Trump Rumor: Falwell as Education Secretary

This doesn’t look good: Donald Trump meets with creationist Jerry Falwell Jr about possibly becoming next Secretary of Education. That headline appears in The Independent, published in London. The newspaper has a comments section. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Many of America’s conservative, evangelical community were distrustful of the religious bona fides of the thrice-married former casino magnate when he asked them to vote for him. One of Donald Trump’s strongest supporters on the religious right, however, was Jerry Falwell, the President of Liberty University and the son of Jerry Falwell, a celebrated Southern Baptist pastor.

Here comes the news — or rather, the rumor:

Now Mr Trump is reportedly considering appointing Mr Falwell to head the Department of Education, or at least offer him a position within the department, despite his teaching of so-called creationism to his students.

Egad! Then we’re told:

Mr Falwell, an early supporter of the billionaire businessman who declared his backing prior to the Iowa caucus, met with Mr Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence last week at Trump Tower in New York

“I let them know one of my passions is reforming higher education and education in general,” Mr Falwell told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I told them I’d be willing – I have a lot of responsibilities here – but I’d be willing to serve in some capacity that sort of brings education back to some form of sanity.”

Sanity? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Here’s more:

Mr Falwell has said higher education has to “get back to the basics of teaching” and eschew the “ivory tower” mentality that has led to “salaries that are out of this world”. He added: “I just want to do whatever I can to get the overbearing bureaucracy of the Department of Education off the backs of colleges and universities. I do have a lot of concerns about the way the Department of Education is operating.”

There probably is too much bureaucratic nonsense, but … Falwell? The Independent continues:

The Washington Post reported that in Liberty’s science hall, which is stocked with the latest laboratory equipment, including a gene sequencer and a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, faculty members teach evolution alongside biblical creationism.

Ah, they probably “teach the controversy,” and they do it objectively — e.g.: “Darwin says we’re nothing but animals descended from pond scum, and the bible says we’re made in God’s image.” Maybe in astronomy classes they teach both the geocentric and heliocentric models of the solar system.

Anyway, that’s the rumor. Make of it what you will, dear reader.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Trump Rumor: Falwell as Education Secretary

  1. As we approach 2017, Jerry Falwell, Sr. would make a much better Education Secretary.

  2. GW Bush hired many Liberty U. graduates to fill posts in his administration and courts. Sounds ghastly, but maybe Trump will follow suit. Maybe science standards are on the way out, gideon bibles are welcome reference books in the labs.

  3. michaelfugate

    That will help bring back all those manufacturing jobs!

  4. Well, jobs in truth manufacturing, anyway.

  5. I’m not sure why this should come as any surprise. The antiscience/science denial, like the racism, was right there smack in front of the nose of anyone who gave Trump’s platform more than a cursory glance.

  6. I refuse to panic over rumours. But if this one is accurate…well, would be more appropriate than Proverbs 11:29 (KJV):

    He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind

  7. Isn’t Jerry Falwell dead?

  8. Oops! Didn’t know he had a son….Trump may be goofy, but he won’t put a hard core bible thumper in that office….

  9. In keeping with the theme, if Trump does put Falwell as the Secretary of Education, maybe he will put Robert Sungenis as NASA’s chief administrator. Then maybe a groundhog in for NOAA’s chief of staff.

  10. Ooooooh, Liberty U has an NMR! Be still my beating heart! OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG – THEY HAVE AN nmr!

    Whatya wanna bet it’s still a virgin. Mmmmmmmmm, virgin NMR …..

  11. I thought Trump wanted to eliminate the department of education. Along with the EPA and the department of labor. Putting Falwell in charge would effectively accomplish that.

  12. Chas asks

    Isn’t Jerry Falwell dead?

    Officially, yes.

    But unless someone remembered to put a wooden stake through his heart, I’m not entirely sure…

  13. Falwell:
    “…eschew the “ivory tower” mentality that has led to “salaries that are out of this world”.

    Just for the record, teacher salaries are just about at the bottom of careers that require a college education, right down there with social workers.

    Now, if he’s talking about college salaries, by far the highest paid faculty member at just about any state university is the football coach, followed closely by the (men’s) basketball coach. In fact, the state university’s football coach is usually the highest paid public employee in the state, making far more than any governor.

    All a moot point anyway. The Dept. of Education has nothing at all to do with teacher or professor salaries. Don’t they teach any civics courses at Liberty U.?

  14. There is this listing of the 10 highest paid college professors in the USA

    It notices that the top salaries “rival” those of college sports coaches. Does anyone have a comparative listing of the top ten football or basketball men’s coaches?
    Anyway, I think that the top salaries of professors are those in the professional schools – law, medicine and business – where they would earn a lot in private practice.

  15. Oh, look, here’s more on Trump’s “New IMPROVED Enlightenment”: Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’.

  16. Betty DeVos is to be Education Secretary, not Falwell.

  17. TomS says: “Betty DeVos is to be Education Secretary, not Falwell.”

    Right. I’ve been Googling around, and although she seems to favor vouchers and charter schools, I don’t see anything about creationism. The usual creationist websites have never mentioned her.

  18. @TomS

    That may be equally bad news.

  19. The good news about Betsy DeVos is that she isn’t Ben Carson or Jerry Falwell. Not even close, apparently. Here’s a quote from this article in the Washington Post: Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education pick, is a billionaire with deep ties to the Reformed Christian community. They say:

    Unlike an individualistic evangelical approach, she has focused on the common good and has seen education as a big part of that, said Doug Koopman, a political scientist at Calvin College. She will not likely be one to focus on curriculum issues like evolution and creationism, which has been a concern in some conservative Christian circles. Instead, her concerns about school choice reflect a larger concern about what’s best for the public.

  20. @SC
    That’s the good news. The bad news is that, by all her past history, we can expect her to starve the public schools yet further of their already stupidly meager funds, while promoting her darling projects of charter schools and education vouchers. Since charter schools can basically teach what they like . . .

    Me, I always thought that a high standard of public education was a pillar of enlightenment ideals.

  21. There’s no need to panic, realthog. The states are still the primary source of funds for their public schools. Constitutionally, the feds shouldn’t be involved at all — well, except for military training and such.

  22. The states are still the primary source of funds for their public schools.

    And that’s no cause for panic?

  23. According to Ed Brayton, DeVos

    is also a staunch creationist and supports a number of organizations that push for teaching it in public schools. And she’s a huge supporter of Christian right anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council. She has supported the Council for National Policy, an innocuous-sounding name for a secretive group that has included numerous people who are real Christian Reconstructionists, including R.J. Rushdoony himself. The group pushes a deeply theocratic agenda, a common thread among many of the organizations she has given big money to.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2016/11/26/the-betsy-devos-nomination-egads/