“As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what’s in your heart,” the President said to an audience of more than 6,100 students at the private Christian university.
“In America, we don’t worship government,” Trump added at one point. “We worship God.”
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is an evangelical icon and endorsed Trump in January 2016.
“I do not believe that any President in our lifetimes has done so much that has benefited the Christian community in such a short timespan than Donald Trump,” Falwell Jr. said at the commencement ceremony.
Trump also seemed to embrace his perception as a political outsider during his speech, and encouraged graduates to adopt a similar mantra.
“Relish the opportunity to be an outsider,” he continued. “Embrace that label. Being an outsider is fine. Embrace the label because it’s the outsiders who change the world and who make a real and lasting difference. The more that a broken system tells you that you’re wrong, the more certain you should be that you must keep pushing ahead.”
While much of his address didn’t make specific references to his presidency, Trump did manage to slip in an apparent callback.
“Be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures,” the President said. “Does that sound familiar, by the way?”