The Man Who Would be Mullah Omar...
I am reluctant to celebrate the death of another human. After all, the man did have a family who loved him and whom he loved. In those circles, he will be missed as any of us would miss our father or brother or uncle. But the world is a much better place now that this man no longer walks the earth, but is buried in it.
Jerry Falwell's legacy is one of hatred, bigotry and devotion to authoritarianism of the highest order. He taught not that we should love our nieghbours as ourselves, but that those not like us are evil and should be persecuted. He excused the murder of 2800 people as "God's will", punishment for "secularization" and the fault of his favourite whipping boys - gays, feminists and 'liberals'. His attitude toward individual freedom was utter derision - believe as he want you to believe or you are evil.
It is no accident that Falwell, along with Jim and Tammy-Faye Bakker and Pat Robertson inspired the theocracy of Gilead in Margaret Attwood in "The Handmaid's Tale". He would have happily transformed the US into a repressive, authoritarian Christian theorcracy similar to Iran or Afghanistan under the Taliban is given the chance.
Ironically, perhaps, is that Falwell's greatest legacy was to forever damage and smear Christianity, both in North America and around the world. Christianity is now seen by most non-believers as a religion bent on world domination, willing to force itself on people through coercion, extortion and outright violence. Christianity is seen as an enemy of liberty, a supporter of the authoritarian ancien regime. Because of Falwell and his bile filled pronouncements wrapped in "Christianity", the religion is no longer associated with the good works of Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Bishop Romero or even the actual words and teachings of Jesus himself. In otherwords, he has managed to do what no atheist could ever do in a thousand years of trying- give Christianity abnd Christians a bad name.
Do not take the above as a blanket attack on Christianity or religion in general. I am an atheist, but I know and appreciate that when the supreme being myth and other fairy-tale nonsense is removed, most religions have the same message: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Help those less fortunate. Live and let live".
Falwell was more interested in forcing conformity with his narrow views than following the prinicples and teachings of his own religion. Indeed, religion was merely a vehicle for his authoritarian, fascist fantasies, rather than a way to make the world a better place.
Everyone, Christians especially, should be glad this man is no longer among us. He was indeed a "false prophet".
I don't believe in heavan and hell. Falwell is just worm food now. But if I'm wrong, I suspect that Falwell found himself in the neighbourhood of Gehena rather than Paradise this morning. And such a fate for him would be well deserved.
Good bye, Jerry Falwell, may those like you follow you soon to the gates of hell. Good riddance.