Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Falwell

Rev. Jerry Falwell died on Tuesday after being discovered unconscious sometime in the 1980’s.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

As far as I’m concerned nothing good came from the man. Making religion a pressure group that has enormous power on the Republican Party is the worst thing that ever happened to the party. He did not stand for freedom and individual rights but for using government to restrict freedom in the name of religion. He was at least as bad for America as the SDS and the New Left he loathed.

Some of the Reverend’s greatest hits:

“Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.”

(re: 9/11 attacks) "...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, 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 try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen."”

“God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.”

"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters."

"The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc."

"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.”

“There is no separation of church and state. Modern US Supreme Courts have raped the Constitution and raped the Christian faith and raped the churches by misinterpreting what the Founders had in mind in the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

Here’s a quiz that asks you to tell which statements were made be Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson or Osama bin Laden.


dismuke said...

As far as I’m concerned nothing good came from the man.

This is an EXTREME stretch on my part and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the context you are discussing - but years ago, I saw something about him in a newspaper story that impressed the heck out of me. It was some sort of profile on him and the news reporter was present when he was about to do a television interview. Falwell asked the host whether they wanted him to give 30, 60 or 90 second answers to the questions. That impressed me - to have the ability to just as comfortably answer a question in 30 seconds or 90 seconds is a skill that I wish I had. Anyone can usually answer a question if they are allowed to babble on long enough. Being able to answer a question conscisely yet effectively - well, that's hard and requires lots of skill. I wouldn't be surprised if that is part of the secret to how he was able to have so much of an impact. There have been countless backwoods preachers who basically have had the same worldview he had and yet none of them had anywhere near his impact or influence. I guess the lesson we can abstract from it in terms of promoting good ideas as opposed to what Falwell preached is this: in order to change the world merely having an understanding the relevent ideas is not enough - one must also have the particular skills to communicate and spread them in a highly effective manner.

Dismuke said...

To add on my previous posting regarding Falwell's impact - it also didn't hurt that we were just emerging from the nihilism of the 1960s when he started making a name for himself. Ultimately, much of the success of Falwell and the Religious Right has come from people being utterly distgusted with the hippies and the nihilism of the Left and being unable to conceive of any other alternative themselves. Effective communictation skills alone is not enough to explain his success - but it certainly must have played a role.

Blair said...

I have nothing good to say about him, so I didn't post anything about his passing [Can I get a hallielujah!] on my blog.

Myrhaf said...

Dismuke, I agree that Falwell was an effective communicator and organizer. He was good at what he did, which makes him worse than a buffoon like Fred Phelps because what Falwell did was bad for America.

Blair, you're a better man than I, Gunga Din.

Gus Van Horn said...

Speaking of Fred Phelps, guess who'll be attending Falwell's funeral!

Quite fitting.