Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell is dead

For years, Jerry Falwell has been there, in the media, spewing hate left and right. He's become such a part of the political landscape, it's hard to believe he won't be around anymore. Unfortunately,with all the other hatemongers around, and new ones popping up daily, there will be someone along momentarily to pick up the mantle.

I understand the impulse to say bad things about the man. Hell, I did so when he was alive, and I've never been one to believe that death automatically transforms an unlovable person into some kind of unassailable saint. Falwell's kicking the bucket doesn't change the fact that he spent his whole life using his considerable influence for evil. That said, the so-called "antimemorial" that's being planned in San Francisco is reprehensible. And let's face it, when it comes to pithy slogans aimed at the recently dead, you can't beat the Phelps clan at its own vitriolic game.

Falwell said so many disgusting, venomous, and just plain batshit crazy things over the course of his career, it was easy to lose track of them. The Carpetbagger has quite a list of his, ahem, accomplishments. I also found a list of some of Falwell's more memorable quotes at Pam's House Blend, with links to Media Matters articles, some with video.

As an antidote to all the anti-gay crap from Falwell, check out Soulforce, an organization founded by Mel White (yes, that Mel White) and his partner. Soulforce seeks to combat anti-GLBT hatred in Christian churches and other institutions. One of the actions Soulforce sponsors is the Equality Ride, modeled on the freedom rides. Every year, a busload of young activists tours Christian colleges and universities, seeking to raise awareness of their discriminatory policies. The Equality Ride bus was just at Liberty University a few weeks ago. Say, I wonder if that's what brought about the demise of its founder.

Fun fact: Mel White (before he came out) was the ghost writer of Jerry Falwell's autobiography.