Jerry Falwell defends photo with Donald Trump showing Playboy magazine cover in background

Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University and a supporter of Donald Trump, has drawn criticism after he tweeted a photo of himself and his wife alongside the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. The issue was due to a framed Playboy magazine cover seen in the background.

"Honored to introduce @realDonaldTrump at religious leader summit in NYC today! He did incredible job!" reads the tweet.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S., May 1, 2016 | Reuters

He posted the tweet following Trump's meeting with almost 1,000 Christian leaders and conservatives in New York. The photo was reportedly taken at the business tycoon's office in Manhattan, and above Mrs. Falwell's left shoulder is the framed cover of the March 1990 issue of Playboy featuring a much younger Trump next to model Brandi Brandt. "I'm embarrassed to be a Liberty alum," said one commenter, while another asked, "Would you post that framed Playboy cover at Liberty?" On the other hand, there are those who don't seem to mind. One said, "Just remember, God doesn't call those who are perfect; He perfects those he calls," while another wrote, "If you would listen to one full speech you would know. Trump is truly a very kind man. He loves all people." Falwell later tweeted, "Honored for same hypocrites who accused Jesus of being a friend of publicans and sinners to be targeting me over a decades old mag cover! TY"

Writer Ben Howe said that Falwell's father would not have supported Trump or a similar candidate. Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. criticized former president Jimmy Carter in 1981 for having agreed to be interviewed by Playboy.

"Giving an interview to Playboy magazine was lending the credence and the dignity of the highest office in the land to a salacious, vulgar magazine that did not even deserve the time of his day," The Christian Post quotes Falwell, Sr. as saying.

There are numerous other comments, but Falwell reminded people to "Judge not lest ye be judged."

Falwell is part of Trump's religious advisory board.