Tuesday, May 15, 2007

R.I.P. Jerry Falwell

So there I am, busy as all get up, composing in my mind a new post – just about wrapping it up, actually – on the story of the Syro-Phonecian woman in Mark. I was planning on writing it today, and then all hell breaks loose. First of all I read about Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson’s visit to the White House to go over Iranian foreign policy with the President:

‘…I heard about this danger [from Iran] not only at the White House but from other pro-family leaders that I met during that week in Washington," he said. “Many people in a position to know are talking about the possibility of losing a city to nuclear or biological or chemical attack. And if we can lose one we can lose ten. If we can lose ten we can lose a hundred, especially if North Korea and Russia and China pile on…’

He is now spending the entire weeks worth of Radio addresses on ‘Radical Islam’s Impact on America,’ to help listeners ‘better grasp the danger’

Of course then while I started writing about that one, I read about Chuck Norris’ new column at World Net Daily, where he is advocating a religious test for elected officials. It’s apparently quite a problem:

‘…these organizations and individuals [Godless groups like Atheist organizations and the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, all lumped together] would love nothing more than to help society look with disdain upon Christianity and, ultimately, make its components illegal. In fact, right now, they are coalescing and rallying at least 5 million of their troops to mount counter offensives to Christianity…’

So of course I started to work on that topic.

And then of course Jerry Falwell dies.

What to say. I met him back in 1985, in the process of getting thrown out of one of his ‘prayer meetings.’ He struck me as a consummate speaker, very sure of himself, and a complete demagogue. To paraphrase Atrios, one hopes that he finds God to be more forgiving than he believed Her to be.

Several sites have decided that rather than writing long angry screeds, that they will just let his history speak for itself. Carpetbagger and Rude Pundit have already started. Some choice highlights from them and others:


‘…In this message, Falwell intoned pompously, 'I want to use the Bible alone as our guide. It is never worthwhile to give man's opinion...The answer to the whole subject can be found in Genesis 9:18-27.' Falwell went on to explain that Ham, the son of Noah, had seen Noah naked one day. When Noah discovered this, he cursed Ham's son, Canaan: 'A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.' Falwell explained that Ham later became the progenitor of the African race.

"He rambled on, still using 'the Bible alone' as his guide: 'The true Negro does not want integration...He realizes his potential is far better among his own race...We see the hand of Moscow in the background...We see the Devil himself behind it...It will destroy our race eventually...In one northern city, a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife ...It boils down to whether we are going to take God's Word as final.'

"Oblivious to the hatefulness of his sermon, Falwell concluded: '...If we live in constant fellowship with the Lord, He can enable us to live Christ-like before others.'"


‘…After Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith tells a Dallas Religious Right gathering that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew,” Falwell gives a similar view. “I do not believe,” he told reporters, “that God answers the prayer of any unredeemed Gentile or Jew.” After a meeting with an American Jewish Committee rabbi, he changed course, telling an interviewer on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “God hears the prayers of all persons…. God hears everything.”…’

Mid 1980’s:

‘…Falwell supported apartheid in South Africa, called Desmond Tutu "a phony," and urged his followers to buy Kruggerands…’


‘…Falwell is forced to pay gay activist Jerry Sloan $5,000 after losing a court battle. During a TV debate in Sacramento, Falwell denied calling the gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Churches “brute beasts” and “a vile and Satanic system” that will “one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven.” When Sloan insisted he had a tape, Falwell promised $5,000 if he could produce it. Sloan did so, Falwell refused to pay and Sloan successfully sued. Falwell appealed, with his attorney charging that the Jewish judge in the case was prejudiced. He lost again and was forced to pay an additional $2,875 in sanctions and court fees…’


‘…The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a $200,000 jury award to Falwell for “emotional distress” he suffered because of a Hustler magazine parody. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, usually a Falwell favorite, wrote the unanimous opinion in Hustler v. Falwell, ruling that the First Amendment protects free speech…’


‘…he ordered that all of the employees of his empire had to join his church. And that they all had to tithe ten percent of their earnings to said ministry. So, like, if you were offered $20,000 to clean the Toilets of Jesus' Love, it was automatically reduced to $18,000 because of the enforced goodness of your heart…’


‘…Falwell is criticized for using his “Old Time Gospel Hour” to hawk a scurrilous video called “The Clinton Chronicles” that makes a number of unsubstantiated charges against President Bill Clinton — among them that he is a drug addict and that he arranged the murders of political enemies in Arkansas. Despite claims he had no ties to the project, evidence surfaced that Falwell helped bankroll the venture with $200,000 paid to a group called Citizens for Honest Government (CHG). CHG’s Pat Matrisciana later admitted that Falwell and he staged an infomercial interview promoting the video in which a silhouetted reporter said his life was in danger for investigating Clinton. (Matrisciana himself posed as the reporter.) “That was Jerry’s idea to do that,” Matrisciana recalled. “He thought that would be dramatic.”…’


‘…Falwell tells a pastors’ conference in Kingsport, Tenn., that the Antichrist prophesied in the Bible is alive today and “of course he’ll be Jewish.”…’

Also, 1999, as he starts his complete descent into insanity:

‘…Falwell becomes the object of nationwide ridicule after his National Liberty Journal newspaper issues a “parents alert” warning that Tinky Winky, a character on the popular PBS children’s show “Teletubbies,” might be gay…’


‘…Falwell describes global warming as a conspiracy orchestrated by Satan, liberals, and The Weather Channel…’

Of course he will remain infamous for his September 11th comments, blaming Americans, specifically

‘…Pagans, 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…’

Prior to that, on September 9th, while listing the events happening around the world that were indicators of the Rapture, one of his top was the increase in speed of transportation. He closed that sermon:

'...If you're not ready, repent and receive Jesus Christ as Savior. As Tim LaHaye might say, "Don't be left behind." The Bible says that He will come "as a thief in the night." (1 Thess. 5:2)...'

Falwell was a thief in the day. And She came for him today. I wonder if he repented.

Look like jesus christ
Act like jesus christ I know
Here’s your jesus christ
I’m your jesus christ I know

Bleeding to death again (my bleeding heart)
Stuck in the heart again (goes out to you)
Somebody nail my hands (I needed pain)
Somebody take my hand (I bleed again)

I knew it all along and now
We’re screwed forever (screwed forever)
Shake these demons off my back
And I can make it better (make it better)
But I can’t go on knowing I am
Permanent on this holiday
I think you know what I am saying

I became the big disgrace
I know that I’m the ugly face
I need some time to reconcile
I need some time to heal a while

You’ll be sorry when I’m gone
I guess you knew this all along

-Bob Mould, JC Auto, 1993