Jerry Falwell passed away, and I could have sworn I heard Munchkins singing. Falwell gave many all the reason they needed to dismiss everything and everyone on the right. Extremism breeds extremism, and Falwell was conceived during the Democratic convention of 1968, germinated during the Nixon years, and finally born from the Carter administration.
For a whole bunch of folks Jimmy Carter was the last straw. They thought they have found a smart, honest, God fearing, Sunday School teaching, American loving, wife loving, agrarian, veteran, Southern Baptist, good ole boy, but instead found out all they got was just another liberal. Falwell was one of these folks.
To Falwell's credit he decided to not just whine about it, but to take action. For the first time in a long time, he told folks that they didn't have to leave their belief system at the voting booth door, but instead should find the person that best matched those beliefs and vote for them. And in 1980 they did, and put Ronald Reagan in the White House. In my mind this is the last, and only contribution Rev. Falwell made.
That success was all Falwell needed to appoint himself the grand inquisitor. He saw an * by the word neighbor in Jesus' words "love your neighbor as yourself", and wanted to determined who was qualified. He appeared to be in a search for the devil. His favorite two were abortion, and homosexuals. If Jerry had spent half as much time worrying about the condition of the born in this country as he did the unborn, he would have ranked right up there with mother Teresa. But hating gays was Jerry's special passion, and it was something he did better than just about anyone.
Jerry found homosexuals everywhere. Sponge Bob, and Tinky Winky, are probably the best two examples of those Jerry claimed were part of the great show tunes singing menace. And gays were responsible for seemingly everything that went wrong in America. The final straw was when he tried to pin 9/11 on gays. Even Bill Graham was thinking "Damn!".
But extremism breeds extremism and Rev. Falwell helped give us Bill and Hilary, Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, et al. Jerry forgot that they get to vote too.
I think Jerry Falwell can best be described from the words that precede the DC Talk song What if I Stumble -
[the greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.]