Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President, seems to be having an “Evangelical” problem. One of the most well known, and largest Christian Universities in the world has backed him simply because its President Jerry Falwell Jr. said so. However, a group claiming to be the majority of the students and staff of that same university has released an open letter rebelling against being associated with a man they say is absolutely opposed to the tenets of their faith. They have formed a group called Liberty Against Trump.
In the months since Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed him, Donald Trump has been inexorably associated with Liberty University. We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell’s endorsement and are tired of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history. Donald Trump does not represent our values and we want nothing to do with him.
They letter states that Trump received only 90 votes from Liberty University students in the Virginia primary, out of 80,494. Let that sink in a moment, that is one-tenth of one percent of the student body. However, Falwell jr. has been dragging all of them along with him in what seems to be a personal quest to get a man who is the literal opposite of everything he claims to believe into the White House.
Students and staff are tired of being flaunted by a man who appears to “shrug off” sexual assault and other very expressly forbidden sins to support Trump. They don’t want to be associated with what they call not only a “bad” choice but “actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose.”
A recently uncovered tape revealed his comments bragging about sexually assaulting women. Any faculty or staff member at Liberty would be terminated for such comments, and yet when Donald Trump makes them, President Falwell rushes eagerly to his defense – taking the name “Liberty University” with him. “We’re all sinners,” Falwell told the media, as if sexual assault is a shoulder-shrugging issue rather than an atrocity which plagues college campuses across America, including our own.
The fact is that this literally shows that the Evangelical leaders backing Trump are not, in fact, representing their “constituency.” They are attempting to lead them to do something in opposition of their own values for personal gain and party loyalty. You would think that Evangelicals like Falwell jr. would be more concerned with their God than their political affiliation.
Sin has never been a problem, not for evangelicals because they believe all people are sinners, all they have to do is repent. Trump has never apologized, never repented. This is a problem for those who actually follow the tenets of the religion that Liberty University claims to base its education in. It is not, however a problem for people who are only using Evangelicals for a vote.
These students are tired of the lies, Evangelicals and Christians are supposed to vote based on their religious convictions — not the Republican Party’s choice to nominate a man in direct opposition of them.
It seems that Liberty University has just been outed as a “Republican pawn,” using its “Christian” label to encourage Evangelicals to vote for the Republican nominee literally despite their beliefs.
Beliefs that actually sound a lot like this, the conclusion to the letter from the Liberty students and staff:
It is not enough to criticize these kinds of comments. We must make clear to the world that while everyone is a sinner and everyone can be forgiven, a man who constantly and proudly speaks evil does not deserve our support for the nation’s highest office.
Jesus tells a story in the Bible about a man who tries to remove a speck of dust from his brother’s eye, while he has a log stuck in his own. “You hypocrite,” Jesus says, “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
We Liberty students are often told to support Donald Trump because the other leading candidate is a bad option. Perhaps this is true. But the only candidate who is directly associated with Liberty University is Donald Trump.
Because our president has led the world to believe that Liberty University supports Donald Trump, we students must take it upon ourselves to make clear that Donald Trump is absolutely opposed to what we believe, and does not have our support.
We are not proclaiming our opposition to Donald Trump out of bitterness, but out of a desire to regain the integrity of our school. While our president Jerry Falwell Jr. tours the country championing the log in his eye, we want the world to know how many students oppose him. We don’t want to champion Donald Trump; we want only to be champions for Christ.