It's always a tragedy in the human experience when one passes on to where ever one goes when one dies. We often look back upon people's lives and see what we have learned from someone, what they contributed to society over a lifetime. We tend to focus on the positive. But, it's also good to look at how one's words and deeds impacted others, not only for better, but also sometimes for worse. In terms of a greater sense of humanity and toleration for all our different ways of living in concert with each other on Earth (shall we say, more Jesus-like?), some folks are just more divisive and hurtful in sheer societal terms. Let's remember who the Fundamentalist, Christian, Televangelical, Moral Majority rockstar Jerry Falwell really was over the past several decades by examining some of his own thoughts and words. May we learn to transcend such divisive, disdainful discourse.
About the 9/11 attacks...“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 try to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”
About thinking critically- “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions”
About gays and sexual preference- “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”
About his peers- “Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America”
About public education- “Textbooks are Soviet propaganda” and "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!"
About civil liberties protections for all Americans- “The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews”
About Jesus and Bin Laden- "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."
About women and equality- "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."
About the ERA and women again- "I listen to feminists and all these radical gals...These women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they’re mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They’re sexist. They hate men; that’s their problem."
About theocracy and his own distorted history of founding motives- "There is no separation of church and state. Modern US Supreme Courts have raped the Constitution and raped the Christian faith and raped the churches by misinterpreting what the Founders had in mind in the First Amendment to the Constitution.
About the Jews- "The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior."
About Islam- “I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war.”
About grown men and prostitutes- "Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them."
About the good fight against Satan and Liberals- "We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism ... we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today ... our battle is with Satan himself."
About loving thy neighbor- “...You’ve got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops and I am for the President—chase them all over the world, if it takes ten years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord.”
Farewell, Falwell. Any society that cherishes human compassion and decency, empathy and nonviolence, and freedom of thought and religion in any true sense will hardly miss ya.