Meet Jerry Falwell, Jr., Who Just Endorsed Trump And Wants To Shoot Muslims

Robyn Pennacchia | January 26, 2016 - 3:00 pm

If you ever want to really delve into why our country is so screwed up these days, take a couple hours and look into the life and history of Jerry Falwell and his influence on the Republican Party.

Falwell was largely responsible for the rise of the Christian Right, and due to his ability to churn out large numbers of Evangelical Christians to the voting booths for Ronald Reagan and others, exerted a huge amount of influence on Republican leaders. Thus, said leaders could no longer get away with being moderate on social issues. For instance, the first President Bush had been pro-choice and, actually, was such a huge advocate for birth control that he earned the nickname “Rubbers” in Congress–until he realized he couldn’t get elected without going pro-life.

Falwell was a scary and hateful man for nearly all of his life. In 1958, he commented on the Brown vs. The Board of Education ruling by saying “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never had been made. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”

He later stated that he’d been wrong about segregation, but he never backed off on his hatefulness. He just turned it on gay people, women, labor unions and Teletubbies. Yes, Teletubbies. He was mad because he thought Tinky Winky was going to turn children gay.

After 9/11, Falwell said “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'”

Since the rise of Falwell and the Moral Majority, Republicans have gone increasingly and more fervently further to the right–which leads us to where we are now with the popularity of extreme candidates like Donald Trump. 

And Donald Trump just secured the endorsement of Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University, the “college” OG Falwell started for the purpose of further influencing the American political process.

Falwell, Jr.–though not as often in the public eye as his father was, is no less extreme. In addition to learning creationism and climate denial in science classes, Liberty is perhaps best known for it’s extremely robust government internship program. The purpose of this, of course, is to maintain the Christian Right’s influence on our government.

Recently, Falwell, Jr. made the news by announcing his support for concealed carry–for the purpose of shooting Muslims before they can commit a terrorist act against you.

If some of those people in that community center had what I have in my back pocket right now … Is it illegal to pull it out? I don’t know. .. I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them.

It’s probably fair to note at this time that the vast majority of terrorist attacks since 9/11 have been committed by white, right wing Christians. Also worthy of noting is that you can’t just shoot people because you are a weird bigot who thinks every Muslim person walking into a building is there to kill you.

But, with views like these and with a father like that, it’s no wonder he has now officially endorsed Donald Trump, who has a similarly callous attitude towards those of the Muslim faith, and who has made a name for himself by being a heinous bigot in general.

In a statement, Falwell called Trump “a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.” In a previous interview, he had noted that Trump reminded him “so much” of his father.

Yikes. Being anything like Jerry Falwell should not be a compliment. No one should be pleased to be compared to someone who was afraid Tinky Winky was going to turn children gay.

Accepting the endorsement, Trump said “It is truly an honor to receive Jerry’s endorsement. Not only is he a high-quality person, with a wonderful family, whom I have great respect for — I also consider him a very good friend and his support means so much to me.”

A wonderful family indeed!

Prior to his official endorsement, Falwell said that Trump was just like “Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jerry Falwell”–which is rather interesting given how much Jerry Falwell disliked Dr. King, the fact that he supported the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the fact that Trump himself is, well, kind of a giant racist and is totally fine with his supporters attacking black people in his audiences. 

The problem here is–as much as you or I might be thinking “Oh, holy crap, all these people are horrifying, there is no way Donald Trump can be president or that anyone would listen to any of them”–there is cause for concern. Given what his father did to this country, and the way he was able to level his influence among evangelical voters, it’s quite likely that Junior could follow in his footsteps. And if that happens, we’re all screwed. As frightening as Donald Trump is, another Falwell with leverage is worse.