The President of America’s largest Christian University, Jerry Falwell Jr., has received a constant stream of hate and criticism for his early support of Donald Trump’s campaign and policies. However, alumni of Liberty University are now returning their diplomas back to the University in protest of Falwell’s politics.
Following Trump’s comments on the Charlottesville incident this month, a small – but vocal – group of alumni felt it was unfair and evil that President Trump condemned the violence and hate on, “both sides” in the Charlottesville Disaster. In solidarity with Antifa, these alumni have organized a protest movement to condemn Trump’s universal and equal denunciation of hatred and violence.
Trump wrote on Twitter, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” Trump’s statements were unable to satisfy these pro-Antifa alumni, and they apparently understood the President’s numerous tweets and public statements entirely differently than the rest of America.
“I’m sending my diploma back because the president of the United States is defending Nazis and white supremacists,” Chris Gaumer, a former student who graduated back in 2006 said. “And in defending the president’s comments, Jerry Falwell Jr. is making himself and, it seems to me, the university he represents, complicit.”
However, Falwell Jr. appreciated Trump’s condemnation of the hate groups on Twitter. Trump wrote on Twitter, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”
To this Falwell replied, “Finally a leader in WH. Jobs returning, N Korea backing down, bold truthful stmt about #charlottesville tragedy.So proud of @realdonaldtrump” and “The truth as stated by @realDonaldTrump is that violent white supemacists, Nazi, KKK and similar hate groups are pure evil and un-American.”
According to the group of alumni sending their diplomas back to the university, their reasons are mentioned in an email, which reads:
“While this state of affairs has been in place for many months, the Chancellor’s recent comments on the attack upon our neighbors in Charlottesville have brought our outrage and our sorrow to a boiling point. During the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, white supremacists, nationalists, and neo-Nazis perpetrated brutal violence against anti-racist protesters, murdering one woman and injuring many. Instead of condemning racist and white nationalist ideologies, Mr. Trump provided equivocal and contradictory comments. The Chancellor then characterized Mr. Trump’s remarks, which included the claim that some of the persons marching as white nationalists and white supremacists at the rally were ‘very fine people,’ as ‘bold’ and ‘truthful.’ This is incompatible with Liberty University’s stated values, and incompatible with a Christian witness.”
Many members of the alumni also complained that they were embarrassed of the university’s actions and that it is effecting their careers negatively.
“I was to the point where I didn’t even want to include my alma mater on my resume when I was applying for jobs, just because I think that can be so loaded,” 2002 alumna Rebekah Tilley said. “There’s such a strong affiliation now between Liberty University and President Trump that you know that reflects badly on all alumni.”
“We’re asking that Liberty University return to its stated values and accept that the pursuit of power is leading it into some dark places, and really repudiate that,” 2007 alumna Georgia Hamann and letter co-author said. “The word in Baptist and evangelical circles is ‘repent.’… You know, truly a turning away from wrong conduct.”
It needs to be noted that Antifa, and Antifa supporters, make no distinction whatsoever between the KKK, Nazis, Trump supporters, Republicans, pro-Free Speech activists and those who simply don’t want historical monuments torn down.