John on May 16, 2007 at 1:22 am
Jerry Falwell died today at age 73. He seems to have been an honest man who, though he occasionally stuck his foot in his mouth, was never embroiled in financial or sexual scandal. I wasn’t a particular fan of his, but as I read the obits circulating I find a lot more to like about him than I knew before.
Falwell entered politics in the wake of Roe v. Wade, one of the worst decisions ever reached by the US Supreme Court. This and his creation of the Moral Majority — which helped elect Ronald Reagan — made him the target of people like pornographer Larry Flynt and, frankly, most of the liberal media. Just two months ago the NY Times had a snarky piece about his university’s debate team. The International Herald Tribune ran a piece only last month saying:
…Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, the Batman and Robin of the religious right who have long traded on fear mongering and personal invective.
In other words, Falwell was hated by all the right people so he must have been doing something right.
Falwell was ridiculed endlessly for suggesting (in 1999) that one of the Teletubbies was gay. Adults who noticed the show in passing saw only a bunch of nonsense aimed at kids too young to talk. The idea that these characters could even be told apart, much less described as having a sexual orientation seemed silly. And taken literally, it was.
As it happens, I watched a lot of Teletubbies with my daughter when she was little. I assure you, Teletubbies was a very expensively produced and carefully crafted bit of nonsense. The giant exterior set alone must have cost a fortune. As a former would-be screenwriter, it was clear that each character had been designed with a personality. Poe was the youngest and the gentlest. La-La was the bubbly little girl who took joy in everything. Dipsy was the show-off who liked fancy dance moves. And tinky-winky, well…he was the oldest boy who liked to carry a purse and wear a tu-tu. (I did that from memory — I really did watch a lot of it).
So, yeah, the idea that this blob was “gay” was silly, but someone working on that show made a decision to push a certain view about the differences between boys and girls. In short, it’s no accident that instead of wanting to play with trucks, Tinky Winky had a purse. Falwell was on to something, though he didn’t express it very well. Anyway, we’re way past anything that subtle these days.
If a bunch of septuagenarian pastors with heart conditions can still rattle liberals this way they must be doing something right.Falwell was one of several prominent Christians who were identified by the left as people looking to turn America into a theocracy (gasp!). We’re supposed to believe that the Moral Majority was somehow undemocratic for rallying Christian voters to, you know, vote. Meanwhile, the ACLU who run all their power-plays through the courts out of the hands of voters are the essence of liberal democracy. That’s the story the media’s been selling for the last 25 years and they’re sticking to it. More recently, a whole bunch of books selling the same line have been pouring out of NY publishing houses.
Another “dominionist” boogeymen who appears in most of the theocracy books is D. James Kennedy. Kennedy, to be fair, did start an organization called The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ. Now, I don’t find it hard to see why people were upset by that title. I really don’t. Did America ever really belong to Christ? I’m not discounting the faith of many of the founding fathers, but even if all of them had been Christians (and all of them were not), would that give us the right to “reclaim” America?
I suspect that Kennedy meant reclaiming through spreading the Gospel. He wasn’t envisioning jihad but an attempt to win people over to his faith. Still, he should have been savvy enough to know that the media wouldn’t get it. He handed them a club to beat him with. The point is moot since word came a few days ago that the Center is closing for good. This probably has something to do with the fact that Kennedy spent six months in the hospital, from December to just last week. This is the man liberals assure us is plotting to overthrow the Republic. In reality he’s barely able to walk.
So, Falwell has passed away, Kennedy is still alive but just barely (six months in hospital is a long time). As the older generation of Christian pastors pass on, it’s going to get harder and harder to frighten people with stories of the theocratic boogeymen. On the other hand, if a bunch of septuagenarian pastors with heart conditions can still rattle liberals this way they must be doing something right.
Category: Religion & Faith |