Trump at Liberty University: Critics Are ‘Pathetic’
“As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith,” President Trump said to the crowd of graduates at Liberty University
Leesburg, VA — Trump delivers the Commencement Address at Liberty University.
“Nothing is easier and more pathetic than being a critic, because they’re people that can’t get the job done,” Trump said at Liberty University.
Trump was accompanied onstage by Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty, who wholeheartedly endorsed Trump and helped Trump with the white evangelical voters
“As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith,” Trump said to the crowd.
With an executive order signed in early May, the president attempted to allow churches and other religious organizations to get more politically active, emphasizing that the policy of the administration was to “vigorously promote religious liberty.” It directed the IRS not to take “adverse action” against religious organizations engaging in political activities excluding the outright endorsement of a political candidate. By law (the 1954 Johnson Amendment) churches and tax-exempt religious organizations were already subject to such restrictions. Therefore Trump’s executive order is more symbolic than substantive.
“Nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy. Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the same courage to do what is right—and they know what is right, but they don’t have the courage or the guts or the stamina to take it and to do it,” Trump said. “It’s called the road less traveled.”
Not all the students at Liberty University support Trump. In October of last year, The Daily Beast reported that more than 1,000 Liberty students signed a letter criticizing Falwell Jr. for his continued support of Trump after the release of an Access Hollywood tape in which the president boasted about grabbing women by the “pussy”.
“A recently uncovered tape revealed his comments bragging about sexually assaulting women,” it read. “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.”
Subsequently another student at the university claimed that an anti-Trump column he wrote for the paper was axed. Falwell Jr. would go on to deny that he pulled the column because it was explicitly voicing opposition to Trump and that he accepted Trump’s apology for the comments he made in the video.
“When you choose a president, you’re not choosing a pastor. You’re choosing somebody who is best suited to run the country,” he said. “If they have not been perfect all their lives and they’ve said things they regretted and they apologized for, and they still represent your values and still are more qualified and better suited to run the country, you have to make a choice.”
Not very inspirational by any religious standards, or for anyone leading an institution of higher education.