Falwell part 2, Feel the LUV

May 16, 2007 by susan
McCain and Falwell in academic garb

I confess I watched CNN tonight and caught a parade of fatuous wind bags -- Ralph Reed, Billy Graham Jr., Charles Dobson -- all billowing with praise for Jerry Falwell. Even Al Sharpton made an appearance and lowered his bar another notch by saying it was impossible not to like Rev. Falwell, even if you didn't agree with all that he said. Tell that to Ellen Degeneres, who Falwell called Ellen Dengenerate, or Barney Frank, who he called a pervert. Heck, tell it to Tinky Wink of the Telletubbies.

Well, it was worth suffering through the gas fumes, if for nothing more than to see old clips of Tammy Faye and Jimmy Baker. (Who had a falling out long ago, which Tammy wishes she could have, snuffle, patched up before he checked out.)

But Timothy Noah of Slate has another take on Falwell. "He was a bigot, a reactionary, a liar, and a fool."
Go to Slate or read the article below.

Jerry Falwell's Hit Parade --The right's holy fool.
By Timothy Noah

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007, at 6:56 PM ET

God, they say, is love, but the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died May 15, hit the jackpot trafficking in small-minded condemnation. The controversies Falwell generated followed a predictable loop. 1.) Falwell would say something hateful or clownish about some person or group associated with liberalism. 2.) A public outcry would ensue. 3.) Falwell would apologize and retract the offending comment. 4.) Falwell would repeat the comment, slightly rephrased.

For 20 years, evangelicals have chided the mainstream media for treating Falwell's ghastly pronouncements as news; Falwell, they often confide in private, ceased being a significant figure well before he left his signature political organization, the Moral Majority, in 1987. If so, someone forgot to tell Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., who as a presidential candidate in 2000 condemned Falwell's intolerance ("The political tactics of division and slander are not our values, they are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country") but last year, as a presidential candidate positioning for 2008, made peace with Falwell and gave a commencement address ("We have nothing to fear from each other") to the 2006 graduating class at Falwell's Liberty University. On news of Falwell's death, McCain said in a statement, "Dr. Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country."

Nonsense. He was a bigot, a reactionary, a liar, and a fool. Herewith, a Falwell sampler.

On Sept. 11: "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. 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.' "

On AIDS: "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals."

On homosexuality: "I believe that all of us are born heterosexual, physically created with a plumbing that's heterosexual, and created with the instincts and desires that are basically, fundamentally, heterosexual. But I believe that we have the ability to experiment in every direction. Experimentation can lead to habitual practice, and then to a lifestyle. But I don't believe anyone begins a homosexual."

On Martin Luther King Jr.: "I must personally say that I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left-wing associations."

On Martin Luther King Jr., four decades later: "You know, I supported Martin Luther King Jr., who did practice civil disobedience."

On public education: "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."

On the separation of church and state: "There is no separation of church and state."

On feminists: "I listen to feminists and all these radical gals. ... These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men; that's their problem."

On global warming: "I can tell you, our grandchildren will laugh at those who predicted global warming. We'll be in global cooling by then, if the Lord hasn't returned. I don't believe a moment of it. The whole thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."

On Bishop Desmond Tutu: "I think he's a phony, period, as fa

On Islam: "I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life, written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war."

On Jews: "In my opinion, the Antichrist will be a counterfeit of the true Christ, which means that he will be male and Jewish, since Jesus was male and Jewish."

Rest in peace, you blowhard.

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Comments

paul Miller (not verified) | May 16, 2007 - 7:59am

isn't it Tinky Winky not Tinky Wink?

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paul Miller (not verified) | May 16, 2007 - 8:16am

my opinion is that Falwell served as a right wing caricature - he could set the far right lunacy and the other neo con nut bags could come in slightly under the radar, Falwell served the purpose of getting some serious vitriol out there for others to react to...love ya Jer, but...
what about Wolfie, the right wing version of a Bill Clinton affair, only the self hair slicking war ghoul had to pay his intern $180,000 per annum to be "with" him (in the biblical sense), not that any self respecting woman would be with a spit combing war monger even at $180,000. Tony Snow calls it a personnel issue (and Clinton's issue was a wardrope issue). Cheney is reportedly on the client list of the DC madam - Falwell's tirades are old news and distract us from the ghouls in front of us still trying to control the world. Fire, Impeach, Impeach, convict, imprison, imprison................

