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Friday, May 18, 2007

Jerry Falwell - RIP

SFGate published a list of choice quotes from Jerry Falwell. They just make me sputter. Take for example:
"The argument that making contraceptives available to young people would prevent teen pregnancies is ridiculous. That's like offering a cookbook as a cure to people who are trying to lose weight."

to which I can only respond that well, yes, giving a healthy cooking cookbook to someone who has only ever known to eat what looks good would be a reasonable step to take. Much like with contraceptives, if your choices are to eat not at all, overeat and eat poorly, or learn a healthy way to do things, learning how to cook healthy is a good first step. Teenagers and young adults will either have no sex, unprotected sex, or safe sex. Wouldn't you like to increase the odds of a good result by teaching more options for a good outcome?

"The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etcetera."

Oh really? Even the parts where it suggests throwing your virgin daughter to the ravening masses rather than handing over the two strangers who showed up on your doorstep? Great. I do not need to worship this god. And I hope you get buried in a cotton/polyester blend.

"There's been a concerted effort to steal Christmas."

Hunh? From whom? The Christians stole it first from the pagans. Nobody is stealing your holiday. Go to your church and celebrate it any way you want. And if everybody's so keen on stealing it, then could somebody please steal all the decorations that come out before Halloween now?

"I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"

Aiiiiiiieeeeeee! Oh Jesus, please save me from your followers. If This Goes On, anyone? And also, allow me to direct you to a truly heartbreaking story from This American Life, Shouting Across the Divide.

"Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions."

Guess I'll never be a Christian. One of my bosses once told me that my greatest strength and weakness was that I ask a lot of questions. It's true. And I'll never be a slave because of it. I question my daily existence, how things are, why things are, and I just wish more people did so rather than just doing as their expected without ever asking why.

"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for [the attacks of Sept. 11] 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.'"

Wha? Buh? How can you? You really believe this? And people give you money to say these things in public? Oh dear. I fear for us all. And I worry that now that he's dead, another will raise up to take his place, like some mythical hydra of hate in the name of Christianity.

4 Comments:

  • Wait a sec! You're missing the bright side of the whole thing! Westboro Baptist Church is going to demonstrate at his funeral!

    With

    By Blogger cerise-google, at 4:44 PM  

  • *ahem*

    With any luck, this'll divide the radical right and restore some sanity to the universe.

    By Blogger cerise-google, at 4:44 PM  

  • One way or the other I'm figuring Jerry Falwell is facing a very different afterlife (or lack thereof) that the one he expected.

    By Blogger Chris, at 5:09 PM  

  • SFGate published a list of choice quotes from Jerry Falwell.

    At least some of which Falwell does not even appear to have said! But what else should one expect from an opinion-column hit piece in a liberal newspaper when the man has yet even to be buried?!

    "The argument that making contraceptives available to young people would prevent teen pregnancies is ridiculous. That's like offering a cookbook as a cure to people who are trying to lose weight."

    to which I can only respond that well, yes, giving a healthy cooking cookbook to someone who has only ever known to eat what looks good would be a reasonable step to take.


    Except the point is not that you're trying to prevent over-eating but eating in the first place. If you don't have sex you don't get pregnant.

    Teenagers and young adults will either have no sex, unprotected sex, or safe sex. Wouldn't you like to increase the odds of a good result by teaching more options for a good outcome?

    But the point was about handing out contraceptives, not safe-sex education.

    "The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etcetera."

    Oh really? Even the parts where it suggests throwing your virgin daughter to the ravening masses rather than handing over the two strangers who showed up on your doorstep?


    Uh, say what? Have you not heard of taking care of your guests first, then your family? It's big in the Middle East. And it is highly commendable behaviour. Do you honestly think it is morally superior to hand over your guests to be sodomized?!

    (And I don't even believe that the Bible is necessarily inerrant.)

    And I hope you get buried in a cotton/polyester blend.

    ?!?

    "There's been a concerted effort to steal Christmas."

    Hunh? From whom? The Christians stole it first from the pagans.


    No, the pagans never celebrated "Christmas". We co-opted the date, not the name and what it stood for.

    "I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"
    Aiiiiiiieeeeeee! Oh Jesus, please save me from your followers.


    From what about Western Civilisation do you need saving?

    If This Goes On, anyone?

    Um, that's fiction. Falwell was referring to real historical events.

    And also, allow me to direct you to a truly heartbreaking story from This American Life, Shouting Across the Divide.

    Al Qaeda is Muslim. Al Qaeda wants to kill Christians. Ergo, there are Muslims who want to kill Christians.

    "Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions."

    Guess I'll never be a Christian.


    Context, anyone?

    One of my bosses once told me that my greatest strength and weakness was that I ask a lot of questions. It's true. And I'll never be a slave because of it.

