Evangelical students to return degrees in protest at Trump

22 August, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Evangelical Advisers Stay With Trump as Others Criticize Him

"He has inside information that I don't have", Falwell Jr. told ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz on "This Week" Sunday.

Trump also decried the removal of Civil War monuments to the Confederacy that several cities have deemed offensive for their connection to slavery.

"One of the reasons I supported him is because he doesn't say what's politically correct, he says what is in his heart", Falwell told ABC's "This Week" program.

"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".

For the Sunday shows, the best Trump could muster was Liberty University's Jerry Falwell Jr., who has been one of staunchest allies.

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When Falwell first endorsed Trump, the university clarified that he was speaking as a private citizen.

Falwell Jr. was referring to Trump's remarks at a press conference Tuesday about the Charlottesville violence that left a 32-year-old woman dead. During his remarks, President Trump thanked evangelicals for their support at the voting booth last November. Instead of condemning racist and white nationalist ideologies, Mr. Trump provided equivocal and contradictory comments.

He later denounced the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name, only to suggest the next day that there were some "very fine people" in both rivaling groups. CNN reached out to Liberty University for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Those actions, the letter says, "have filled us with shame and anger as alums".

But you'd be wrong!

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Full disclosure: I'm a Liberty graduate and, for what it's worth, I plan on keeping my diploma because, regardless of who Falwell supports, I worked hard for my degree.

"As alums, we have the power to say something", the Facebook group's description says, urging alumni to mail their diplomas to Falwell's office on September 5, along with explanatory letters. Rebekah Tilley graduated from Liberty in 2002 and now works in higher education in Iowa. "But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides", the president said.

"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", Tilley said.

For Doug Johnson Hatlem, a 1999 graduate who now works as a Mennonite pastor in Ontario, Canada, Charlottesville feels like a tipping point for many alumni who have been concerned about the university's association with Trump.

Raddatz then pointed to comments made earlier this week by Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, who said that once people saw Nazi flags at the event they should have 'turned tail'.

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Indian railway minister Suresh Prabhu said he instructed officials to rush to the spot. "I am personally monitoring situation". Railways spokesman Anil Saxena said he could not confirm the number of casualties but said at least five carriages derailed.

She said she'll be returning her diploma to ease her conscience.

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