Steve Bannon Taps Christian Extremist for Trumpâ€™s Education Task Force
Donald Trump has tapped Jerry Falwell Jr, president of Liberty University, to head a White House Task Force on reforming higher education.
Falwell will focus on “overreaching regulation” of colleges and universities. He explained: “The goal is to pare it back and give colleges and their accrediting agencies more leeway in governing their affairs. I’ve got notebooks full of issues.”
Steve Bannon, chief strategist for Trump, spoke with Falwell about the position and the administration desire to “get the government off the backs of higher education.”
Falwell’s Liberty University is an evangelical-based college, teaching far-right Christian ideals. At the RNC last year, he explained to the audience that Donald Trump plans to repeal the Johnson Amendment, giving evangelicals a way to lobby their religious beliefs right into politics.
Falwell said: “The repeal of the Johnson Amendment will create a huge revolution for conservative Christian and for free speech. We are at a crossroads where our first priority must be saving our nation.”
Pew Research Center (PRC) published a study last year on the use of politics in evangelical churches and how pastors are mobilizing a crusade from the pulpit.
Speaking directly to the Johnson Amendment which prohibits churches from engaging in political activity, PRC found that two out of three evangelicals listen to sermons involving social or political issues ranging from same-sex marriage to immigration.
Fourteen percent of respondents said that pastors are endorsing presidential candidates from the pulpit. PRC points out: “White evangelicals and Catholics are more likely than white mainline and black Protestants to have recently heard clergy speak out against abortion. For both groups, the message is consistently conservative.”