May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell, RIP

Reverend Jerry Falwell, who helped organize and galvanize social and religious conservatives in the 1980s, has died suddenly in his offices at Liberty University. Falwell was 73 years old:

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the Moral Majority and built the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73. ...

Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. Godwin said he was not sure what caused the collapse, but he said Falwell "has a history of heart challenges."

"I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast," Godwin said. "He went to his office, I went to mine, and they found him unresponsive."

Our sympathies and prayers go out to the Falwell family and the many who loved and respected him. This no doubt will come as a deep shock to them, and we hope that they find strength in the Lord to get through it. That would be the best testament to Falwell's work.

Perhaps later I'll have something to say about his political legacy, but this isn't the time to go into a lengthy critical look at his work. I will say that I think he acted out of his sincere beliefs and attempted to do good in this world, and he succeeded in many ways. Any other thoughts can wait until later.

UPDATE: Allahpundit has gone on a search mission through the Leftosphere to find aggregate idiocy in the comments sections. Frankly, it's just too easy. Each side has its chronic cerebralrectalitis sufferers, and they show up in droves for these events. It's worth a dark chuckle to read the chucklehead response, but it doesn't say much about the mainstream of either side.

If bloggers post poisoned-pen sendoffs to Falwell, that's more indicative of a problem.

UPDATE II: Al Sharpton manages to be classy:

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Reverend Jerry Falwell. Though he and I debated much and disagreed often, we shared a very cordial and warm friendship. I visited him in Lynchburg, dined with him, and even talked with him during personal crises. Though we were as politically opposite as two people could be, I truly respected his commitment to his beliefs and our mutual belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I stated to my nationally syndicated radio show, I pray for the Falwell family and join the nation in mourning the passing of this religious leader.

UPDATE III: MS-NBC punks ... itself. It's a network only Keith Olbermann could love.


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» This just in from Heaven from Jay Currie
More controversial were his post-Sept. 11 comments, in which he blamed many groups of Americans for bringing on the attack. “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively try... [Read More]

» A Sadly Symbolic Death from Hard Starboard
Our condolances go out with those of the Admiral to the Falwell family and friends. Having recently lost my father-in-law, I can speak firsthand of the shock and loss they'll be going through. But at least they can be confident that one day, they wil... [Read More]

» Rev. Jerry Falwell RIP from Macsmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
Brother Falwell has passed from this world into the glory of the Lord: “LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - A Liberty University executive says the Rev. Jerry Falwell has died. Falwell was hospitalized in “gravely serious” condition after being fou... [Read More]

» Falwell in Grave Condition (UPDATED) from JammieWearingFool
UPDATE: He's passed away. Just breaking. LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized in "gravely serious" condition after being found unconscious Tuesday in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. [Read More]

» Jerry Falwell Dies at 73 from Wake up America-Hows surrender working for you?
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» Well, that didn’t take long! from Common Sense Political Thought
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Comments (38)

Posted by Lord Locksley | May 15, 2007 1:27 PM

.....actually the correct term is 'cranio-rectal inversion'

Posted by Ripper | May 15, 2007 1:48 PM

I still cannot forget his comments about 9/11 being caused by gays and abortionists.

Posted by Lightwave | May 15, 2007 1:54 PM

Poison pen sendoffs? You mean like Aravosis over at Americablog?

"Falwell is a nasty man. He is one of the worst anti-gay bigots of the religious right. I don't like speaking ill of someone who may be dying, but there is no way to discuss this incredibly offensive religious extremist without discussing the hate that made up so much of his life. Let's look back at Falwell's rather hate-filled, bigoted life:"

No, you will find no civility on the Left today. I didn't agree with Falwell's positions on some things, but I did on others. And he did honestly work to do the right thing. But the Left,'s a celebration, if not an outright holiday.

And the Left really wonder why most of America despises them.

Posted by rbj | May 15, 2007 2:06 PM

Already heard one "Good riddance" about the news here in liberal Toledo.

I've never cared much for him or many of his policies, but I have nothing but condolences for his family.

I save "good riddance" for people like Osama bin Laden or Pol Pot.

