Posted by: nimbu | May 18, 2007

I will miss Jerry Falwell

Now I know he did a lot of good with his church; but I will miss the gay bashing. I will miss the fiery spirit that he brought to religious fundamentalism. As an ex-Muslim, I was glad to see that even righteous Christians can be duped by what Hitchens calls a “charlatan” . Just like stupid kids can be brainwashed into thinking that by blowing yourself up you’ll get virgins in the afterlife, Christians likewise were convinced that if gays were to marry, God will destroy New Orleans. Which he did!

First it was Ted Haggard (still alive), now Jerry, who’s left? Only one man can fill the shoes of these two: It’s Pat Robertson. Thank God he’s still alive. I remember fondly when Jerry blamed the 9/11 attacks on the ACLU, gays and women. Aaah, those were the days. I remember when both Jerry and Pat got together on the subject of AIDS and how it was God’s punishment for homosexuality. Now, all that’s left is one: my friend Pat.

God bless you Pat. You keep doing what you do best!

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Responses

  1. I always thought Jerry Falwell was a despicable person, an opportunist whose main marketing tool was bigotry, more specifically selling the fear you would be consumed or “contaminated” by other types of different people, who were really out to get you as well as the people and things closest to you. He sold the most universally accepted and time honored solution, salvation through religious doctrine which, if you follow it as he claims it means, you will be granted chosen status, thus appealing to the narcissism of the obtuse and fearfully insecure as well as a desperate need to justify and whitewash personal crimes and unseemly behaviors.

    Did I hate him personally? Not per se, much like christians say, I guess I hated the sin more than the sinner. I disliked what he stood for and was greatly disheartened by the fact that in this modern world of vast amounts of literature and real educational possibilities open to just about every one in the US, there were enough dim and fear driven thoughtless people for him to have a vast numbers of followers who carried forth and implemented through their voting and shouting some rather atrocious policies that harkened back to the Dark Ages and clearly crossed the line between church and state, enforcing “faith based” (nonsense) policy into the public forum and curtailing personal freedom in the process. And no matter how many years pass and how much intellectual realizations I have as to the limited intellectual abilities of the average person or as a collective, the masses, I still have to stop and incredulously wonder “Do people STILL really believe this archaic, superstitious nonsense?” As to their level of sincerity of belief, that can be open to much debate and interpretation but the depressing fact is that the prima facie picture is one of relatively devout theocratic belief among the general populace.

    If I had met Falwell in person I think I like Larry Flint experienced I may have found him to be a personally engaging man and would have had some interest in exploring the underpinnings behind his tenacity and ambitious nature. I don’t think he was a man of true belief however, but rather just a profiteer. No different than any other overly ambitious salesman, he was just selling a still (sadly) most easily salable good, religiosity. Which is probably second oldest profession next to prostitution. Perhaps it was because he hated competition, as to why he preached against prostitution or anything else that wasn’t his interpreted vision of regulated rules to live by.

    So as to the question will I miss him? Well, actually I feel a great deal better that he is no longer around. And though I realize the masses with their minds made of silly putty (impressioned by the latest cartoon) will never turn into truly rational, thoughtful human beings, at least there is a possibility that Falwell’s death may be symbolic of the pendulum swinging back away from faith based nonsense and toward rationality and science and general thoughtfulness. If that is to be the case, then I am VERY glad that Mr. Falwell has passed.

  2. Arne,

    Thank you for such a beautifully written passage. Sometimes I get sad thinking about how millions of people left their brains at the door when going into the church to seek “wisdom”. But the good news is that as more and more people of the world are educated, the less impact these charlatans will have. The pendulum does swing and will continue over centuries to come. There is no shortage of illiterate people in this world; perfect victims for fear-mongering, religious nut jobs.

    What you and I can do as individuals is to slowly change the degrees of the pendulum swing. The last time we had such religious fervor, we enacted Prohibition. This motion began with religious crazies blaming the booze instead of the person. The failure of religious doctrine in public policy quickly brought the pendulum back to the center.

    This time the pendulum swung and we elected leaders that have more faith than education. The evangelical movement was influential in electing our current situation. The pendulum is on its way back – thank goodness!


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