Thursday, May 17, 2007

So Long, Falwell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Rev. Jerry Falwell passed away two days ago on May 15, 2007, at the age of 73. Founder of both the Moral Majority (a major political force in the 1980s) and Liberty University (a training ground for religious rhetoricians and government interns), Falwell dedicated his life to advancing fundamentalist Christianity and combating serious enemies like Tinky Winky the purple Teletubby, an imagined Jewish Antichrist, Hustler magazine, homosexuals, feminists, civil libertarians, and stem cell research. I'm not sure exactly what to say about this guy, so I'll let him speak for himself. Here are some potent quotables from the reverend:

"I really believe that the 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.'" (After the events of September 11, 2001)
"[The Bible is] the inerrant Word of God, and totally accurate in all respects."
"I shudder to think where the country would be right now if the religious right had not evolved."
"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals."
"Thank God for these gay demonstrators. If I didn't have them, I'd have to invent them. They give me all the publicity I need."
"I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations."

Learn more on MSNBC, NPR, Beliefnet, Beliefnet's Timeline of Falwell's Life, Beliefnet's interview with Richard Land, and good ol' Wikipedia (where I got most of the quotes).

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