Posted by A faggot | May 15, 2007 2:14 PM


he is.

mark my words.

Posted by BD | May 15, 2007 2:18 PM

Methinks you're paraphrasing, Ripper - and rather loosely at that.

Some in the Christian community believe calamity is visited on a people which departs from God's path. It's not hard to see how they can come to believe that - the Old Testament is filled with occasions when the children of Israel suffered calamity because they turned their backs on God.

I suspect Falwell's comments - if, indeed, it was Falwell and not Pat Robertson (who's particularly given to that sort of expression) - were along those lines.

There are any number of theological bones which can be picked with that mindset (the idea that "bad things happen to good people too" is very much a "New Testament" concept). Personally, I think it's bunk - the world's calamities are the work of Satan, inasmuch as they grow from the sin he brought into the world; while our activities can bring calamity closer (by us putting ourselves into situations which increase its likelihood), ultimately it is authored by Satan, not God.

Falwell's family, friends, church and Liberty University have suffered a loss. Those who dance upon his grave only demonstrate what cretins they are.

Posted by dave rywall | May 15, 2007 2:19 PM

Supported apartheid
Blamed Americans for 9/11
Supported segregation

A horrible, horrible human being worthy of scorn, not warm hush puppy reminiscence.

He deserves every poison pen send off he gets.

Posted by wham1000 | May 15, 2007 2:20 PM

That the most compassionate of men for the least....

Posted by starfleet_dude | May 15, 2007 2:38 PM

If bloggers post poisoned-pen sendoffs to Falwell, that's more indicative of a problem.

Well Ed, it's not like Falwell didn't issue some pretty poisonous rhetoric himself over the years. That's where the real fault lies.

Posted by Ray | May 15, 2007 2:42 PM

Always controversial, Jerry Falwell should be remembered as a loyal American. Falwell's patriotism stands as a model for responsible citizens.

Posted by markg8 | May 15, 2007 2:48 PM

An awful human being in so many ways.

Posted by Paul A'Barge | May 15, 2007 2:55 PM

Each side has its chronic cerebral rectalitis sufferers, and they show up in droves.

This is just wrong. Yes, there are some of these on the right, but not in droves, and no where are they equivalent in venality to the Lefty chronics.

Liberalism is a disease.

Posted by bujudude | May 15, 2007 3:00 PM

Ray posted:
"Always controversial, Jerry Falwell should be remembered as a loyal American. Falwell's patriotism stands as a model for responsible citizens."

Although this should boggle the mind, it is again indicitave of how divorced from reality so many conservatives are in this country. Falwell had a long history of racism, anti-semitism and misogyny long before he became more generally known as one of the worst anti-gay bigots in the country. Please tell me how this translates into "responsiblity", let alone patriotism? Just because he disguised himself as a Christian minister does not make him a true Christian any more than his incredibily long history of hate-filled diatribes made him a true American or patriot.

If the gay community and those on the left chose to celebrate his passing, it is merely a dynamic that he himself worked very hard to create.

Posted by Craig | May 15, 2007 3:16 PM

I saw a fitting comment on some blog today. It said, "It's funny how liberal atheists suddenly believe in hell when someone they hate dies."

Posted by Matt | May 15, 2007 3:23 PM

bujudude, well said. I'm not a hateful person, I said a little prayer for jerry today when i found out he had passed rather suddenly. but to be completely honest, the first thing that came into my head when i found out was: i wonder how pat robertson is going to blame the gays for god killing jerry. jerry died abrubtly, it must have been an 'act of god' right? either god was mad that jerry didn't do enough to ban homosexuality, or jerry was doing a little sinning himself on the side.

hey, if jerry and pat can blame 9/11 on the gay rights movement, christian liberals ought to be able to use the same line of reasoning where they see fit. i'm sure he was a good man, but its hard to feel bad for someone that used his view of fundamentalist christianity to further a political agenda. with that said, may he rest in peace... wherever he is now.

