Institute on Religion and Democracy Press Release
February 13, 2018
Contact: Jeff Walton office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, E-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org
“I’m unconvinced this revival will be anything more than a politically-charged demonstration against Falwell and what’s been called ‘Trumpvangelicalism’ by the Religious Left.”
-Chelsen Vicari, IRD Evangelical Action Director
Washington, DC—Religious Left activists are announcing a revival planned for Lynchburg, Virginia as a seeming provocation aimed at Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.
Evangelical Left activist Shane Claiborne of the group Red Letter Christians has repeatedly challenged the University President to public debate, prompted by Falwell’s unabashed defense of U.S. President Donald Trump and his policies.
According to Red Letter Christians, revival speakers will include Religious Left fixture Tony Campolo, former Sojourners-affiliated activist and author Lisa Sharon Harper and North Carolina liberal activist Pastor William Barber, among others. The event is slated to take place April 6-7.
IRD President Mark Tooley’s examination of the contention between Claiborne and Falwell can be viewed here.
IRD Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari commented:
“Claiborne’s Lynchburg revival could be filled with altar calls and testimonies of forgiveness and finding salvation through Jesus Christ, or it could be a call to liberal political social action.
“I’m unconvinced this revival will be anything more than a politically-charged demonstration against Falwell and what’s been called ‘Trumpvangelicalism’ by the Religious Left.
“Ironically, in demonstrating against Falwell’s pro-Republican devotion, Claiborne and his supporters could use the event to advance their own commitment to social causes on the political Left.
“How many participants will actually be Lynchburg natives or Liberty University students? If the demonstration is largely comprised of the usual Religious Left figures from outside of Lynchburg, is it really a community revival?”