Christian Right leader Jerry Falwell, Jr., the chancellor of Liberty University and the son of culture warrior Jerry Falwell, Sr., was among Donald Trump's fiercest defenders following the leak of a videotape of Trump boasting about sexual assault. Now Falwell has been selected to lead a federal task force on higher education policy.
Rumors swirled following the election that Jerry Falwell, Jr., chancellor of the nation's largest Christian university, would be appointed by Donald Trump to the post of Education Secretary. The job instead went to Betsy DeVos, but Falwell is not being left behind.
Fallwell, Jr. will lead a new federal task force on higher education policy "that will identify changes that should be made to the U.S. Department of Education’s policies and procedures."
Falwell is the son of the late Jerry Falwell, Sr, who founded Liberty University as a bastion of right-wing evangelical education in the 1970s. The elder Falwell was well-known for his political work in the 1980s, attempting to gin up conservative support under the mantle of the "Moral Majority," and for his continued vehemence toward LGBT people that lasted up until his death in 2007.
Falwell, Jr., has continued much of his father's fight, speaking at the Republican National Convention during the 2016 election about the need to unite behind Trump, who would "uphold the Second Amendment" and "appoint conservative pro-life justices to the Supreme Court."
He also stunningly wrote off Trump's bragging about sexual assault — a serious and pressing issue on our college campuses — by saying "we're all sinners." Notably, DeVos dodged questions about how she would handle college sexual assault during her her Senate confirmation hearing.
Moreover, Falwell's own schools struggled with accreditation under his father in the 1980s, and many of the core liberal arts subjects are still taught there with specious biases and ideas:
Falwell, Jr.'s potential to be as destructive to the Department of Education as his new boss promises to be bodes ill for the future of education and the safety of our campuses.