Thursday, May 17, 2007

Falwell's Hell

Moms Mabely used to do a bit about her cheap, late husband. She said her mother had told her, "Don't say anything about the dead unless you can say something good." So she said, "He's dead. Good!" Same with Jerry Falwell. In fact, I talked with the Lord who told me Falwell's death was retribution for doing intentional harm to so many of His children. While the candidates in the Republican debate fell all over themselves portraying Falwell as a great religious figure, I knew of no one outside of South Carolina who shed any tears for the pompous inquisitor. In fact, my phone started ringing with messages from people uplifted by his departure. In the sixties, Falwell would have been branded as the racist he is, along with figures like George Lincoln Rockwell and George Wallace. They cloaked their bigotry in Klan robes; Falwell cloaked his in the robes of the church. His South Carolina brand of divide and conquer preaching is no stranger to the South, and only another rigid fundamentalist could say that Falwell left this world any better for his presence in it.

Falwell liked to say he was "pro" things, like "pro" life, and "pro" family, as if anyone was against the family, but he was mainly known for the things for which he was opposed; Abortion, sex education, welfare, secularism, globalism, homosexuals, feminists, fornicators, and freeloaders. The Jews would have been at the top of the list, had it not been for Falwell's twisted desire to see the State of Israel used as a springboard for the return of Jesus and the judgement of the Jews. Some of his more outrageous statements made me believe he was reading from a different Bible than the other Christians, but what he calls the inerrancy of the Good Book was only his interpretation, just like everyone else. How else to explain Falwell's ghastly and cruel televised statement to his flock that the blame for 9/11 lied with "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.'" The doctors claim Falwell had a heart attack; how would they know where to find it?

Falwell wasn't the first evangelist to use religion to advance his petty prejudices. Father Coughlin, from the WWII era, comes to mind. But Falwell was the first to use Christian exclusivity as a political philosophy, and the most successful in marshaling like-minded followers into holding political candidates hostage to his views. He made his bones as an anti-gay crusader, howling about Disneyland and Tinky Winky the purple Telletubbie, but the Moral Majority was his creation and legacy to the political process. Who could have imagined that his rise to political power would find such official Washington sympathy, that the last two election cycles, in a time of war, would be decided on abortion rights and gay marriage? But what made me choke over Falwell's message, was his utter intolerance for people not sharing his rigid biblical views, and his towering ignorance of any faith other than his own.

Falwell was so unyielding in his "one way" ideal that the IRS found, in 1993, that he was diverting contributions from his "Old Time Gospel Hour" to right wing Political Action Committees. Falwell paid a fine and retroactively lost the program's tax-exempt status for the years involved. That's a lot of prayer cloths and poor people's hopes that went into the political coffers of the morality police. Falwell believed that absolute certainty in his faith made him a religious leader of great stature and wisdom. Of course, Moktada Al-Sadr believes the same thing. So does George Bush. But inflexibility never led to diplomacy, or cooperation, or peace. The fact that Republicans like John McCain, who called Falwell an "agent of intolerance" in 2004, now line up to talk at Liberty University, speaks of the moral bankruptcy of a party that has sold its soul to the Christian Right. Falwell has already promised that "the Anti-Christ would be Jewish," but I can't think of a less Christian approach to society than Falwell's. There were no sex scandals as there were with his compadres Bakker, Swaggert, and Haggard, but there was financial malfeasance galore, including the discovery of Falwell's participation in financing anti-Clinton materials that accused the former president of drug smuggling and murder.

Before Falwell is eulogised as a great defender of America and its freedoms by those who covet his followers' votes, let's us regular people stop to remember the man who gave us the Moral Majority and the abortion-driven, sledge hammer tactics they have used for the past thirty years. For all the crusades against public schools, all the attempts to force prayer into the public arena, the opinion that AIDS was God's scourge against homosexuals and all AIDS relief to impoverished countries be tied to abstinence only education, we will remember him. For the War on Christmas, the outing of Tinky Winky, the Hustler Magazine lawsuit, and the statement that "Global warming is a conspiracy orchestrated by Satan," we will remember Jerry Falwell as one of the fiercest Christian jihadists ever.

Since I don't actually believe in Hell, there's no way I can envision even a Jerry Falwell in such an eternal place. I do, however, believe in karma, or reaping what you sew, or what goes around comes around; but eternal damnation for only making it harder for people in just one lifetime? That only necessitates one lifetime's worth of rumination over the soul and the requirement to come back to this realm and do it all over again; in Falwell's case, probably as a professional baseball player, but gay. After watching the film, "The U.S. v. Larry Flint," I would prefer to see Jerry Falwell do his time in multi-century limbo as the spiritual advisor to Courtney Love. Then he would at least know what hell is like, and perhaps how obnoxious he seemed to those who had to listen to his inane yammering.
fact timeline from thecarpetbaggerreport.com

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

boy,can you turn a phrase.but i'm afraid most of our brethern will be highly pissed.great writing,insightful,funny as hell and so true!! thanks chop

Anonymous said...

