Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, says America's religious freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution should not disappear even in time of a pandemic.
That's been a growing concern since state and local governments have shut down all public gatherings, including worship services at churches.
During an interview this week with CBN News, Falwell said he thinks several state governors have gone too far with their lockdown restrictions.
"States' rights are very important. Our founders made sure that the states were independent and the federal government couldn't control them," Falwell explained. "So the president is limited in what he can do to change what some of these blue state governors are doing to shut down their states."
Falwell says he thinks they are doing it intentionally to try to destroy the economy for political purposes.
"I was so encouraged when I heard him (US Attorney General William Barr) say yesterday that he was considering court action against the governors to require them to give back individual liberties, and religious liberties to the American people as required by the Constitution. And I think that's the only option the president has," the Liberty University president said.
"I think the states that have done their things – New York, Michigan, Virginia – the list is long. But I think the ones that have gone overboard with the shutdowns have deserved to go bankrupt," he noted. "I think they deserve to have their credit ratings reduced. And I don't think there should be a bailout for them."
When CBN News asked Falwell if he thought Christians and Jews have been discriminated against, he responded, "Well, it's just funny how they pick and choose winners and losers – who can stay open. Walmart's always packed. The Home Depot, Lowes is always packed. Grocery stores are always packed. But for some reason, it's dangerous if you go to church."
"The liquor stores, the abortion clinics, for some reason they're not dangerous," he continued. "And so, it makes you wonder about their motives."
Falwell also cited another example. He said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam cut tuition assistance grants for resident students in the Commonwealth for any online classes.
"Guess which schools have the largest population of online students in the country?" he asked. "Regent University and Liberty University (both are Christian universities). And so, it's no secret what they are up to."
Falwell said a member of his staff was told by a member of the governor's staff that Northam was even looking for a way to reopen aviation schools if he could find a way to do it without letting Liberty University's Aviation School reopen.
"So the bias is unbelievable," Falwell told CBN News. "There's no impartiality anymore in the media and the big tech companies."
"Our governor was elected by the people in the DC suburbs, and my family has been here since the 1600s and I'm embarrassed that he's our governor. He's the worst excuse for a governor that I have ever seen," he said.
Falwell, a University of Virginia Law School graduate, explained that he thought liberals have become authoritarian in nature.
"Back in the 80s when I was in law school, they (liberals) would say, 'I do not agree with you, but I will die for your right to say it'," he recalled. "But liberals nowadays have become authoritarian. When authoritarians become dominant, and they take power, the first thing they do is try to destroy religion, because religion is a voluntary association of citizens, who have no allegiance to anyone except God."
Now More Than Ever, STAND WITH CBN News so We Can Keep Providing the Christian Perspective on Today's News
Falwell explained that if it weren't for the black churches in the 60s, the Civil Rights Act would have never been passed because those citizens freely met and talked about the problems they were facing, and how they were going to overcome those problems.
"And that scares politicians because they don't like when people by-pass them and take action on their own," he said. "And that's the big fear they have of Christians in general and it's obvious to me."
What Christians Can Do
CBN News asked Falwell what he thought Christians could do to protect their rights and bring back national civility and unity.
"We have to be savvy," the Liberty University president explained. "We can't be duped by all of the politically correct nonsense that's been floated around."
"Christians just need to understand that they don't need to give up their rights because somebody is telling them there's a disaster, a wolf at the door," Falwell said. "It's not a wolf at the door. God's in control. And it's not something that we just need to surrender and let government take over, because we can't take care of ourselves."
"We need to take care of ourselves," he continued. "We need to take care of our individual liberties, our religious liberties, and we need to be strong."
FOR CBN NEWS CONTINUING COVERAGE ON COVID-19, CLICK HERE.