News & Politics

Evangelical Pastor Forcibly Removed from Liberty University for Criticizing Donald Trump and Jerry Falwell

Rev. Jonathan Martin was attending a concert on campus at the time.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Martin (Facebook profile image)

Rev. Jonathan Martin, a popular evangelical Christian pastor and author, found himself hauled off the Liberty University grounds by school police after attending an on-campus concert. 

Martin has criticized Jerry Fallwell Jr., president of the school, for aligning himself with President Donald Trump against perceived tenets of the evangelical faith. Martin is also a vocal critic of Steve Bannon and the so-called alt-right movement.

But the pastor was only on campus as concertgoer and guest of the performing band at the time of his apprehension. He was reportedly dragged away from the green room after causing no disturbance.


Accorting to a lengthy statement from Liberty University reported by NPR, the school opted to remove him because of fears he would hold an unauthorized protest.

Martin says his only plan after the concert was to pray with some students the following morning before departing.

Falwell is a staunch ally of the president whose political views and affiliations have resulted in numerous students returning their diplomas in protest. "One might rightly ask what sort of Christianity Falwell represents, or what it has to do with 'liberty,'" Martin wrote in a Facebook post.

After his ban from the campus, Martin posted a photo of the restriction notice he was served by the police.

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Chris Sosa is the former Senior Editor of AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.