Someone should hold a public gay wedding and orgy worthy of the emperor Caligula in front of a combination abortion clinic and embryonic stem-cell research center to celebrate Falwell’s demise.
Yes, I spit on his grave. Others have been more circumspect and expressed regret over the loss of life–any life. I agree, death is always a tragedy, being the ultimate final resolution, no matter how the life was lived. To me the tragedy is compounded when an arch-bigot doesn’t get to live long enough to see the error of his ways. (Funny how the world always figures it out, eventually.) It happens too often that an oppressor of millions has only their own paltry life to pay for their crimes. As for Falwell, only now can he finally not realize that he’s not headed for the hellish ‘heaven’ of arch-conservatism and theocracy he tried to impose on earth while he lived. His brain wave patterns are already gone forever, and no part of them will ever return from our shared irrevocable human destiny of protein decomposition.
Sure, Falwell had a family who loved him and will miss him. So did Charles Manson, Augusto Pinochet, Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. A tyrant (or would-be tyrant in the case of Falwell) is not redeemed just because he is human.
Fellow theofascist Pat Robertson opined: “Jerry has been a tower of strength on many of the moral issues which have confronted our nation.” The 2008 Republican presidential candidates have been trying to outdo each other’s eulogies. John McCain called him “a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country.” Mitt Romney gushed: “An American who built and led a movement based on strong principles and strong faith has left us. He will be greatly missed, but the legacy of his important work will continue through his many ministries where he put his faith into action.”
From the AP story on his death:
Falwell credited his Moral Majority with getting millions of conservative voters registered, electing Ronald Reagan and giving Republicans Senate control in 1980. “I shudder to think where the country would be right now if the religious right had not evolved,” Falwell said when he stepped down as Moral Majority president in 1987.
…the Moral Majority’s full-throated condemnation of homosexuality, abortion and pornography – made Falwell perhaps the most recognizable figure on the evangelical right, and one of the most controversial ones, too.
Falwell waged a landmark libel case against Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt over a raunchy parody ad, and created a furor in 1999 when one of his publications suggested that the purse-carrying “Teletubbies” character Tinky Winky was gay.
Matt Foreman, executive director of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, extended condolences to those close to Falwell, but added: “Unfortunately, we will always remember him as a founder and leader of America’s anti-gay industry, someone who exacerbated the nation’s appalling response to the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, someone who demonized and vilified us for political gain and someone who used religion to divide rather than unite our nation.”
In 1999, he told an evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably already alive. Falwell later apologized for the remark but not for holding the belief.
Falwell set back the cause of human rights and freedoms in America by decades. His legacy lives on in the execrable political thundering of American Evangelicals and Dominionists.
Here are just a few of Falwell’s hypocritical and atavistic positions, summarized from Wikipedia:
- In 1965, he criticized Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, which he sometimes referred to as the “Civil Wrongs Movement.” On his Evangelist program The Old-Time Gospel Hour in the mid 1960s, he regularly featured segregationist politicians like Lester Maddox and George Wallace. In 1958, he said: “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision [Brown v. Board of Education] would never have been made…. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”
- He wrote in America Can Be Saved that “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.”
- Falwell wanted government money for himself, but not for his opponents: “I would not want to put any of the Jerry Falwell Ministries in a position where we might be subservient to a future Bill Clinton, God forbid… It also concerns me that once the pork barrel is filled, suddenly the Church of Scientology, the Jehovah Witnesses [sic], the various and many denominations and religious groups — and I don’t say those words in a pejorative way — begin applying for money…”
- Falwell was strongly opposed to homosexual rights, supporting Anita Bryant’s 1977 movement to overturn a human-rights ordinance in Dade County, Florida that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and a similar movement in California.
- Falwell was critical of sanctions against the Apartheid regime of South Africa. He stated that while he was opposed to Apartheid, he feared that sanctions would result in a worse situation, with either a more oppressive white minority government or a Soviet-backed revolution. He drew the ire of many when he called Nobel Peace Prize winner and Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu a phony “as far as representing the black people of South Africa.”
- Jerry Falwell was interviewed claiming, “I believe in the premillennial, pre-tribulational coming of Christ for all of his church, and to summarize that, your first poll, do you believe Jesus coming the second time will be in the future, I would vote yes with the 59 percent and with Billy Graham and most evangelicals.”
- Regarding 9/11: “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 happen.'”
- Falwell remarked, “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.”
Good-riddance to the sick bastard. Too bad his ideas can’t die with him. I look forward to the day when the Falwells of the world are treated no differently than the Fred Phelps. Because the only difference between these two assholes is the price of their underwear.