As a Christian, as a conservative, as a constitutionalist, as a Republican, as all four, I must ask Falwell the son, just as I cannot believe that it is in Falwell the father's footsteps he's following: What the devil is the matter with you with spouting this obsequious horsecrap?:
The son of iconic Liberty University founder Jerry Falwell hailed GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump as a "breath of fresh air" in a duplicitous political world and compared the real estate mogul to his father for eschewing political correctness.
In his affectionate introduction to Trump in an approximately half-hour speech on Monday, Jerry Falwell, Jr. told the story of how his dad proudly erected a billboard proclaiming the Lynchburg, Virginia institution "politically incorrect since 1971."....
"Donald Trump has stunned the political world by building an unlikely coalition that crosses all demographic boundaries of age, sex, race, religion and social classes and all party lines," Falwell said.
"Donald Trump is a breath of fresh air in a nation where the political establishment from both parties has betrayed their constituencies time and time again with broken promises and a continuation of the status quo."
So the one and only supposed connection between the late Reverend Falwell and Hairboy, even by his underwear-on-stage-throwing Trumplican groupie of a son is "eschewing political correctness"? Well, perhaps; but was Reverend Falwell an inveterate liar? Did not his "political incorrectness" stem from his Christian convictions and principles about which he refused to clam up in the face of leftwingnut hostility, as opposed to just being a loudmouthed dick? Did he make a habit of sprinkling his sermons and speeches with casual profanities? And was he not conversant in evangelical issues given that he, you know, ACTUALLY WAS ONE?
Remember Trump's first foray into the Iowa evangelical lion's den last summer, which is essentially unchanged six months later:
But for the actual voters who were in the room when Trump spoke to the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, it's possible Trump's greater sin has nothing to do with McCain. Instead, Trump's casual and disengaged characterization of religious faith may have made a far worse impression on the mostly evangelical conservatives who came to hear Trump and other Republican hopefuls speak.
If a candidate wants to make a good impression on religious voters in Iowa, he probably should not offer the answer Trump gave when moderator Frank Luntz asked whether Trump had ever asked God for forgiveness. "I am not sure I have," Trump said. "I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't."
A candidate who seeks to make a good impression should also probably refrain from describing Holy Communion in the way Trump did: "When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed. I think in terms of 'let's go on and let's make it right.'"
A senior Iowa Republican who was in the room, sitting with a group of grassroots activists as Trump spoke, was dumbfounded by the candidate's views of religion. "While there were audible groans in the crowd when Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero," the senior Republican said via email, "it was Trump's inability to articulate any coherent relationship with God or demonstrate the role faith plays in his life that really sucked the oxygen out of the room.."
The senior Republican continued: "Milling around talking to activists in the hallways/lobby after Trump's speech, THAT is what those Iowa conservatives were discussing, not the McCain comment."
New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alan Rappeport noticed the same thing: "It was these comments, not his attack on Mr. McCain, that prompted the most muttering and unease in the audience."
Attendees told the Times that Trump's casual use of the words "damn" and "hell" made a bad impression. "I was turned off at the very start because I didn't like his language,'' one woman who had been considering supporting Trump told the p"per. Admitting he never asks God's forgiveness didn't help. ''He sounds like he isn't really a born-again Christian," the woman added. [emphases added]
Trump's speech was more of the same Al Czervik-esque contempt-fest, transparently BSing evangelical listeners with promises to "protect Christianity" without any specifics as to even its context, much less any details, other than that perhaps he'll do so by "buying it" like his namesake planned to do the Bushwood Country Club. It was noteworthy only for his reference to Second Corinthians as "Two Corinthians".
At least he didn't mention leather in the same paragraph.
I suppose you can give credit to Trump for not pretending to be something he clearly isn't - a Christian - although that begs the question of why he's bothering with evangelicals at all. But the problem is that he is passing himself off as something else he clearly isn't - a conservative Republican - and a purported evangelical like Jerry Falwell, Jr. is so blindly undiscerning that he's following this pie-eyed piper as if Trump were riding a golden calf.
And, infuriatingly, he's not the only one:
“Past is prologue and if you look at someone’s past, it’s legit,” [Rick] Santorum began, but added, “people change and that’s a good thing. I want to encourage everybody to be more conservative.”
“You look at some of the greatest conservatives, many of them changed positions over the years,” Santorum added…
Santorum took a more skeptical line when asked about Cruz.
“You’ve seen a shift,” he said.
“If you’re going out there as he is and saying ‘Trust Ted’ and ‘I am the guy you can trust all the time because I’m not going to waver’ [but] then you have a whole laundry list of wavers and changes, then I think it’s fair game.”
Allahpundit - who, it should be added, is a professed atheist - head-shakingly quipped, "Lifelong practicing Christian Ted Cruz is a shifty flip-flopper but longtime Democrat donor and Hillary pal Donald Trump should be welcomed into the conservative fold? Good to know that Rick Santorum’s principles don’t depend on electoral strategy."
Praise the LORD not every evangelical has sold his/her soul:
[Russell] Moore, [president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and] who wrote Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, sub-tweeted the approximate forty-five-minute event.
He slammed the speech as:
And warned evangelicals:
He also bashed Trump for his front-running bragging:
This, however, was Mr. Moore's best tweet of the speech, and serves as a fitting exit question:
God willing. But at Liberty University, at least, it's not looking good.