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Falwell in Hell? Go Figure…

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Now that Jerry Falwell is dead, people are asking where his immortal soul will end up. His followers of course will say it’s heaven, but the smart money says that he’ll burn in hell.

This raises the question as to how someone who appeared to have been so close to God could wind up in hell. It’s pretty simple, really. Falwell was a fake…a charlatan who preyed primarily on the less educated and those who could be moved by fear.

Although claiming to preach the gospel while building his Moral Majority in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Falwell actually used many of the same tactics that Hitler did back in the 1930’s. The best example was his use of the “them against us” message in which he portrayed not just evangelicals, but all Christians as a minority that was being marginalized. This message, although a lie, struck fear into not only evangelicals, but mainstream Christians, convincing both groups to open their wallets at unprecedented levels.

Interestingly, Falwell took a similar position to that espoused by the Ayatollah Khomeini, insisting that we should live in a non-secular state. Falwell’s vision for America was that of a Christian version of Iran in which religious influence is built into public institutions, with taxpayer money going towards promoting his brand of Christianity. During his rise, his opponents were too fearful of Falwell to point this out, and his political influence increased unchecked.

Jerry’s legacy is still not clear. It’s possible that the GOP will be able to cure itself of the evangelical cancer that is destroying it from within, but this will take a long time. Everyone knows that non-secular states not only are repressive and go against traditional American values, but are doomed to economic failure. If Falwell’s policies, such as banning abortion and stem-cell research, are implemented then everyone loses. Banning abortion, for example, would be an economic disaster, resulting in more unwanted children whose parents are not prepared to care for them thus further worsening welfare, prison, and judicial systems that already are overloaded.

Consider that even the staunchest conservatives acknowledge that unwanted children born to unprepared parents are far more likely than those who are not, to turn to crime, gangs, and violence, regardless of whether they receive spiritual counseling. Falwell’s myopic brand of Christianity fails miserably to account for this. Prisons today already are releasing dangerous criminals early in order to alleviate overcrowding. An increase in unwanted children who are more likely to turn to crime would worsen the situation, resulting even more early releases for criminals who would have an even greater opportunity to prey on society. The bottom line is that we all would pay a steep price in the form of more crime and violence, not to mention higher taxes and medical costs.

At this point it’s fair to say that while Falwell had a Khomeini-like vision for America, and used some of the same tactics as Hitler did in his early days, he clearly does not rise to their level. However, should his vision and policies come to full fruition in the United States, his legacy may very well approach theirs, and the result would be an economic and social disaster for a nation as large as ours, likely causing levels of unrest and violence that we have never seen and don’t want to imagine.

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About YABOSI

  • Baronius

    Lousy analysis, particularly the part about the Moral Majority claiming to be a Minority.

  • Nancy

    But they did, have, & still do. There’s even a current article here on BC claiming Christians – especially on the right, i.e. conservatives – are persecuted, & ignoring the fact that those usually doing the persecuting are those very same fundie/evangelical Christians.

    This article could have been expanded, however. Good germ of an idea, but too narrow & confined to just one aspect of Falwell’s culture of division.

  • Baronius

    Nancy, “the” Christians don’t do anything. Individual Christians or groups of Christians do things. The focus of the Moral Majority was to speak for what they perceived as a Christian majority. When you see yourself as a majority in a democracy, you’re not usurping power, you’re exercising it.

    Those who see Christianity as a minority take a defensive position in protecting it. They can be prone to the strong-arm tactics that Yabosi seems to suspect the Moral Majority of using. Guys like Falwell and Reed were doing the opposite in appealing to populism.

    That’s one of the big mistakes in this article. It uses every negative image imaginable without considering their applicability. As such, it doesn’t analyze anything. It just says that Yabosi is angry.

  • Zedd

    YABOSI

    I take it you don’t like Falwell.

    Perhaps your style is to veer towards the extreme to try to make a point. What that does is exactly what Falwell did.

    Distortion, unless it is cleary satirical or tounge and cheek, eventually discredits you. Lying to people in order to make your point, angers people. Even people who would have been on your side. No one likes being manipulated.

    Falwell tried to manipulate America into doing what he thought we should do. He invoked God just to have HIS way with us.

    You conjured up Hitler and Khomeini.

  • Arch Conservative

    Falwell tried to manipulate America into doing what he thought we should do.

    Congratulations Zedd…you just described every extremist on every side of every issue and every end of the socioploitical spectrum.

    I guess hell’s gonna have to put up a no vacancy sign pretty soon.

