We all knew it was coming. We didn’t know what or how, but there had to be something.
In America, we know the type. The most outspoken, judgmental, moralistic leaders in the evangelical movement always seem to be the ones with the most embarrassing sexual secrets. Jimmy Swaggart. Paul Crouch. Ted Haggard. Tony Alamo. And now, Jerry Falwell Jr., the kingmaker. Falwell gave Trump the evangelical vote in 2016. His early endorsement made it acceptable — even right and good — for Bible believers to support a man who didn’t even know how to say the names of its books.
In the four years since Trump locked down the Republican nomination, through multiple sex scandals, incessant lying, greed and corruption, stoking racial hatred, victimizing defenseless refugees — through the gleeful daily exhibitions of every behavior and character flaw explicitly abhorred by the Jesus of the Gospels — Jerry Falwell Jr. not only defended this man, but raised him up as God’s anointed leader. The rhetoric only intensified over time. For Falwell, the political opponents of Trump were the enemies of God himself.
And meanwhile, there were hints. Stories of drinking, partying, possible sexual indiscretions and coverups, from the leader of a Christian university that prohibited all of that on its campus. The evidence didn’t exactly pile up. But from time to time, there were suggestions that this leader of Christians across the country was in fact, like too many others before him, a shameless hypocrite.
Finally, over the weekend, the bombshell. Falwell’s business partner Giancarlo Granda claimed he had been involved in a seven-year sexual affair with Falwell’s wife Becki — and with Falwell himself. It wasn’t a very Christian arrangement. Granda claimed he would regularly have sex with Becki Falwell while her husband watched. Sometimes in person, sometimes via video feed.
Falwell’s version was different. He released a statement:
“Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved — it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about. . . . Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better too.”
That is, he confirmed Granda’s whole story, except for the part about being a willing participant himself.
Things are different these days. When you have a President who has openly admitted to sexual assault and wanting to sleep with his daughter — being a guy who likes to watch seems pretty tame overall. But for the son and namesake of Jerry Falwell Sr., the founder of the Moral Majority, it’s simply an unspeakable failure of character. Falwell Jr. decided to sell his wife out instead.
How deeply twisted do your values have to be, to be ashamed of a little sexual kink (that’s certainly no one else’s business anyway), but to be capable of brazenly betraying your own spouse without a moment’s hesitation, nor so much as a hint of compunction?
The fact that this type of person thinks Donald Trump was ordained by God to lead America is the final proof that Trump was never anything of the sort.