Posted by RBMN | May 15, 2007 3:52 PM

The fact that Falwell was invited onto every major political talk show, over and over, is proof that he was never "beyond the pale" in his politics. He was a polite well-spoken gentleman that spoke for a large segment of the conservative population. He made mistakes (like using 9/11 as an example for applying his belief that sinfulness reduces God's protection to a nation) but he apologized when he did go overboard. He was a zealous optimistic advocate of Biblical inerrancy, and was hated most for his political success.

Posted by G Pitty | May 15, 2007 4:00 PM

An evil hate filled man is dead. Praise the Lord!

Posted by goodeats4life | May 15, 2007 4:02 PM

The clowns over at Kos are having a typical liberal-rage-filled-hate-attack on Jerry and Christianity. These are the same loonies that preach "tolerance" and "acceptance" while stabbing anyone with a differing opinion in the back... The same loonies who yesterday were calling for Cheney's assasination...The same loonies who have disowned the American Military. It's sad....very sad...

Posted by Shoprat | May 15, 2007 4:59 PM

The good Reverend was good intentioned and right far more often than he was wrong. He had to the courage to be politically incorrect before there was such a term. Yes he made mistakes and some foolish things, but on the whole he was a plus for America and the world.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | May 15, 2007 5:15 PM

drywall sez:

"Blamed Americans for 9/11"

So did Rosie O'Donnell and the Truthers. Your point?

Posted by Carl | May 15, 2007 5:27 PM

The liberals’ hate-filled comments on many, many blogs are disgusting and have really angered me. This proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the “tolerance” liberals claim to have a monopoly on is a clearcut sham and their “love” is a perversion and delusion they have. They only love and have tolerance for themselves and their own kind. They practice an evil form of prejudice wrapped in the skin of hypocrisy. And for that they condemn themselves and their kind. I pity them.

Posted by VA Gamer | May 15, 2007 5:35 PM

I am not sure how to respond. On one hand, I think it is terrible to express joy at the death of another human being (although I came close when I heard of Saddam Hussein's passing). On the other hand, I have nothing nice to say about Falwell.

I do not care if he thought he was doing God's work. He increased the level of intolerance, hatred, and bigotry in this country. A lot of men and women suffered because of his words and deeds. I cannot conclude that he was a good man.

May God, in His infinite mercy, judge him kindly. I, however, cannot.

Posted by Mighty7 | May 15, 2007 6:07 PM

What I really want to know is:

When is the "send off" partty at Hustler magazine and how do I get invited...?

Posted by Mighty7 | May 15, 2007 6:11 PM

What I really want to know is:

When is the "send off" partty at Hustler magazine and how do I get invited...?

Posted by lexhamfox | May 15, 2007 6:16 PM

Well Del Delemonte I think you made the point.... Jerry is very much like Rosie in his blinkered & myopic worldview. He was an extremist and, much like those fringe looney liberals, contributed nothing positive to the nation. The guy attacked Tinky Winky for being gay... thanks but kids need protection from people like Rosie and Jerry rather than the Teletubbies.

Posted by luis | May 15, 2007 7:28 PM

Tonight, the devil himself will open the gates of hell for Jerry Falwell

Posted by luis | May 15, 2007 7:30 PM

Tonight, the devil himself will open the gates of hell for Jerry Falwell

Posted by Fight4TheRight | May 15, 2007 8:17 PM

Leave it to me to swim upstream here, but Jerry Falwell's principles came from The Bible and quite frankly, when a Land has betrayed the principles that made it great, a person like Falwell becomes a lightning rod.

Anyone who believes a homosexual is merely a person who has chosen an alternative lifestyle, would more than likely see Rev. Falwell's passing as a blessing.

I do not. I see a man who spent his life standing up for the principles he believed in and put his Faith in the Written Word.

Posted by Sandman | May 15, 2007 8:28 PM

Sorry...I also have no sympathy for Jerry F and all his a son of Methodist minister who served in the US Air Force and saw my father minister to people of every race, religion, and creed, without question and with great sincerity of purpose, I cannot condone the actions of 99% of televangelists...who preach patriotism and intolerance in the same speech.

My dad was both a patriot and a Man of God who truly loved all people but wasn't afraid to defend himself, his family, or his country and didn't do it at the expense of others.

