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.