Liberty University just lost a board member, thanks to its president’s enthusiastic endorsement of Donald Trump.
Mark DeMoss was not just a Liberty University board member, but considered its founder. He also considered Jerry Falwell Sr. a second father. DeMoss also chaired the board’s Executive Committee. That is, until he was asked to resign from the committee after blasting Trump.
Here’s what DeMoss told The Washington Post after Liberty’s current president, Jerry Falwell Jr., endorsed Trump:
“’Donald Trump is the only candidate who has dealt almost exclusively in the politics of personal insult. The bullying tactics of personal insult have no defense — and certainly not for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. That’s what’s disturbing to so many people. It’s not Christ-like behavior that Liberty has spent 40 years promoting with its students.’”
Now DeMoss has resigned from the board completely. Think Progress reports that DeMoss said:
“’While the decision to leave the committee I chaired was not mine, the decision to step down from the board was mine. The president/chancellor and the board chair and new executive committee chair were suggesting my motive for speaking to the Post was entirely political (that I was a political pawn of rival campaigns), rather than a genuine concern for the reputation of the university we trustees have (had) a fiduciary responsibility to protect. I concluded if they could not accept the reasons I gave them there was not sufficient trust to continue serving together.’”
Think Progress also explains why DeMoss is one of many evangelicals who have condemned Trump:
“Evangelical distaste for Trump — who nonetheless enjoys healthy support from evangelicals who attend church infrequently — is rooted in a rejection of his self-congratulatory style and struggles with religious literacy. Trump has been unable to name his favorite book of the Bible, declared that he doesn’t need God’s forgiveness because he’s ‘not making mistakes,’ almost mistakenly put money into the communion plate while attending an evangelical service, and sparked peals of laughter when he referred to a book of the Bible as ‘two Corinthians’ — instead of the more common phrase ‘second Corinthians’ — while speaking at Liberty University. He also has shown confusion regarding religious titles: when Trump posted a Tweet celebrating Falwell’s endorsement in January, he referred to the president as ‘Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr’ — even though Falwell is not a reverend or ordained in any capacity.”
But Falwell seems to think there’s nothing for evangelicals not to love about Trump. Falwell even defended Trump when Pope Francis rebuked his un-Christian attitude toward immigrants.
Falwell insists his endorsement of Trump is personal, not professional, because tax-exempt institutions like Liberty are not allowed to make political endorsements.
But I can’t help wondering if Trump didn’t make a nice donation to the school in return.
Featured image via Video
Watch Falwell gush over Trump, before the endorsement, below: