Speaking on CNN on Thursday, Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of what heralds itself as the world’s largest Christian university, defended Donald Trump’s pick of ExxonMobil president Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, opining that Tillerson’s support of homosexuals in the Boy Scouts will have nothing to do with his job as a diplomat.
Falwell appeared on “Erin Burnett Outfront,” who noted that Tony Perkins of Family Research Council had issued a statement of objection to Tillerson on Monday.
As previously reported, Perkins, who had supported Trump’s candidacy, said that the president-elect’s consideration of Tillerson “should be particularly alarming to conservatives who’ve spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality.”
Perkins was referring to Tillerson, who served as president of the Boy Scouts of America from 2010-2012, being instrumental in the organization’s decision to allow openly homosexual scouts and leaders. ExxonMobil also donates to Planned Parenthood via its employee matching gift program, matching the donations of its workers’ own choosing—some of whom give to the abortion giant.
“Trump calls Rex a ‘world class player and dealmaker,’ but if these are the kinds of deals Tillerson makes—sending dollars to an abortion business that’s just been referred for criminal prosecution and risking the well-being of young boys under his charge in an attempt to placate radical homosexual activists—then who knows what sort of ‘diplomacy’ he would champion at DOS?” Perkins asked.
But on Thursday, Falwell said that it doesn’t bother him that Trump selected Tillerson for the role, and doesn’t think his views on “social issues” have anything to do with being secretary of state.
“Tony’s a good friend, but I disagree with him on this issue,” Falwell said. “I’ve watched Trump put together his cabinet; it’s been so exciting to me because I’ve watched it go from a group of theoreticians and academicians under Obama to people who have really succeeded in the real world.”
“I think Trump’s putting together a dream team,” he continued. “He’s picking the best from every industry, from every walk of life, and it’s people who’ve actually succeeded, and I think that’s what this country needs. I think the American people said, ‘No more amateurs.'”
Burnett then proceeded to obtain clarification about Falwell’s disagreement with Perkins, specifically whether or not Tillerson’s part in changing the policy on open homosexuals in the Boy Scouts affects his views about the appointment.
“So, you’re not upset about Rex Tillerson’s social views,” she said. “I mean, he is widely credited and lauded by many—credited with allowing gays into the Boy Scouts. This is what a lot of people support him for.”
“I just don’t see what his views on social issues have to do with being secretary of state,” Falwell interjected. “I think that’s a role that will focus on diplomacy, on deal-making, which as the leader of a global enterprise—the CEO of ExxonMobil—he’s so good at. I don’t think the social issues will ever come up in his role as secretary of state.”
As previously reported, Falwell, who endorsed Trump earlier this year, repeatedly has stated that he believes Trump is a Christian, but that he shouldn’t be “judged” for sinful words and deeds because “we’re all sinners.”
“Jesus said, ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged.’ Let’s stop trying to choose the political leaders who we believe are the most godly because, in reality, only God knows people’s hearts. You and I don’t, and we are all sinners,” he told the student newspaper in March.
Falwell also stated in October when a Liberty student created a petition expressing opposition to Trump, as well as Falwell’s endorsement of the candidate, “This student statement seems to ignore the teachings of Jesus not to judge others, but they are young and still learning.”