October 22, 2001
6:47 PM   Subscribe

Did you criticize Jerry Falwell for his remarks partially blaming the terrorist attacks on gay people, civil libertarians, people who believe in separation of church and state, and other people who aren't Christian fundamentalists? Then you are Satan, according to a new fund-raising letter from Falwell's ministry caught by Americans United. People have shrugged off fanatacism like this from Falwell and his ilk for decades -- should we still?
posted by mdeatherage (34 comments total)
said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

What Falwell did was completely out of line, but as for the journalistic intergrity of the article, well they quoted the head of their own organization in the piece, about as acceptable journalism wise as interviewing people that work at your newspaper for a story to run in that paper.
posted by drezdn at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2001

It didn't say Falwell's critics were Satan. It said they were part of Satan's hail of fiery darts. Pretty cool, huh?
posted by Loudmax at 6:55 PM on October 22, 2001

Oh wait... now I realize that it was meant as a press release. Doh.
posted by drezdn at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2001

ooooh. I'm a fiery dart. whoot! I'd like to buy Falwell a drink. A foul, mouthful of trashy rhetoric on ice with a touch of lime. Rancid lime.

sad thing...i bet his little letter works. i'm torn...but i'd rather see all churches lose their tax-exempt status than see pot legalized. ah hell, lets do both....think of the huge tax revenues--free healthcare anyone?
posted by th3ph17 at 7:09 PM on October 22, 2001

When you're all about making money, you will make everything be about making money. I just wish hate didn't pay so well.
posted by rushmc at 7:10 PM on October 22, 2001

It says Falwell is "being roundly vilified by the news media for remarks he made in a TV interview while calling for spiritual revival in America."

of course he's being villified. he's a villian.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:17 PM on October 22, 2001

of course he's being villified. he's a villian.

Then that would be redundant! I would say, rather, that he's being recognized.
posted by rushmc at 7:47 PM on October 22, 2001

Falwell is a disgusting, sick fatass.
posted by prodigal at 7:54 PM on October 22, 2001

What's fat got to do with it? Falwell is a disgrace to the fat community. :)
posted by dr_emory at 7:57 PM on October 22, 2001

Geez, I don't know what I'd do without Jerry Falwell to work out my liberal self-righteousness on...

Granted, Jerry Falwell trying to cast himself as a victim here is just laughable, but, to paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, pointing out Falwell's stupidity is about as hard as hunting dairy cows with a high-powered rifle and scope.

Doesn't make it any less fun, though...

Boy, am I torn...
posted by Ty Webb at 8:01 PM on October 22, 2001

I feel the need to point this
out again. Ty is conflicted about whether to ridicule Falwell. I am not.

I wish Falwell were in charge of the NIH.
posted by dr_emory at 8:07 PM on October 22, 2001

lol, this is from the link above from dr_emory

"The men involved in this Institute are highly trained scientists with doctorate degrees in science."

degrees in science, holy crap!
posted by rhyax at 8:24 PM on October 22, 2001

Nearly 20 years ago, Jerry Falwell (with Anita Bryant standing smiling alongside) publicly said that gay people would "just as soon kill you as look at you." He actually stated with complete candor and total conviction that he believed that homosexuals would gladly murder anyone good Christians that they came across, because they were evil and depraved by nature and that's what evil and depraved gays do. Right then and there, any credibility that Falwell ever may have had as a leader, theologian or respectable spokesperson for anything was blown right out of the water.

No one outside of a very special niche of extreme right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity puts any stock in anything that this man has to say. The more holes he digs for himself, with stupidity like the gay teletubby or atrocities like the post-9/11 comments, the further he and his followers are marginalised. Should we worry about him and the influence he wields? Only inasmuch as we worry about everyone out there in the lunatic fringe. Right now, though, it seems that there are bigger fish to fry.
posted by Dreama at 8:28 PM on October 22, 2001

Hear, hear, Dreama.

Falwell is fun to bat around now and then like a cat-toy, but wasting too much time and energy refuting his dreck tends only to increase his legitimacy.

Never stop paying attention, however...
posted by Ty Webb at 8:43 PM on October 22, 2001

Dreama: Ronald Reagan apparently took Jerry Falwell seriously, very seriously - so seriously that, if I remember correctly, one of the very first groups of people (I've heard *the* first) he met with upon taking office was a group of religious leaders, Falwell the most prominent among them. Falwell was essential to the tone of 1980's politics, and any statement to the contrary is revisionist history of the lowest orer. It's nice to see him reviled throughout all ideological sectors now, but conservatives couldn't have made it without Jerry Falwell. A lot of respected theologians, and the politicians they advise and those who respect the theologians in general, owe us all an apology if they knew all along that Falwell was so very hateful and did practically nothing to stop his political rise.
posted by raysmj at 8:51 PM on October 22, 2001


I think recent events highlight the importance of keeping an eye on lunatic fringes...
posted by srboisvert at 8:54 PM on October 22, 2001

Falwell will never be anything less than an ignoramous...

unless America's economy goes down the tubes, and foreign countries begin to dominate us, plunder our resources, enforce police actions upon us, sanction us, and drop bombs on us.

Then he, or people like him, will attempt to rally a miniscule but fanatic group of followers to attack the evil within or without our borders.
posted by chaz at 9:04 PM on October 22, 2001

Is there anybody, anybody, anybody reading MeFi who supports this guy? Even a little?