He judged others by their actions not their personal beliefs and that to me is the cornestone of a conservative philospophy.

And in this case, Rev Falwell fails the test...

Posted by VA Gamer | May 15, 2007 8:37 PM

Fight4TheRight...when a Land has betrayed the principles that made it great.... What principles might those be? Slavery? Women as chattel? Duels to the death for honor?

From the very beginning of the written word we see writers bemoaning the loss of morals among their contemporaries. Everyone likes to believe his ancestors lived in some idyllic golden age.

I believe that our society, for all of its ills, is far more fair than the society of our forefathers. We are no more nor less moral a society than they were. They were human beings prone to sin just like the rest of us. Just because we tend to put them on a pedestal now does not mean that they were saints.

And just because Falwell waved the Bible around to justify his bigotry does not make him a saint, either. He was an extremist who believed in a very literal interpretation of the Bible. Were he to keep his beliefs to himself and live according to his own strict code, I would respect him. That he led a movement that tried to impose his narrow view of morality on the rest of us, I condemn him.

Posted by Joehelgerson | May 15, 2007 8:50 PM

Falwell dies and some idiots use it as an excuse to attack liberals. Falwell was misguided to say the least.Being a patriot doesn't make up for him being a bigot. He was a sinner like the rest of us. I said a prayer that his soul rest in peace. He was a pioneer of divisive politics, how sad.

Posted by JohnJay | May 15, 2007 8:51 PM

I won't quote liberals who hate Falwell. I'll quote Falwell himself since he and I and the Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Falwell share a deep love for my lord and savior Jesus Christ. It is fair and not mean-spirited for me to point out that I resent Rev. Falwell for dragging my Savior into the racist dirt of his sick thinking.

Falwell on Brown v. Board of Education: “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made…. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”

Posted by Joehelgerson | May 15, 2007 8:54 PM

Falwell dies and some idiots use it as an excuse to attack liberals. Falwell was misguided to say the least.Being a patriot doesn't make up for him being a bigot. He was a sinner like the rest of us. I said a prayer that his soul rest in peace. He was a pioneer of divisive politics, how sad.

Posted by blitz811 | May 15, 2007 10:19 PM

As a Catholic, I have nothing but respect for him and his politics. He took a strong stand against the vile, life-shortening acts of homosexuality. I'm sure his heavenly reward is great. I am so glad I am not like these crude animals on the left whose lives are so void of meaning and so full of hate.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | May 15, 2007 10:21 PM

VA Gamer,

The "principles" I was referring to include: Faith, Family, Morality, Love and Honor.

As for your statement:

" Were he to keep his beliefs to himself and live according to his own strict code, I would respect him."

I'll respond with this: " 'and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19)

Falwell was a minister. His belief, his walk in life was to carry a message. For him to "keep his beliefs to himself" would have betrayed his calling, his faith, his adherence to the Truth.

Asking an Evangelical Christian preacher to keep his beliefs to himself would probably be akin to you responding to me here with ...."You're absolutely right, Fight4TheRight...I was totally wrong"

; )

Posted by Canadian Guy | May 15, 2007 10:26 PM

Jerry was a great man that spoke truth maybe not always in love but truth does hurt sometimes. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and those at Liberty University. Continue to speak the truth even if it means more persecution.

Posted by Al | May 15, 2007 10:35 PM

I knew Jerry Falwell personally for a brief period in my life. He was a person of kind personal interaction and strong public presence. His faith led him to pursue political afirmation of his beliefs, and to rally many people who were otherwise too timid to speak out. He never attacked a person, but rather spoke against a practice he thought wrong. Whether he was right or wrong, I am thankful for sharing with him a country where speaking and legally acting upon one's beliefs cannot be condemned. So, blast the man all you want, remember he did not hate you, even as he hated something you may have done and spoke out about it... Remember that freedom of speech is not reserved only for those on the left... and Jerry Falwell spoke his mind with conviction, and lack of personal malice.

Posted by Ariel Sharony | May 15, 2007 11:49 PM

I guess he died because he wasn't doing Gods will.