    Non-sequitur. Slaves are not slaves because they ask no questions.

    "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for [the attacks of Sept. 11] 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.'"

    Wha? Buh? How can you? You really believe this?


    Actually, it's quite logical if you posit the existence of a God.

    And I worry that now that he's dead, another will raise up to take his place, like some mythical hydra of hate in the name of Christianity.

    That would not seem necessary. Judging from your post, a hydra of hate has no need for Christianity.

    With any luck, this'll divide the radical right and restore some sanity to the universe.

    If you want sanity in this universe, we'll need to divide the radical left too!

    So enough with the hate. Let's see what people like the left-wing Al Sharpton, who actually knew the man, had to say:

    TUCKER CARLSON: Well, he was — it's interesting. He was a sports fanatic. I once did a profile of him for a magazine and spent some time down at Liberty with him. And I was struck by two things, one, the intensity of his passion for sports, and, two, how he almost never talked about politics in private. In fact, I never heard him say a single nasty, polemical, even ideological thing about anybody. … I remember him going on to me about how Geraldo Rivera was one of his closest friends.



    PAT BUCHANAN: He was not a mean guy. That image of the guy is utterly opposite than the man himself, who was not a mean guy at all, who was a big bear of a man, and who had a good sense of humor.

    And I will say this. He took a horrendous amount of awful abuse. Who was that guy from “Penthouse” magazine?

    JOE SCARBOROUGH: Right, Larry Flynt.

    BUCHANAN: All that garbage. And he really took it like a man. He behaved like a man. And I think he was enormously — he was influential, but, basically, he put a voice and a face to an enormous movement in this country, reacting to the '60s…

    CARLSON: Right.

    BUCHANAN: … and the excesses of the '60s.



    CARLSON: Was — I know that his enemies always thought of Falwell as a true believer, as the — as a hater, as an ideologue. That was not my experience of him at all in person, in fact, almost just the opposite.

    Was he for real? Did he believe everything he said, do you think?

    CHARMAINE YOEST: You know, I'm so glad you bring up who he was in real life, because I think that's one of the biggest memories I have of him, is meeting him in person, and just being struck by what an amazingly gracious man he was.

    And I think that's important for people to understand, because, when you're in the media, it's so easy to be caricatured, particularly when he was as adamant and strong about his beliefs as he was. It was just a little too easy to take it and make him into a figure that he was not.

    CARLSON: Well, he seemed to have an almost ironic detachment from his own persona. I remember being in his office right around the time he had attacked the Teletubbies as gay. Tinky-Winky, he said, was a closeted gay character, or something to that effect.

    And in his office was a Tinky-Winky…

    YOEST: Yes.

    CARLSON: … character on top of his television. And I remember thinking, hmm, I'm not sure what to think. Does he really believe what he is saying? Is he — does he — is he laughing at his own joke? What does it…

    YOEST: Well, he had a great sense of humor.

    And, you know, he was a man of amazing integrity. When you think about the fact that he concluded his life, he ran the race with dignity and integrity, made it to the end, he didn't big the build mansions. He — you know, our heart goes out today to his wife and his family.

    You know, he really, really has — when you look at the totality of his life, he was willing to go out there and stand on principle and take the slings and arrows. And, when people criticized him, he took it with good humor. When it was called for, he came back and he corrected himself, and he said, well, you know, that wasn't what I meant in the context.

    So, you know, he really, really deserves to…



    CARLSON: And he was not your average televangelist, in the sense that he wasn't commuting to work by helicopter.

    YOEST: Exactly.

    CARLSON: I went to his house. And it was kind of a middle-class house. I mean, he wasn't — he raised a ton of money, but I don't think there's any evidence he did it for his own personal enrichment.

    — Tucker, MSNBC


    CHRIS MATTHEWS: Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of Reverend Falwell?

    REVEREND AL SHARPTON: Well, you know, we didn't agree on anything. We used to debate very — very vociferously a lot on this show. There was a time every Friday he and I would come on with you and debate. But we got to know each other. In private, he was a very, very nice guy. I mean, he was very cordial, always would ask me about my daughters, how they were doing in school, was always very concerned. I never saw him in a studio not speak to the doormen, not talk to regular people. So he's one of the few people that I know that was of national acclaim that never let it go to his head.

    He was a decent guy. I've had lunch with him and breakfast with him, visited him in Lynchburg. I have a chapter of National Action Network under Reverend Coleman there. So he was a genuinely decent guy. I just didn't agree with him on anything. And we used to tease each other about how both of us were national and controversial, and I'd say, yes, but I'm right. We also would joke with each other about our weight. We'd compare who was up and who was down. And he was a decent man, and I certainly extend my condolences to his family.

    — Hardball, MSNBC

    By Blogger Michael, at 12:03 AM  

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