Jerry Falwell, Jr. endorses separation of Church and State?

Jerry Falwell, Jr. is none too pleased at Pope Francis for suggesting that Donald Trump (and the rest of the Republican primary candidates) are not true Christians due to their support for a massive wall between the United States and Mexico.

As he explained to CNN, “Jesus never intended to give instructions to political leaders on how to run a country.”

Ha. Ha.

This would be the same Jerry Falwell, Jr. who runs a university dedicated to training future political leaders on what Jesus’s instructions for running a country would be — and getting them wrong. His entire career is premised on mixing religion and politics. He is the actual last person who can say with a straight face that Jesus is agnostic on American public policy.

Although if he just now had a revelation and changed his mind, I guess that’s okay:

Jerry Falwell, Jr., screenshot via YouTube

Jerry Falwell, Jr., screenshot via YouTube

Falwell’s complete lack of self-awarness aside, though, this is far from the first time a religious conservatives who has spent their career injecting their religion into politics has told Pope Francis to slow his roll when it comes to commenting on American politics. This is a pope who is outspoken on the need to address economic inequality and climate change, and is emphatically against the death penalty. And every time he speaks out on those topics, he’s got Catholic Republican politicians who are normally proud to legislate their religion — Rick Santorum comes to mind — telling him to kindly butt out. The pope may be infallible, but only when he isn’t so damn progressive, you know?

While we’re at it, let’s be clear: Pope Francis is far from the only religious leader who has called Donald Trump’s Christian faith into question — and with good reason. Just yesterday, Evangelical shock jock Bryan Fischer went as far as to say that the only reason conservative Christians were supporting Trump was Satan himself. Given that Donald Trump is transparently irreligious, his professions of piety are absolutely fair game for religious leaders — who are generally supposed to be the arbiters of such matters. Trump’s response to Pope Francis contended that it was “disgraceful” for a religious leader to question someone else’s faith. It’s actually a big part of their job. And on a number of metrics, from his complete lack of compassion to his three marriages to his utter lack of knowledge about basic Christian traditions — such as asking God for forgiveness — Donald Trump fails his religious test. It isn’t “disgraceful” to point that out.

And let’s be clearer: Since when was calling a candidates’ faith into question out of bounds in American politics? Especially on the Right, where professions of faith are considered obligatory for any and all potential leaders? The Republican Party has spent the last eight years casting aspersions about our current president’s faith. They made an issue out of John F. Kennedy’s Catholicism. Thomas Jefferson had to field (probably true) accusations of being an atheist when he ran for president! Questioning the faith of our prospective leaders is as much a tradition in American politics as requiring that our leaders be faithful in the first place.

As long as politicians feel compelled to tell us how much their religion will influence their politics, the sincerity of their faith will remain fair game for scrutiny.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Pimar Solet

    Jesus told the authorities are God’s servants and it is necessary to submit to the authorities. He warned not to follow people who will come in his name and they will preach the end of the world (”He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” Luke 21:8)

    Religions have maximised their robbery by getting tax exemption and caused a huge Society, economy distortion.

    Example:

    ”But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

    43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:42-44

    ”Poor widow” put all in and what did Jesus do? He praised her works instead of telling people they should not give to temples (Churches) but pay taxes to governments as he earlier taught:

    They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

    “Caesar’s,” they replied.

    17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

    And they were amazed at him.” Mark 12:16-17

    Instead of clapping his hands while the coins are been robbed from the poor, he should have given her a substantial sum taken from the fat wallet of apostles. Apostles had the money? ”sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 4:37

    At the apostles feet, not given to poor as commanded by God,

    ”When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.” Deuteronomy 26:12

    Tithe is ought to deliver every third year. In our time, we have whole nations in poor condition and it is due to divisive teachings of Jesus. As his followers were amazed so are we today confused and angry.

    Did apostles say whom we should pay our taxes or tithe?

    ”Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

    6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:1-7

    ”Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” – God established the government to govern us. Religions have added themselves.

    ”They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” – Beware religious preachers to face the wrath of God because of your prolonged crime.

    ”This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.” – Individuals in governments of the nations are servants of God, not these religious preachers who only collect the money and play their roles as deceivers or angels of Satan (Revelation 12:9). They have played perfectly in front of people and cannot hide anymore since everyone knows them. Now the false show is over because the man God promised to send has already revealed the Name of God for us to call the Name,

    “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.”

    Deuteronomy 18:18-19 NIV

    God promised to send His Last Prophet in time to tell us His Name and will put His words in His prophets mouth and him we are to listen only and not a vast army of preachers who have studied Bible and still argue each other (Jewish, Christians, and Islam).

    Be reminded; he is a foreigner as prophesied in 1 Kings 8:41-43 The man promised by God (late) Maestro Teacher Evangelista of http://www.thename.ph or http://www.thenameonline.info

  • Bill_Perdue

    Religion is the enemy.

    Tax them until they fall and can’t get up.

  • Quilla

    I love the smell of irony in the morning…

    …and the sound of exploding heads,

  • Ichabod2016

    Donald has no conscience about anything: being a draft dodger,being fined for being a racist in 1973 by the DOJ, mocking a disabled journalist,mocking a war hero (McCain), driving veterans off Fifth Ave because they made the street look like a slum, raising money for veterans and now refuses to give them the money, and usiing the famous Hitler slogan “Making Germany great Again.
    It will be difficult to avoid prosecution for stealing millions from financial institutions through the issue of junk bonds. His former CEO has spilled the beans and now he faces the same fate as Enron Execs..jailed for lying about their true financial position.

  • Say whatever the moment demands. . . .

  • The_Fixer

    This just keeps getting better and better. First was the dust-up between the Pope and Trumpo. Now we have spawn of one of the most detestable Evangelical preachers making the biggest gaffe ever!

    Pure comedy gold. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

  • Don Chandler

    I think Francis may be the most humble Pope ever. But his ship is mutinous and corrupt to the bone. Good luck to the pope and I mean it.

  • But Mr. Falwell, on the other hand, is happy to tell you how he’d enforce his theocratic fundamentalist Christian vision on Americans everywhere.

  • confusion

    In the Conservative community irony haz no limits..

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I love that “evangelical shock jock” is a job title.

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