I've never met such a soul, and it would really make my day to be able to talk with one. Like an entymologist who searches his whole career, finally stumbling across that rare, freakishly deformed arachnoid, I would just love a 10-minute debate with one of these people.

If you're out there, please contact me. I've got so much to tell you!
posted by jpoulos at 9:05 PM on October 22, 2001

Actually, I am Satan....

Well, seriously, at least the guy is transparent and predictable. Everyone who disagrees with him or violates his holy ideals is Evil. What else is new? Interestingly, in this sense there is absolutely zero difference between him and any other hate-filled demagogue, except the "ideals" they happen to preach.
posted by mattpfeff at 9:47 PM on October 22, 2001

The best thing to happen for our country would be for Jerry to be cast aside by the media like all those freakshows on the weakest link tonight.

I think him and Kato would get along well
posted by themikeb at 10:10 PM on October 22, 2001

I thinkt he perfeect jsutice for him is peopl to just start lauging at him. out loud and en masse.

he takes hijself way to seriously, just laugh at him , the press the public... he gets on stage, have a ball laugh as loud as you can. People who take themelves THIS serously do not like being laughed at. It's crueler than having him killed - and alot more fun wahtching him cry like a little girl.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 10:23 PM on October 22, 2001

I thinkt he perfeect jsutice for him is peopl to just start lauging at him. out loud and en masse.

Must...resist temptation.....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:29 PM on October 22, 2001

"nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the american public"

P.T. Barnum

off topic ps.: I'm gonna see tool in Sacramento 11/02, anybody else going?
posted by signal at 12:07 AM on October 23, 2001

My grandmother used to give money to televangelists. Then Oral Roberts did that whole "Jesus is gonna call me home" thing, and she decided he belonged with Jesus. Then there were the various sex scandals with the Bakkers and Falwell. So she dropped them too.

So even my grandmother doesn't support Falwell.
posted by meep at 3:18 AM on October 23, 2001

As a Christian, I really can't fathom what he does at all. It boggles my mind that he would do things like he does in the name of the man who was criticized for sitting with tax collectors and sinners in general. Really. I don't see where in that book he likes to thump he finds he can justify the things he says. My 2c.
posted by paladin at 4:46 AM on October 23, 2001

jpoulous: Is there anybody, anybody, anybody reading MeFi who supports this guy? Even a little?

I've tried playing Devil's Advocate here in MeFi and it just gets me in trouble. So don't look over here. Falwell's a con artist and a bigot. I don't understand why anyone listens to anything he says anymore.

When they put the first ammendment in the constitution, they shoulda added, "but you also have the right not to listen to other people as they exercise their right to free speech." It's sorta understood. I just wish more people did it. Heck people choose not to listen to me all the time. Why do they still listen to him?
posted by ZachsMind at 6:43 AM on October 23, 2001

I dont think even most fundamentalist Christians respect Falwell. I saw the Eyes of Tammy Faye, a documentary about the fall of Jim and Tammy Baker and there was Falwell waiting for his chance to cash in. The man's a charlatan and I think even most evangelical Christians are admitting it today. As a Christian I hold no respect for him, he is using the name of Jesus to commit evil and to get money for himself. His comments were in bad taste also.
I know a lot of Christians, attend ecumenical Bible Study and I have never met anyone who has supported Falwell, a few who have supported Robertson but no one for Falwell. I wonder who these supporters are too?
posted by Budge at 6:55 AM on October 23, 2001

If, as you all say (and I believe), there are very few who support and follow Falwell, then the question that needs to be asked is why does the newsmedia so often run to him for quotes? So many times I've seen Nightline cover something related to gay rights, and they bring Falwell on "for balance." As someone recently said to me, it's like inviting Hitler to talk about the Jews "for a balanced view."
posted by dnash at 7:49 AM on October 23, 2001

Is anyone really shocked or surprised by this? I hate Falwell's guts as much as anyone, but at the end of the day, he really doesn't matter. His legion of idiots are going to think that way whether he's speaking for them or not. He's certainly not bringing new people into his fold with that brand of idiocy. Perhaps if we just ignore him, he'll go away.
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 8:10 AM on October 23, 2001

dnash: he makes for good copy. There's a long tradition of "rent-a-quote" MPs who'll do the same here. At least, there was before Chris Morris's Brass Eye.
posted by holgate at 8:16 AM on October 23, 2001

His legion of idiots

Hmmm, maybe we should revise this to "his legion of morons." Or better yet..."His CULT of morons." At this point, Falwell is little better than a cult leader, along the lines of L. Ron Blubbard. What an waste of oxygen....
posted by PeteyStock at 9:06 AM on October 23, 2001

Well, isn't that special!
they want to blame the church-state separatists and civil liberties groups for the attacks.

Um, Didn't the founding fathers want separation of church and state. To protect the churches. You know isn't that why they left Europe?
posted by redhead at 11:03 AM on October 23, 2001

why does the newsmedia so often run to him for quotes

because, at one time, back when Reagan first took office as president, he was a respected nut. now, he's just a nut. the media can't seem to let go of his Moral Majority days though he's grown more impotent politically and socially than a radish, is less in touch with mainstream or "average" (or 'not-nutty') christians, and is more desperate for any attention anyone will afford him.
posted by tolkhan at 11:27 AM on October 23, 2001

You can't get rich on tax exemptions alone. Somebody must be sending him money. I hate to say this, but ... out in Middle America he may be more popular than certain web sites I won't name.
posted by coelecanth at 3:23 PM on October 23, 2001

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