Tuesday, May 15, 2007

As you have already heard, Jerry Falwell died. I never could stand Falwell, and I have never liked the religious right at all. I think, however, that the left has generally overplayed his importance--Falwell was merely one of several '70s and '80s religious right leaders, and not the most influential. The influential guy was Paul Weyrich. Falwell and Pat Robertson were somewhere in importance between Weyrich and real clowns like Bakker and Swaggart.

Check out this Timothy Noah compilation of Falwell quotes showing that he was "a bigot, a reactionary, a liar, and a fool." Most of the quotes are pretty ridiculous, especially the God's punishing America with 9-11 bit. However, Falwell does seem to have a point about Islam, and he's right about global warming. Most of the rest is not any worse than most of the stuff your garden-variety leftist goes around spouting off.

And check out the hate spewed over at the Guardian's comments section:

"Good riddance to raving, ultra-rightist rubbish."

"I don't think I believe in hell, but if it exists, then its just gained one more resident. Fry, you evil bastard, fry."

"Such good news and I hope it's the beginning of a trend. The world needs fewer monsters."

"Welcome to hell, Mr Falwell! Hot enough for ya?"

"This news has cheered me up no end! Shame the bigoted hate-monger didn't die twenty years ago..."

"Falwell is dead. Good."

"He was a right wing religious fundamentalist and as such is no better than a suicide bomber."

These people don't seem to remember that Falwell never killed anybody. He didn't promote violence. He was no Fred Phelps. He was just a loudmouthed jerk like Bill O'Reilly, not a mass-murdering dictator like Saddam Hussein, whose well-deserved and entirely just fate was undoubtedly condemned by these Guardianistas rejoicing at Falwell's death.

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