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Poet (not verified) | May 16, 2007 - 10:22am

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Jerry Falwell is dead and to listen to the Christo-fascists and too many in the progressive community tell it: “there’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover, tomorrow, just you wait and see”. Such visceral reaction shows that Falwell was a controversial figure whom most either dearly loved or firmly despised with only those ignorant of his public existence having any neutral reaction.

Jerry Falwell did not do anything more than a mirror. He was not the genesis but rather the revelation of the ugliness that was (and still is) too much a part of the US experience. Racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, WASP exceptionalism, human-led theocracy--all existed before Falwell and continue after him. The only difference is that the masses animated by such visions are looking for a new totem before which they might bow. Make no mistake, they will find that totem—just as the yearning human heart always finds some new vision to worship.

Like Cinderella’s mirror his “magic” was nothing more than a reflection of the world in which he existed. Many of his followers and detractors were the ugly step-sisters either enchanted or revolted by his reflection of their world, those with Cinderella beauty used (and continue to use) his reflection to examine their own imperfections rather than the ugliness of what surrounds them.

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Perhansa (not verified) | May 16, 2007 - 10:47am

Poet's right, Jerry is someone's son, husband, brother, uncle, grandpa and many of them will likely grieve his passing--others won't if his family is like any other. The rest of us call 'em as we see 'em whether in life or in death, not out of disrespect, but because silence, passivity, and unscrutinous complicity are what people like Falwell count on to run their little rackets. Judge his life by his words and his works. I think he was a con artist and a self-serving egotist just like the rest of the tele-avenge-alists. They peddle a warped sense of reality, god, truth, and morality. Their message is laced with venom, hate, fear, bigotry and parochialism and preys on the worst in human behavior. The worms will swallow him up just the same as they did Albert Einstein or Albert Schweitzer, what will live on is their legacy. History will judge and history will likely find Falwell an incidental trivia, a mere footnote in the late 20th century carnival of religious fanaticism.

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susan | May 16, 2007 - 11:12am

Sorry, the "he was somebody's next o' kin" doesn't much cut it with me. So is Dick Cheney. So was Sadddam. I'm sorry for them, sorry that they were so closely linked to such a bloated source of misinformation and hate and for the pain he caused. I'm sorry they've lost their spouse or dad, but I'm not sorry to say goodbye to a bigot who set about bringing his brand of Christianity into the halls of government, and pretty much succeeded.
Christopher Hitchens was also on CNN last night, looking like the antichrist (okay, not the Jewish one that Falwell claimed roamed freely among us) as he blasted all things Jerry and said he wished he believed in hell so that he could picture Falwell roasting there. Snap. After all the telly tubbies, I mean, televangicals, got done with their treacly tributes it was like gnoshing on shattered glass drizzled with lye. I mean, truly nasty, but almost a palate cleanser.
As for Tinky Winky, those of us on a first name basis just call him Tinky Wink, or Tink.

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paul miller (not verified) | May 16, 2007 - 12:51pm

new category, please:

Bush Suck ups for $50.00, Bill:
Coleman votes agains the Feingold bill calling for a timetable in Iraq -
call 651) 645 - 0323 - the new norm looks like the same old norm to me - gotta love Feingold!

- sidebar - is Christopher Hitchens bizarre or what?

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paul Miller (not verified) | May 16, 2007 - 1:26pm

I KNEW IT!

johnny mcCain weighs in:

From NBC's Mark Murray
Speaking of McCain and Falwell, McCain just released this statement: "I join the students, faculty, and staff of Liberty University and Americans of all faiths in mourning the loss of Reverend Jerry Falwell. Dr. Falwell was a man of distinguished accomplishment who devoted his life to serving his faith and country."

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susan | May 16, 2007 - 1:52pm

Bleh! And what's the price tag on your soul, Johnny boy?

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Anonymous (not verified) | May 17, 2007 - 9:41am

And while we're correcting Tinky's name - isn't the mirror Snow White's stepmother's thing, not Cinderella's? as in "mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? " (picky picky)

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Poet (not verified) | May 17, 2007 - 10:19am

Anon anonymous! You are right ! I got my fairy tales (but not the metaphor) mixed up. Falwell reflected even in his death both the best and worst in us all!

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