Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Has Died

I learned a few things reading his wikipedia biography today.

I knew he was terribly homophobic, but I didn't realize he had been a segregationist in the 60s (he referred to the Civil Rights movement as the "Civil Wrongs" movement) as well as a supporter of apartheid in the 80s.

Although many of my religious readers are angered by the analogy between gay rights and black rights, Falwell's life provides another datapoint that the two are more similar than gay rights opponents might like to admit. Here's Falwell on Brown v. Board of Education:

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 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.”

Falwell was the founder of the so-called "Moral Majority" movement, which was perhaps the beginning of the Christian Right voting bloc and prominently included Pat Robertson whose law school boasts 150 alumni in the current Bush administration.

Falwell was not an irrelevant religious nut -- he had friends in high places. Bush 41 spoke at the commencement ceremony of Falwell's Liberty University in 1990 while he was president, referring to Falwell as "a loyal friend." Falwell was a huge supporter of Bush 43, who called him personally when Falwell was hospitalized in 2005. Karl Rove delivered the commencement address in 2004. John McCain famously delivered a commencement speech at Liberty last year after having publicly criticized Falwell in the past.

Falwell represented much of what's wrong with American politics, American religion, and, most notably, the intersection between them. I take no joy in a man's death, but let us not forget that the backwards ideology he spent his life representing continues to thrive in 2008.

15 comments:

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Although many of my religious readers are angered by the analogy between gay rights and black rights, Falwell's life provides another datapoint that the two are more similar than gay rights opponents might like to admit.

I'm not angered by it, I just think it's incorrect. If I were black, then yes, I'd probably be angered by it.

Keebo said...
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Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Then of course I'd try to push the comparison as much as possible. But it's still not correct.

Keebo said...
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asher said...

Oh, this is so silly. I don't understand why you have no compassion for the memory of a religous leader who said, among other things, that:

feminism will lead to witchcraft,

San Francisco suffered an earthquake because of the many gays who live there,

one of the telletubbies is gay,

the anti christ is alive today and is a jewish person.

If you have no tolerance for this man's view you are clearly being predjudiced against someone's outlandish ideas.

Judge not lest ye be judged.

Keebo said...
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Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

This idea that ANYONE CHOOSES their sexuality, is pervasive, and dangerous. (Another fallacy of the BIble)

And not relevant to the validity to the comparison. But this issue has been debated to death and I see no need or purpose to continuing it.

Keebo said...
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Richard said...

It must be so comfortable to not worry about the morality of how people, different from yourself, are treated.

Huh?

Who is talking about how people are being treated?

Keebo said...
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JDHURF said...

I will never celebrate the death of any human being, I have never been much impressed by la danse macabre; which celebrating the death of Falwell would be a variation of.
However, this is no doubt whatsoever that Falwell was a sociopath of seemingly limitless evil, contrivance, hypocrisy and hate.
As Christopher Hitchens, now infamously, quipped “I think it’s a pity there isn’t a hell for him to go to…I’m glad to see he skipped the rapture, was found on the floor of his office.”

JDHURF said...

CMY said:
And not relevant to the validity to the comparison.

Actually the fact that homosexuality is possibly an in-born trait, or, at the very least, an unconscious, unchosen orientation dictated by biological constitution is - very clearly, this shouldn't have to be explained - relevant to the "validity of the comparison." Both features - being homosexual or black - are human attributes unchosen by the individual who is then treated as an inferior due to no wrong committed by said individual. Both are deserving of rights as are all human beings and both were and are to various degrees being denied their rights and both have and are suffering hate, bigotry, violence, ignorance and the most inhuman evil imaginable. The comparison is just and the parallel is both obvious and resounding.

Scott said...

Ha, three days without a post. JA has nothing to do now that his arch nemesis is dead. It's like the end of all the superhero movies when the main villain is defeated.

What does our super her do now, hmmm?

Jewish Atheist said...

LOL. What can I say? I've got nothing.

Scott said...

This is pretty good.