Brad Smith (jesus_h_biscuit) wrote,
Brad Smith

Musings On Falwell, His Life & Death, & What I Think About All Of It.

The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this. And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen."

-- Rev Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F Harris, "God Gave US 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

Hear it for yourself here.
As everyone now knows, Jerry Falwell died yesterday. His God saw fit to smite him and bring him home - and I personally would have loved to have been there when he went blazing in his fundamentalist glory toward The Light, only for that light to dim and the crickets to start chirping. I am saddened, of course. Both because of the extent of the damage he created in his lifetime, because it won't stop here as he is now a martyr for the homophobes and bigots, and because he wasn't mired in some torrid scandal before he died. Perhaps the biggest reason I'm saddened about how he died is because he wasn't ripped apart by wild dogs. Alas, he's dead and all I'm left with is what wreckage he created for us all.

Some people on my friends list are explaining their reasons for being glad that he is dead and for having no remorse for it whatsoever. I can cop to that fairly easily myself, but it is not what I'm lingering on the most. Some people are writing about how he was a human being and that regardless of his deeds in life that we should somehow respect that. I would argue that he was in fact quite inhuman and certainly undeserving of any sympathy.
"The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews."
Conversely, Jerry Falwell and his ilk are to intolerance, homophobia, hatred, and bigotry what the Aryan Brotherhood, Aryan Nations, Ku Klux Klan, & Stormfront are to racism.

Where he has been removed, others will sprout. No doubt more virulent and influential. And let us not discount the ones still remaining, all hateful gluttons in the name of God. Pat Robertson, Donald Wildmon, Bill Donohue, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, James Dobson, Louis P. Sheldon, Tony Perkins, the list goes on and on.

Jerry Falwell is directly responsible for the intolerance that has bred hate and destruction throughout the world, and indirectly responsible for the death of many people. What he has created and helped encourage is now a living thing, to be glad he is dead is more than a bit redundant. One cannot attribute all of the blame for antisemitism upon Hitler, afterall. What got me to actively despise this pathetic, fat fuck was the commentary he made several years ago that still infuriates me - and I'll tell you why. First, the quote:
"AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters. AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."
Earlier I posted the quote from Falwell blaming homosexuals, feminists, lesbians, etc for the events that unfolded on 9/11. I posted that quote to make the point that this is the kind of illogical nonsense he would preach so cavalierly, to a disaffected congregation of people who bought it hook, line, and sinker. It isn't true, of course - but let's examine what IS true.

What I believe to be true is that Jerry Falwell (along with others I've mentioned and posted links to earlier) has blood on his hands - and lots of it. Matthew Shepard's blood is on his hands. Brandon Teena's blood is on his hands. JR Warren's blood is on his hands. Gwen Araujo's blood is on his hands. Barry Winchell's blood is on his hands. Billy Jack Gaither's blood is on his hands. Danny Lee Overstreet's blood is on his hands. The blood of hundreds more - all on his hands.

Equally horrific and unrecognized in most cases are the people like Bill Clayton. For anyone that ever killed themselves or was so distraught because of the struggle to reconcile their sexuality with a society created by people like Jerry Falwell that they almost did - or agonized because of the damage these people created, know that he bought the suffering you paid for. I have my own scars, both physical and emotional, because of people like him. To all of the families who had to suffer alongside these losses and the nightmare of intolerance and bigotry, Jerry Falwell helped create it all and championed it as it grew and festered - in the name of God. Make sure that you let anyone who mourns the death of this monster know what they are really mourning, and ask them how dare they do such a thing. In fact, demand it.

The entire time I've been writing this post, I have been thinking about the people I've buried who suffered because of what Jerry Falwell brought into the world, how much I miss them, and how angry I am that I have to. Friends and family members I can never share ice cream with or go for a walk in the park with - friends and family members I can never cook for or hold when they cry because the world is so mean and so cruel. Friends and family members whose phone numbers I still remember but can never call. Deidre. Joey. Terey. Jeff. Eddie. Lynn. Jerry. Phil. There will never be justice for them, not really. I know what that feels like. As a result of this, there is no forgiveness either. So for all of my lovely and deeply mourned phantoms, I take no real sense of comfort in the death of Jerry Falwell.

For those of you who have read this far, accept that some people just don't like you, no matter what good you generate in the world. They don't have to, either - because I will like you in spite of them, and will do it better because I'm not a sorry motherfucker like they are. That's what makes them not matter. Just make sure you let them know it, because it is all we have to fight them with.
Tags: Die Motherfucker!™, bigotry, christian hysteria, christian intolerance, fundies, hatred, homophobia, intolerance, jerry falwell
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