Honestly, I can't say that I'm all sad and heartbroken over the news of Jerry Falwell's passing. He was the worst kind of charlatan...a politician masquerading as a religious leader. While I understand the human decency in not speaking ill of the dead (out of respect for those who are mourning his loss), I don't think it should go without saying that he was the kind of person Jesus had warned followers about. It makes me wonder where his soul is right now. I'm thinking that it's in a self-imposed place that rhymes with the second syllable of his last name. But that's just my guess.
The quote that I hope people will always remember him by is this:
"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'."
Helped what happen, exactly? 9/11, that's what. That's right. It's the fault of the very people who are the outcasts in this society that is the cause for 9/11 happening!
Nope, it couldn't be because we had an incompetent president who preferred to read "My Pet Goat" to elementary school kids than take command of the situation.
Nor could it have been the fault of the very same president who preferred to clear brush on his ranch in August when the CIA delivered his Daily Presidential Briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."
Nor could it be the fault of a Vice President who was CEO of Halliburton and was dreaming up ways for getting our nation gung ho about war.
Let's go even further back...
Falwell got Evangelists to support Reagan over Carter (a true evangelical Christian) for president in 1980. As a result, we got a president who loved covert operations and helped aid and arm the likes of Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, and Osama Bin Laden, all three men our country later had to wage war against! Osama Bin Laden was a member of the mujahadeen fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In interviews, Bin Laden said that he was outraged in 1990 over the build up of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, because it is the site of the two most holiest shrines in all of Islam (Mecca and Medina). That's when he turned against his former ally. The Soviets were defeated and humiliated (Afghanistan was their Vietnam). Now, Bin Laden had his sights set on the next "Evil Empire" to defeat. Way to go, Reagan!
So...because of that history, one could very well hold Jerry Falwell as responsible in part for 9/11. His support of Reagan over Carter gave the actor a credible boost, and a lot of the seeds of our nation's current problems were planted in the Reagan years. The Republicans love to call Democrats "cut and run"...but it was Reagan who cut and ran after the Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983. To change the media story, he swiftly invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada to help "rescue" American students at the medical school there.
The real spiritual reason behind 9/11 is in our foreign policy. Simply put, we stick our military into too many other nations and we wouldn't like it if some foreign power tried that with us (as China may do at some point in our future). It is the sign of a hypocrite to hold others to a higher standard than he holds himself. And if there is one thing that is clear about Jesus in the Bible, he condemned the religious hypocrites far more than he ever did the poor, the destitute, the outcast. So, when an evangelical seeks to blame the outcasts for things that our government is partially responsible for causing, you know right there that the evangelical is a fake, a phony, a charlatan.
And where do charlatans go? Well, there is a huge spiritual price to pay when one leads a large group astray, especially one who knows better. For that reason, I do feel some sadness for where Falwell's soul may be roasting these days. If there is justice in the universe, he's in the same place as Reagan, Saddam, and probably Bin Laden (we haven't had a video tape on him in awhile. Hunch says he's long dead!). Though I don't believe hell is forever, I do believe that souls send themselves there, especially if they have caused some evil mischief on this planet. And Falwell sold his soul a long time ago. May God have mercy on it. We can all pray for his enlightenment, and maybe through a life review, he'll realize just how wrong he was...and that he is partially responsible for 9/11, not the people he pointed a finger at (when you point ONE finger at someone, you have FOUR pointing straight back at you!).