So, Jerry Falwell is dead. May his legacy of hatred and intolerance join him in the nothingness that I believe meets us all at death. May all the wickedness, cruelty, bigotry, and hypocrisy he spouted vanish into resounding silence for the future and instant forgetfulness smack into the minds of his followers with the same certainness in which his life ended (sans rapture, I might add).
I almost wish I believed in hell at times like this, for that is surely where Falwell would be right now if it existed. In sincerity, though, I simply wish that respect, tolerance, love, peace, kindness, gentleness, honesty, concern, care, and fun would find their way into the hearts of the Religious Right, and especially into their leadership.
Morality does not necessarily come with religious faith and, often, the opposite seems true: the louder the voice from the pulpit or the pew, the more immoral and irrational. Falwell did grievous wrong to his constituency and to all those who lent him even half an ear for half a moment. We can see it in his every word, but I don’t want to reprint them here lest they pollute the internet more than they already do. (But do visit Mark Morford’s Falwell column to read some of the saddest and most evil and know fully whereof I speak.)
When you’re through, you might want to read the wit and wisdom of that bizarre combination of iconoclast and neocon Christopher Hitchens at Slate.com or watch him on CNN, spouting anti-Falwell/anti-religion rhetoric with more persuasive and powerful gusto and sparkling white male Britishness than anyone else on the planet can muster (well, there’s always Richard Dawkins). I am so glad ethical athiests are starting to have some voice in the media!
To conclude, let me add how much I resent Falwell for making me have to write this blog entry. We all have better and more positive things to do with our time than combat the evil he spewed into the world in his power-mongering way...evil that will continue to impact this nation's populace and leadership, sadly, even after his death.
I think today would be a good day to plant a tree in reverent honor of a future without Mr. Falwell in it. And hug your LGBT friends. (Any excuse for a tree or a hug is good, eh?)