End of an era?

Jerry Falwell is dead.

I’m not going to dance on his grave. Neither am I going to engage in false sanctimony in deference to those who no doubt loved him. I am mostly sad because there is now no possibility that he will repent of his ghastly, misguided targeting of our community. That door is now closed.

Although he may have been eclipsed by public figures with even more outlandish ideas of turning our nation into a theocratic state, Jerry Falwell was probably the one individual most responsible for making “Christian” a dirty word that compassionate people suspiciously recoil from. People of the Christian faith are still trying to recover from the equation of Christianity with rage, intolerance and condemnation. For more about that, and what some Christians are doing about it, see CrossWalk America

Other good reads:

Hanna Rosin on old school.

Michael Paul Williams in the Richmond Times Dispatch, “his targets, in responding to Falwell’s death, showed a restraint he seldom exhibited toward them.”

Mel White of Soulforce on “attempts to change Jerry’s heart and mind concerning LGBT people over the years.”

Greatest hits from Blacknell.net

Diverse commentary on Washington Post:

“Politics had proven too out-sized for the narrow fundamentalist theology embraced by evangelicals until then. Falwell simplified things for them: politics was Us vs. Them, Good vs. Evil, Conservatives vs. Liberals, Republicans vs. Democrats. He told his audience what they wanted to hear with his populist gospel: they were moral and they were the majority…his legacy is the ridicule imposed on my faith and that of others like me..”

“One of his legacies (hardly his alone, although I think he was the most influential in achieving this) lies in the way that many journalists began using the word “Christian” as Falwell himself might use it–that is, as a synonym for “politically and theologically conservative evangelical Protestant.” Thus, the word Christian often appeared (and still does) in news stories without any sort of modifier when the context of those stories actually demand a greater precision.”

“..a warm and loving person,” and “real compassionate conservative.”

Statement of Equality Virginia Executive Director, Dyana Mason:

(Richmond, May 15) “”Equality Virginia sends thoughts of condolences to Reverend Falwell’s family. For a number of years, Rev. Falwell was a strong influence in Virginia politics.

“Unfortunately, Rev. Falwell’s divisive message of exclusion and intolerance alienated many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Virginians and Americans from their families, their communities and their faith. Instead of using his faith to inspire the best in all of us, he used it as a tool to divide us.

“We look forward to working with a new generation of faith leaders to help heal the pain and bridge the rift among all fair-minded Virginians and people of faith.”

Williams responds: We all should.

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5 Responses to End of an era?

  1. notbarbaracurtis says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh at Barbara Curtis’ “What does it mean to be a Christian” post. The whole thing was a comedic piece, but what grabbed my attention the most was this comment from the freak: “I never heard Jerry Falwell utter a hateful word.”

    Well, she may not have “heard” it but she must have read it. If not, let me share with you some of the things Jerry has said in the past before well deserved death and we’ll let sane people determine if it is hate or love. Remember, Love thy neighbor? Holy.

    Here we go: If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.
    — Rev Jerry Falwell

    AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.
    — Jerry Falwell

    I do not believe the homosexual community deserves minority status. One’s misbehavior does not qualify him or her for minority status. Blacks, Hispanics, women, etc., are God-ordained minorities who do indeed deserve minority status.
    — Rev Jerry Falwell, USA Today Chat, quoted from The Religious Freedom Coalition, “The Two faces of Jerry Falwell”

    Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan.
    — Rev Jerry Falwell

    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.
    — Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

    man I had to stop. I am getting sick. BYE BYE jerry, you bastard of a man

  2. David says:

    Barbara’s remark about Falwell was indeed laughable – I suppose she assumes her audience doesn’t know any better? Here is another statement that she apparently doesn’t perceive as “hateful”:

    [Homosexuals are] brute beasts…part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.

    Perhaps Barbara or someone else can explain how this could be interpreted as anything other than hateful. We’d love to see that.

  3. notbarbaracurtis says:

    Well, I would still have my satire Web site up if she didn’t call the police on me. I knew this after checking my IP list and noticed the police checked it 4 times. She apparently believes that the Constitution isn’t viable either. But I didn’t want to deal with the harasment and possible court case because we know how those loving Christians are.

    I’m a straight guy. I just respect people’s decisions and choices. Her psycho camp of followers are disgusting closed minded scum. I will consider bringing back the web page, but I will have to have a different approach. Her comments need to be argued.

  4. notbarbaracurtis says:

    By the way, she had the police from a jurisdiciton check my site and I don’t even live in that jurisdiction. I don’t even live near it. It was bizarre. I think she thought I was someone else.

    Point is, how evil was that?

    She is evil. A monster. No one. NO ONE can oppose her and the vicious attacks hidden behind her regular “Mommy” posts.

    I will be back.

  5. David says:

    NBC – I agree that your approach needs to be different. Certainly she makes outlandish, harmful and inaccurate statements about the gay community that need to be corrected. She’s obviously an intelligent woman, and knows perfectly well that she is not the authority on our lives – we are. It’s really enough to say that: She has no moral authority to speak about our community, a position of weakness which she demonstrates by deleting comments that reflect the authentic voices of gay people and undermine her inauthentic voice.

    I don’t think it’s productive (or particularly kind) to call her names, because that just serves to confirm her identity as a victim. Notice how she suggests that for anyone who disagrees with her to even read her blog is “stalking” her.

    I suggest that it would be far more productive to address the many contradictions and rhetorical devices in her writing.