Well said, my friend, as always. I was raised a Christian, but am no longer one. I don't blame it all on idiots like Falwell and their insane views, but he certainly had an influence on my decision that religion is not for me. Contrary to him, I don't think my way is the only way. Different strokes for different folks.

Take care,

Joel

freddy thrupence's bud said...

Just had the great pleasure of reading what should be plastered into every Baptist Hymnal along with a picture of Jesus with a knowing smile on his face with a bubble over his head that says, "guess what, brethren, this fellow, Falwell, was the anti-christ. Just goes to show how gullible some folks can be." Jesus might go on to say that he has a very good friend up there in heaven whose name is Buddha and another guy he regularly sits down with for a little gin rummy whose name is Mohammed. He'd go on to say that it turns out that there are about 6 trillion other real good guys and if you didn't spend so much of your very valuable time thinking that you were the tops in the whole universe and everybody else was scheduled to be fried in the hell (that you designed yourself) you could get to meet some of them. Great guys. "That guy from Alpha Centauri is a real kick", ole Jesus would say with a sly grin on his face. Then, he'd look at the people who were looking up from their hymnals with that vacant oh my god look as all the blood had begun to leave their head and he'd say, "now, it's not too late. You see, brethren, it's never too late. Just read what I said. Can y'all just get that right.....for once. Just read what I said and y'all will really get a good look at the grace I was trying to point out to you. I said, "Do unto others". Y'all don't remember that? Hells bells, me and Mohammed and Buddha and that card shark from Alpha Centauri with his three heads and his balls lined up where my toes are can't stop wondering what's wrong with you. Oh, yeah. You folks would rather listen to the anti-chirst, ole Jerry boy, than me personally. Hey, that's your call. But if you design it you'll live in it. Sorry we won't be seeing you or ole Jer up here for the next galactic pizza party. Good luck, y'all.

jimbob said...

and take that sumbitch Pat Robertson with you.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could afford to fly the San Francisco and Atlanta Gay Men Choruses to his funeral to stand outside the church singing the Hallelujah Chorus and other appropriate songs. J

Anonymous said...

Some of your blogs are really on the money, and this one hit the spot! Long live intelligence.

Anonymous said...

Well, you did it again. Pearls of wisdom.

realdeal said...

Well, I'll tell you what.....all of you sinners are gonna eat some dust pretty soon. Oh, yeah. You say the stuff that I just read and I know you are going to be eating some dust for sure. And I can't wait to see it. No, sir. I want to be there to see all of you devils just burn real slow and then maybe I'll have myself a good little chuckle when I see your poor unrepentant faces crying out and moaning to be saved .....but it'll be way too late. No, too late to be saved. You showed your true colors when you were down here and when the good Lord gets his hands on you he's going to rip your arms and legs off and spit in your eyes and do things that you can't even imagine because that's what hell is going to be like for you..you sinners. All of you. All those Moslems and Jews and Homos and uppity women and atheist poet New York cone heads. You had your chance to see what the real truth was and to take it into your sorry hearts but now its too late for you. Jerry is going to see to it, himself.
Praise the Lord.

troubled said...

Hey now. Hold on just a minute. There are a lot of Christians that don't put other people down or feel like we have some hold on the truth. Not all of us believe that anyone who doesn't believe in exaclty what we believe will go to "hell". You're putting us all in some stinkhole together. What does that make you, FThrupence's bud? Nothing more than another bigot.

Cousin Cliff said...

Not a Falwell fan myself, but I did notice the following bit of news today:

"The controversial anti-homosexual Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., plans to "preach" at the funeral of Rev. Jerry Falwell, according to its Web site.

"WBC will preach at the memorial service of the corpulent false prophet Jerry Falwell, who spent his entire life prophesying lies and false doctrines like 'God loves everyone,'" reads a posting on Godhatesamerica.com."

So you all have something in common with Fred Phelps. Who would of thunk it?

Alan said...

Falwell and you have alot in common. You both believe your way is the only correct way to look at things.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Hurrican Katrina was God's judgement on a wicked city. Not sure about the coast, however

Sputnik57 said...

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/gingrich-warns-against-radical/20070519184409990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

The new caped crusader, Newt Gingrich

Anonymous said...

Self-righteousness runs amok on both sides of the political spectrum. In an often inscrutable way, we are always guilty of what we condemn in others. Politics is a comedy of errors...a tale told by idiots...full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing...or at least very little of real truth. One of my favorite sayings is that there are two sides to every issue...then there is the truth. It is humorous to see political freaks get in a huff and pontificate about their 'truth' as though they are omniscient. We need more 'fools on the hill'.

Jane said...

Just two comments....first, well said!....second,...you reap what you sow....not what you sew! lol