  • YABOSI

    Actually, Zedd, I’d say that Falwell was a genius. My point is he had a dark side, in that in his early days he used tactics similar to those of Hitler in order to mobilize people. Hitler was a master of the “them vs. us” game, which Falwell used brilliantly. In doing so he unfortunately started a movement that may very well seriously damage America.

    If you read what he said regarding his vision of the future of America, the parallels between Falwell and Khomeini are scary. The only difference is that one espoused Christian fundamentalism while the other espoused Islamic fundamentalism.

    Early on, Falwell pressed the GOP leadership hard in order to weaken the secularism that was put into our Constitution under the guise of “states rights”. One of the key reasons the GOP leaders of the early 80’s gave in to his policy visions which helped spread the evangelical cancer in the Party was because they saw evangelicals as a strong grassroots fundraising network; it was all about the money. Reagan, as outstanding a President as he was, allowed himself to be taken in by Falwell (I suspect that Nancy may have something to do with that).

    Anyway, that’s my take on Falwell as a person…brilliant and articulate with a dark side that’s damaging us today. It’s time for the GOP to rid itself of Falwell’s legacy, just as it’s time for the Democrats to stop allowing its far left fringes to control its policies which, if implemented, would likely make us even more of a welfare state than we already are.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Zedd, I think you’re wrong to accuse Falwell of opportunistic lying. It’s not lying if you believe it, and he clearly did believe the radical and disturbing things he said, because he stuck by them even when people urged him to be more sensible and even when it embarassed him or made him look foolish.

    I’d call him honest but deluded.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Manipulation is a form of lying. I agree that he wasn’t diabolical as the author of this article my suggest.

    Falwell wanted a certain America, perhaps one that he imagined existed in his childhood or even prior.

    Falwell used his position as a man of religion to influence people.

    He knew that in this country one cant base policy on religion but he used his clout as one who is in touch with God to get people to produce the America that HE wanted.

    You see Falwell has always had a platform. He is a preacher. He could have taught biblical principles (morality) from the pulpit and in various such venues. He even wanted to mold young minds and started a University. No problem.

    Going outside of the context of the pulpit and yet still claiming his authority as God’s spokes person, was a form of public manipulation.

    He was not performing a crusade like Billy Graham, openly declaring his intention which was bringing people to Christianity.

    Falwell showed up on Meet The Press to convince people to behave the way that he wanted them to. He never asked that the title Reverend not be used in those venues.

  • Dr Dreadful

    And then there is the “Reverend” Fred Phelps, who makes Falwell look like Mother Teresa.

    What I wouldn’t give to be there to see the look on Phelps’ face when he arrives at the Pearly Gates, expecting to be waved through…

  • Arch Conservative

    Yeah Phelps is a first class douchebag. Maybe that is the only thing that ALL BC posters can agree on.

    At least there’s one thing.

  • sr

    Thank you Lord for Reeeeeeverend Al and Jackson. They will lead our diabolical heathen nation to the promish land.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Yabosi agrees with the infamous Fred Phelps on this Jerry Falwell issue. Hhe will of course be “preaching” outside of Falwell’s funeral. According to his website,
    WBC will preach at the memorial service of the corpulent false prophet Jerry Falwell, who spent his entire life prophesying lies and false doctrines like “God loves everyone”.

    There is little doubt that Falwell split Hell wide open the instant he died. The evidence is compelling, overwhelming, and irrefragable. To wit:

    1. Falwell was a true Calvinistic Baptist when he was a young preacher in Springfield, Missouri, and sold his soul to Free-Willism (Arminianism) for lucre.

    2. Falwell bitterly and viciously attacked WBC because of WBC’s faithful Bible preaching — thereby committing the unpardonable sin — otherwise known as the sin against the Holy Ghost.

    3. Falwell warmly praised Christ-rejecting Jews, pedophile-condoning Catholics, money-grubbing compromisers, practicing fags like Mel White, and backsliders like Billy Graham and Robert Schuler, etc. All for lucre — making him guilty of their sins.

    Falwell is in Hell, Praise God!!

  • Dr Dreadful

    [sigh]…

    Actually, I think even Mother Teresa would agree that Phelps, of all people, needs a good kicking. In fact, she’d probably be there putting the boot in herself.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Well, obviously Mother Theresa is in hell. For starters, she’s one of those “pedophile-condoning Catholics.” On top of which, she was definitely highly on the end of preaching that deeply offensive “god loves everybody” crap, and trying to live it besides. What a bitch.

