Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Dead at 73


American members of the group will know him well. To give a flavor of his pronouncements to the rest of the group who live outside the US:
  • "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say you helped this (the 9/11 tragedy) happen"

  • “I had a student ask me, 'Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?' Of course, we know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed”

  • “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”

  • “If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being”

  • “[homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.”

  • I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!

  • I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I'm going to buy a Suburban next time.

  • We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism ... we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today ... our battle is with Satan himself.

  • Perhaps the most amazing thing is that he was consistently given a free platform on every mainstream network in the US to spew this kind of bile. He was a racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-intellectual, dominionist whose actions ranged from the laughably ludicrous (accusing the Tele Tubby Tinky Winky of turning children gay) to the sinister (his founding of the so-called Moral Majority to assist in the hijacking of the Republican party by dominionist Christians). The world is just a little bit of a cleaner place now that he is gone.

    And lest you confuse my celebration of his death as anti-humanist: Conservatives tend to moralize people based on what they do in private. Liberals, such as myself, moralize people based on what they do in their public. Falwell chose to be a public figure, and his public performance was willingly poison to both American culture and politics. The harm he did will certainly survive him for a while, as there are many clones clamoring to take his place on the nation's airwaves, but he is finally off of the public stage. We only knew this public side of the man, and that is how he will be judged by history.

    It's almost worth wishing there was a hell.

    (Clock's ticking, Pat Robertson...)