Christopher Hitchens once said of Jerry Fallwell that "If he were given an enema he would fit into a matchbox"
Funny, but accurate? Was he the terrible man that many asserted yet many still loved because of his pious claims. Did people forgive his evils merely because he was a man of the cloth?
“The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise
system and our economic stability”-Jerry Falwell
“If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a
human being”-Jerry Falwell
“It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying,
thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement
which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening”-Jerry Falwell
“Homosexuality is Satan's diabolical attack upon the family that will not only have
a corrupting influence upon our next generation, but it will also bring down the
wrath of God upon America.”-Jerry Falwell
“I had a student ask me, "Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?
" Of course, we know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed”-Jerry Falwell
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society
that tolerates homosexuals."-Jerry Falwell
"The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and
desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior."-Jerry Falwell
"You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I'm for the
president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all
away in the name of the Lord."-Jerry Falwell
"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked.
And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. 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.'" ---Jerry Falwell on the 9/11 attacks
"Is he (the anti christ) alive and here today? Probably. Because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he'll be Jewish.
Of course he'll pretend to be Christ. And if in fact the Lord is coming soon,
and he'll be an adult at the presentation of himself, he must be alive somewhere today." -Jerry Falwell
"If he's going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish," Falwell said. "The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish."
Anti-Semetic, anti american, racist, homophopic, and immoral. His statements go far beyond these, but it is so easy to find terrible things that he said that I had to stop somewhere!
How is it that as a society we accept this man as an example of piety and of family values merely because he asserts that he is such?
Does our fear of critiquing religion extend to criticizing those who claim to personify biblical values?
Perhaps it is because of his many examples of humanitarian works that we forgive the terrible bigotry and racism that he exhibits. His evangelical nature and humanitarian guise certainly gave him the forum in which to espouse his beliefs to anyone who would listen. And there were many.
I could of course go on, but the point has been made.
The critical thinking processes that we use to determine good and bad in morality, in recognizing the evils of religion, must be used to recognize the virus of immoral men hiding behind the veil of piety.
I am sure that he was not an inherently bad person, he may even have been a very good person, but he was driven by terrible dogma and spread that dogma more effectively behind a mask of unquestioned righteousness than any figure in recent history.
Should we be ashamed that we gave this racist bigot the lauds of a spiritual and moral leader? I would say no, but we should remember that it is only because he shared the same unreasoning privilege that religion holds.
This is the privilege of appearing moral and moreover it is the privilege of remaining unquestioned in this morality because of his position as a leader in the church.
It is not to say that the church has no representatives of moral strength and character. But these people are subject to the same scrutiny for the message that they propagate that any other person would be and the same scrutiny that we MUST utilize in examining any message that is spread from an immoral book that causes more people to action and harmful belief than any other book in history.
The book that caused a man with great intentions to fall from his path and spread veiled hatred under its obfuscating cover.
The book called the bible.
I started with a quote and will end with one.
"Good people do good things, Evil people do evil things, but for good people to do evil things that takes religion"
Change the world