    It sure is fun being Morally Indignant, isn’t it Brother Yabosi?

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    Al, read Hitchen’s “The Missionary Position,” then get back to us about Mother Theresa.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    JJ- Mother Theresa was but a mortal human, with faults and errors of judgment like anyone. I’m aware of some of the general charges of being cozy or offering moral cover by association with bad guys who donated money, and such questionable dealings.

    Still, she was out emptying bedpans and cleaning the sores of lepers and such. So she might still make it into heaven.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    No one ever summed up the hypocrisy of Jerry Falwell any better than Barry Goldwater who said,
    “Every real Christian ought to line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Lee, I’m all about Barry Goldwater, but that comment on Falwell is not proof or argument or summary of an argument. It’s merely a statement of hostility.

    Personally, I think that every real Christian should line up and kick Jimmy Carter’s ass – but that would require some explanation to establish reasons to justify the statement before I’d expect anyone else to support the proposition.

    Then again Brother Goldwater was a Jew, and I’m pretty much of a heathen non-believer. So perhaps neither one of us would be the best arbiters of what real, true Christians should believe.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Al,
    Falwell was all about dividing and conquering. Remember, he took it upon himself to decide what “true” Christians should believe–about politics–,how they should vote, who the “Christian” candidates were, etc., etc.

    It was awfully egotistical for someone who claimed to be a man of God to always be dictating the only “Christian” way for others to become involved in governance or show their patriotism, and to elevate his brand of religion over yours, mine, or Goldwater’s in the public arena. Goldwater was expressing contempt for Falwell’s efforts to hoodwink Christians into accepting his definition of “truth”.

    Goldwater, to his credit, was unafraid to express what he thought of Falwell’s frequent attempts to coerce public opinion on political matters by dividing us into “true” Christians and “others”.

    I’m with Goldwater on this one;actually, it’s one of the most principaled political comments I ever heard.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Make that principled.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Re #18: Barry Goldwater’s grandfather was Jewish;Barry was a member of the Episcopal Church, so perhaps he was a reasonable arbiter of what real, true Christians should believe.

    Beyond that, he was a fine exemplar of what real, true conservatives believed, and a pretty good example of what Americans used to believe regarding church and state.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Completely inane article.

    You didn’t state why Falwell would go to hell; you only stated that he opposed abortion and that you support it.

    I hope when you die, people write articles about how you’re going to suffer for eternity for your political and moral opinions.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Falwell showed up on Meet The Press to convince people to behave the way that he wanted them to. He never asked that the title Reverend not be used in those venues.”

    Does Al Sharpton?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I think the best way to sum up my feelings about Falwell’s passing would be to compare him to the enthusiastic bully that you encountered every day on the school bus to and from school, and on the playground.

    In the span of 10 years between 1983 and 1992, Falwell and his allies succeeded in convincing people worldwide that I, as a gay man, was a pedophile, I was evil and corruptive toward all children, I spread AIDS just by shaking hands with them and was being put to diseased death as God’s and Jerry’s punnishment for not being “saved”, and that all good christians should hate me, and I should be captured, put in a burlap sack and dumped off the nearest bridge.

    Paranoid? If you didn’t live through the 80s with Reagan, Anita Bryant and Falwell, you could never understand it-and I wouldn’t expect you to.

    It was a lot like being a negro just after the civil war, only we were branded ever more dangerous because you couldn’t “tell” we were gay by looking at us, so the danger you can’t see is always more potent.

    I’m relieved he’s gone. He used the fear he himself created to gain power and the more power he acquired, the more he was corrupted.

    Near the end of his life, he even began bragging openly and publicly that political candidates couldn’t be elected without his personal blessing-witness last year John McCain and now this year Newt.

    I’m glad he’s gone, like I’m glad the bully is gone. I didn’t wish him dead, but I’m not mourning his passing either…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Jet:

    All men die. Falwell simply wanted all men to live moral lives while they were on this earth.

    He was a Christian, and the holy book for Christians is the Bible. And the Bible states pretty clearly that homosexuality is a sin, and is therefore immoral.

    As a Christian leader, Falwell had a moral obligation to endorse the positions stated in the Bible. So, in fact, do all true Christians.

    I don’t recall Falwell ever saying “I hate all homosexuals” or anything of that nature. Your beef is with the religion and its holy book, not with the man.

    (And the Koran is just as opposed to homosexuality as the Bible…so I guess you also dislike all Muslim religious leaders as well? You just never mention this…odd.)