr., the chancellor of Liberty University who along with his father spent years trying to infuse their narrow interpretation of the Bible into U.S. law, is now trying to argue that Jesus never intended to instruct politicians.
Really? Then what was that Moral Majority business all about?
Some far-right Christians have a hard time obeying the law. Among them is Religious Right attorney Matt Barber, who really dislikes the idea of church-state separation and particularly has a bone to pick with the Internal Revenue Code’s prohibition against pulpit politicking by houses of worship.
In a recent column, Barber spouted the tired, old line that “the words ‘separation of church and state’ are found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution….”
I sometimes help out with logistics when Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn is traveling for a speech or a debate. I’m used to people asking me what hotel chains Barry prefers or what he likes to eat, but in September when Barry was debating Religious Right attorney Mat Staver at Liberty University, I got a question I hadn’t heard before: The folks at Liberty wanted to know if Barry or anyone traveling with him would be armed. The school had no objection to Barry or a member of his party carrying a concealed weapon, they just wanted to know beforehand.
It finally happened. I was actually invited to participate in an event at Liberty University!
Although I have spoken at Pat Robertson’s Regent University on several occasions and was even a judge once at its law school’s moot court competition, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell’s creation in Lynchburg, Va., had always been an impenetrable venue for me. I assumed that the failure to have me there may have been related to a comment Falwell once made on CNN’s “Crossfire” – that he would not allow me to preach “out on the corner” near Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Companies offering insurance coverage to Liberty University are not required to defend the school against charges that it allegedly participated in a 2009 kidnapping, a federal appeals court has ruled.