According to the Religion News Service, public affairs executive Mark DeMoss said this week that he disagreed with Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s support for presumptive GOP nominee Trump, who spoke at the influential conservative university in January. DeMoss expressed his displeasure with the endorsement earlier this year, telling the Washington Post that Trump’s insult-laden campaign is not “Christ-like behavior that Liberty has spent 40 years promoting with its students.”
The comments resulted in board members asking DeMoss to step down from their executive committee, a move he said contributed to his decision to abandon his post.
“While the decision to leave the committee I chaired was not mine, the decision to step down from the board was mine,” he said. “The president/chancellor and the board chair and new executive committee chair were suggesting my motive for speaking to the Post was entirely political (that I was a political pawn of rival campaigns), rather than a genuine concern for the reputation of the university we trustees have (had) a fiduciary responsibility to protect. I concluded if they could not accept the reasons I gave them there was not sufficient trust to continue serving together.”
DeMoss, who was senior adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, is the latest in a litany of evangelicals who have criticized Trump. Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, has penned a small library of scathing op-eds decrying Trump, saying evangelicals who support him “must repudiate everything they believe.” Moore was deeply critical of Trump’s appearance of Liberty, unleashing a Tweet storm as Trump spoke, quipping, “This would be hilarious if it weren’t so counter to the mission of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
A member of Liberty University’s board of trustees has resigned, saying he cannot support the evangelical school’s decision to endorse businessman Donald Trump for president.