What would Jesus do... to make the payroll?
Jerry Falwell Jr., the head of the evangelical Liberty University and a staunch defender of President Donald Trump, is coming under fire for a bizarre attack on a Christian leader who said the administration’s squalid detention conditions for migrant children “should shock all of our consciences.”
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, tweeted:
The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this. https://t.co/Cv3AmJgypn— Russell Moore (@drmoore) June 25, 2019
The call for “dignity and compassion” didn’t sit well with Falwell.
He fired back at Russell by demanding to know if he ever “made a payroll” or “built an organization of any type from scratch.”
Falwell inherited his role as Liberty University’s president from his televangelist father. But he suggested that building an organization from scratch and making a payroll are conditions that must be met before sharing an opinion.
“What gives you authority to speak on any issue?” he demanded. “I’m being serious.”
Here’s Falwell’s full message:
Who are you @drmoore ? Have you ever made a payroll? Have you ever built an organization of any type from scratch? What gives you authority to speak on any issue? I’m being serious. You’re nothing but an employee- a bureaucrat.— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) June 25, 2019
Falwell’s reply caused his name to trend on Twitter as the responses accumulated:
Jesus should sue Jerry Falwell Jr. for defamation. https://t.co/sYpfIzSSKf— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) June 26, 2019
Normally I’m against people quoting religious scripture in political debates but Falwell dropping Jesus’s beautiful “Have you ever made payroll? You are nothing but an employee” line from the Sermon on the Mount today was extremely powerful— Tom Gara (@tomgara) June 26, 2019
A Tale of Two Tweets.— Amy Sullivan (@sullivanamy) June 25, 2019
Russell Moore expressed shock this morning at the conditions in which migrant children are being held.
And in response, Jerry Falwell, Jr...well. You just have to read it for yourselves. pic.twitter.com/Sj84OVQbZD
Jerry Falwell, Jr. has an uncanny ability to sound just like Jesus – if Jesus were a condescending asshole who only cared about money. pic.twitter.com/uU62EHKTbw— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) June 25, 2019
Jesus of Nazareth’s owners manual says “Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” I dig this guy. He gets it. You, Not so much.— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) June 26, 2019
There is no one in public religious life who to me acts less like a Christian leader than Jerry Falwell JR— Matt Jones (@MattJonesRadio) June 26, 2019
And Rev Falwell you didn’t “build an organization from scratch”....your Father did. You inherited it and were born on 3rd base thinking you hit a Triple https://t.co/KgXbb00e27
"Business Secrets of the Apostles"— ☭🕷️🐬The Antifada🐬🕷️☭ (@the_antifada) June 25, 2019
I’m a Southern Baptist evangelical Christian and Falwell Jr. neither embodies my values or even remotely speaks for me.— Heath Mayo (@HeathMayo) June 25, 2019
That this man is held out as a mouthpiece for us really is a shame—for LibertyU, for conservatives, and for Christianity. https://t.co/Y283cYW6tc
Did you know he built his business, er um church from scratch. No one else named Jerry Falwell helped him. NO ONE ELSE— Ryan Hackett (@Ryhackett) June 25, 2019
I know everyone else has already piled on, but "I don't value your opinion because you are not rich, powerful and successful" is as close to an anti-Gospel as you can conjure up. It is literally worshipping Mammon. 1/— Matt Jewell (@Prof_Jewell) June 26, 2019
Two of the most prominent Southern Baptist voices. One is constantly fighting off attempts to oust him from the convention. The other is Jerry Falwell Jr. pic.twitter.com/Hh6mbEiJBv— Dylan McLemore (@voiceofD) June 25, 2019
whoa. You need Jesus and I mean that in the most urgent, serious way. Repent— Garrett Russell (@SilentGarrett) June 26, 2019
In the Despicable Person Olympics, two clear contenders for the Gold: Rep. Duncan Hunter, and the new front-runner, Jerry Falwell Jr.— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) June 25, 2019
What was once said of George Costanza applies to you, @JerryFalwellJr: “You really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn't even help you. You need to go to like, Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the university level.“— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) June 26, 2019
Bonus points if your poolboy made your payroll.— Karen Zacarias (@KarenZacarias6) June 26, 2019
Jerry Falwell, Jr does not represent the views or opinions of the staff and management of the kingdom of heaven.— Jesus Christ (@JesusOfNaz316) June 25, 2019
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.