Jerry Falwell Urges Liberty University Students To Arm Themselves And ‘End Those Muslims’

Kirsten Silven

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. urged students to arm themselves by getting their permits to carry concealed weapons while speaking at the convocation Friday, reported the Washington Post. The controversial message pressing students to to carry weapons on campus came on the heels of Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. and also included criticism of President Obama.

"It just blows my mind that the president of the United States [says] that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control."
"…we could end those Muslims before they walked in... Let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here"

Despite the support Falwell received from the student body, he met with backlash for his comments from others, including a Liberty University student on social media, which prompted him to take the defensive in a Twitter response.

In response to the idea presented by some theologians that Jesus would, in fact, urge Christians to lay down their weapons when confronted with violent acts, Falwell turned to the story of Jesus berating the money changers and chasing them out of the temple with a whip, comparing it to war.

"Jesus said 'Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's,' and part of that was to go to war, protecting whatever nation was under control of the king."

The Washington Post also reported that, according to a 2013 Public Religion Research Institute Survey, most of the world's major religious groups actually favor stricter gun-control laws despite the fact that Falwell urges students to arm themselves. This number reportedly includes an impressive 76 percent of all Protestants, 67 percent of Catholics and 57 percent of "white mainline Protestants." However, the same study found that white evangelicals, such as those who make up the majority of Liberty University's student body, are the least likely religious group to support stricter gun laws, coming in at just 38 percent.

Liberty University claims to be the world's largest Christian university, the largest university in the state of Virginia and the largest private, nonprofit university in the United States. The school regularly hosts politicians – typically Republicans – who hope to attract conservative Christian voters, but Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders broke this stereotype by speaking at Liberty University in mid-September.

[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]