Prominent evangelical Christian, Jerry Falwell Jr., has kept a relatively low profile since lurid claims of his sexual habits resulted in his resignation as the President of the conservative Liberty University.
But now Falwell is in the news again, this time for encouraging his followers to take the vaccine for the pandemic that's killed over 500 thousand Americans—but with a questionable motivation.
Recent studies have shown that white evangelicals are the most hesitant group when it comes to taking the vaccine. This could be a reflection of the denomination's long-held intersection with conservative circles, whose conspiracy theories regarding the vaccine have seen widespread publicity.
Falwell posted a selfie announcing that he'd received the vaccine.
In the caption, Falwell concluded with:
"Please get vaccinated so our nutcase of a Governor will have less reasons for mindless restrictions!"
Falwell was referring to Virginia's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, of whom Falwell has been a longtime critic. When Northam instituted a mask mandate for the state of Virginia, Falwell tweeted a picture of a mask with an infamous photo of Northam in blackface from an old yearbook photo.
Northam was one of the many voices criticizing Falwell for reopening Liberty University for in-person learning only a few months into the pandemic.
Though many social media users mocked Falwell's post...
Church of Latter Day MAGA. https://t.co/FA1nuOK34T— Tim Murphy 🇺🇸 (@Tim Murphy 🇺🇸) 1617906615.0
Jerry has become a bad joke. https://t.co/Wkm29I1PX3— @KHShan (@@KHShan) 1617903585.0
Jesus has somehow messed this @JerryFalwellJr guy up pretty badly. https://t.co/pNQIn37Ah0— battles (@battles) 1617903127.0
...Most are fine with Falwell's typical slams against Democratic leaders—especially if it gets more white evangelicals and hardcore conservatives to take the vaccine.
Identity vouching is important. This is good. https://t.co/E9Hjd63Dr4— Harold Pollack (@Harold Pollack) 1617907983.0
That's a weird PSA but if reaches conservative evangelicals, I'll take it https://t.co/FC2uAtfqNn— Matt Boxer🇺🇸🥁 (@Matt Boxer🇺🇸🥁) 1617906454.0
Whatever convinces someone to be vaccinated I guess... https://t.co/ACnfYUsO6w— bre ✨ (@bre ✨) 1617906856.0
You know what? Whatever works. https://t.co/IFcpEpCh5g— Erin Milne 😷 (@Erin Milne 😷) 1617906879.0
Even if it's solely to "own the libs."
JFJ is a creep, but I’d be happy if some folks got their vaccines out of spite. If for no other reason, do it to ow… https://t.co/4bEUGz5apM— Jordan Robert Magill (@Jordan Robert Magill) 1617946279.0
If this is what it takes, so be it. Cons: get the vax to own us libs real bad plz:)) https://t.co/UHb2KKl2w6— jack🗳🐏🐊 (@jack🗳🐏🐊) 1617909422.0
It would own the libs so hard if everyone got the vaccine. Fight cancel culture by getting your shot! https://t.co/EIWchDaylk— Lachlan Markay (@Lachlan Markay) 1617903612.0
Yes, please, get the vaxx to, uhhh, own the libs https://t.co/qBlHPQ61pA— Casey Dolan (@Casey Dolan) 1617910272.0
America's vaccine implementation is moving at a rapid pace, but with only 20 percent fully vaccinated so far, that number still has a ways to go before herd immunity is reached.