Sunday, May 20, 2007
Remembrance of Falwell...While the legacy of Jerry Falwell is being compared to that of Mother Theresa in some circles, an assessment that looks behind the papier-mache halo and into the not-so-pious past of the preacher is needed and, happily, there have been several. Pam Spaulding's extensive catalog of Jerry's demagoguery can be found on her terrific website, Pam's House Blend, and John Aravosis' Americablog has another list of the Reverend's most egregious remarks. What emerges much more clearly than any kind of spiritual journey is merely a crass climb to the top: Jerry rose to power by demonizing black people, Jews and homosexuals. We should hold tight the memory of Jerry's language in the 60's when he refers to "civil wrongs" and to his straight-faced declaration that the anti-Christ is a "male Jew". His attribution of the 9/11 attacks to, among others, homosexuals, was followed by his customary, ready-made apology. There is, however, a kind of grotesque justice approaching: Reverend Fred Phelps (and his "whelps", as one wag termed them) will be picketing Jerry's funeral.