Archive for Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Divisive doctrine

May 23, 2007

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To the editor:

When we look up to individuals whom we hold in high esteem, we have the collective ability to see only the attributes we want.

Whether you saw the late Rev. Jerry Falwell as a shining example of Christian virtue, or a rigid, intolerant ultraconservative, he was a man of fierce religious conviction. Yet in praising his Moral Majority and numerous Christian charities he supported, many of his extremely divisive and hateful statements are ignored.

Rev. Falwell blamed the 9/11 attacks on feminists, gays and liberals, and stated that the Antichrist is a male Jew already among us, Teletubby Tinky Winky was a gay role model aimed toward children and the AIDS epidemic was God's wrath for homosexuality.

His rigid condemnations of these "moral abominations" led his 6.5 million followers to believe a "true Christian" must adopt those same intolerant precepts. I was taught from a young age that Christianity was faith, hope and the belief in the goodness of God. I know that Rev. Falwell's religious convictions were sincere - yet in these times of uncertainty, fear and hopelessness, such intolerant fundamentalism only fans the flames of intolerance, discrimination and hatred.

Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist - no matter your beliefs, now more than ever, we need to embrace the teachings of compassion, inclusion and forgiveness. It's a shame that we don't hold all our role models to those tenets. It's a shame that Rev. Falwell wasn't held to them either. Nevertheless, may God bless him.

Steve Craven,

Lawrence

Comments

RonaldWilson 8 years, 1 month ago

Steve, you poor misguided fool. First of all that damn teletubby was outed by fifteen different people before one of Rev. Falwell's newsletters REPEATED the story. And for the rest of your letter, you obviously did not know much about Rev. Falwell except the crap you were told by Hustler magazine or left wing blogs. The man was truly a compassionate, forgiving, generous man. He was rigid in his beliefs, but never hateful or offensive personally to anyone. In every interview I have seen with him. He was most polite. What are you trying to accomplish by bedaubbing a dead man's name?

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 1 month ago

I followed the author with some interest until he used the term "intolerant" no less than four times.

"Intolerant" has become the oh-so-tired code word for moral relativists.

Bruce Bertsch 8 years, 1 month ago

Then lets replace intolerant with segregationist.

tolawdjk 8 years, 1 month ago

How do you "out" a fuzzy costume? The damn thing had no sex. Zero.

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

"The man was truly a compassionate, forgiving, generous man."

Sure...and so was Hitler, right?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 1 month ago

"we need to embrace the teachings of compassion, inclusion and forgiveness"

I wholeheartedly agree! But we cannot put "inclusion" ahead of God's authority; which, I think, was part of Falwells issue with liberals. I'm not a fan of Falwell, I'm just pointing out that many dismiss God's word in the name of inclusion and unity. We cannot call Him Lord while at the same time we dismiss His authority to dictate morality.

RonaldWilson 8 years, 1 month ago

greyheim (Anonymous) says:

"and rw says he's not a bigot. riiggghhhttt."

Do you even know what "bigot" means? Seriously, put down the bong, man. It's making you hallucinate.

craigers 8 years, 1 month ago

OldEnuf I agree whole-heartedly with what you wrote.

I always find it interesting that being rigid in your beliefs and not wavering makes you a bigot.

RonaldWilson 8 years, 1 month ago

greyheim (Anonymous) says:

"Bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false."

OK, you know the definition (loosely), but you choose to (over)use it incorrectly. It appears the only criteria in your mind for one to be tagged with the term 'bigot' is a difference of opinion with you. I bet it makes me a bigot for saying that.

RonaldWilson 8 years, 1 month ago

greyheim (Anonymous) says:

"no overuse, rw. i've read enough of your posts to know that's a fairly accurate description of you"

Let's see the quotes. I guarantee anything you site will be a difference of opinion, only. Prove me wrong.

Rex Russell 8 years, 1 month ago

One of the most discusting and perverse things I can imagine is the pratice of taking your own biases and bigoted beliefs and backing them up with Scripture. 200 -300 years ago clergy were labeling slaves from Africa as "animals" so they could justify thier treatment. And then pointed to Scripture to back up that notion. This was more to point for Mr. Falwell. I cringe to refer to him as Reverend. I'll bet you can come up with a passage or two to back your own personal opinions on many subjects. The mass majority will probably come from the Old Testement. The New Testement, the message of Jesus Christ, is about love, tolerence, giving,peace and understanding your fellow man. Pretty left leaning ideas. Jesus also talked about not getting involved in politics and hypocricy. I don't want to speak for anyone else but myself ,but if a subject of social/moral dispute is up for discussion and it has a Christian teaching attached to it, I'll lean to side of the specific teachings of Christ himself. Mr. Falwell more resembled a Pharisee than anything else.

RonaldWilson 8 years, 1 month ago

I'll repeat the question to all. What are you trying to accomplish by bedaubbing a dead man's name? Are you that offended that we still like him? Then, go to hell. And, no I don't call myself a "real christian" so I can say that. We like him, you hate him, he's dead. What else do you want? Do you want us to all denounce him publicly? Should we dig him up and kick his ass? Just get over it, already!

acg 8 years, 1 month ago

Jerry Falwell was scum. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Those that follow him and believe his hateful vitriol are scum too, by association. When I heard he died the other day, my hubby and I danced a little jig. One hateful piece of crap bigot down, too many more to go. :)

thusspokezarathustra 8 years, 1 month ago

"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," Falwell boomed from above his congregation in Lynchburg. "The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line."

Falwell's jeremiad continued: "The true Negro does not want integration.... He realizes his potential is far better among his own race." Falwell went on to announce that integration "will destroy our race eventually. In one northern city," he warned, "a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife."

Jerry Falwell from the sermon "Segregation or Integration: Which?"

In a 1964 sermon, "Ministers and Marchers," Falwell attacked King as a Communist subversive. After questioning "the sincerity and intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left-wing associations," Falwell declared, "It is very obvious that the Communists, as they do in all parts of the world, are taking advantage of a tense situation in our land, and are exploiting every incident to bring about violence and bloodshed."

Falwell concluded, "Preachers are not called to be politicians, but soul winners."

Yep, he's just like Martin Luther King.

RonaldWilson 8 years, 1 month ago

Since when has viability stopped a lefty?

Jamesaust 8 years, 1 month ago

So sincerity of belief is now the measure of goodness? Goodness, who was the most sincere - Falwell or Pol Pot? My money's on the one who didn't live in a mansion.

"I didn't mean to," pleads the child who has spilled juice all over - as if that fact would make the situation any less sticky.

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