To those who were offended by my GTalk tag line, an explanation. To those who didn't see it, here's your opportunity to get offended. It went something like this: "Jerry's Falwell's death was a punishment, not just on Jerry Falwell, but on the church that tolerated him...."
Now, I'm not trying to be overly harsh, however I don't have any taboo about speaking ill of the dead or not confronting the views of a fellow Christian, however well meaning. Nor did I really mean that his death was his punishment. Hello, all people die eventually, and orthodox Christian teaching is that disease and death are the natural consequence of all human sin. But that's as far as I'm willing to take the judgment correlation.
The tag was a satirical comment, playing off Falwell's appalling comments assigning blame for the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, saying "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.'"
Now, as some of my friends have pointed out, maybe I'm not being fair. Isn't everyone entitled to a mistake or two? Sure they are. My question is this: at what point does a man compromise his position on a number of issues to the point that, while we may acknowledge he accomplished great things, we cannot wholeheartedly endorse him, even upon his death?
Falwell supported segregation, saying "When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line," and "I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.... who are known to have left wing associations."
He opposed sanctions on South Africa over apartheid, calling Archbishop Tutu a phony.
He said "AIDs is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.'
To sum up, I'd welcome my readers to give me examples of milestones in Falwell's career. However, I will not put on a sad face and wear a mourning band for a man I did not respect while he lived. I may be harsh, but I am no hypocrite.
If you think I'm mean, just think; I could have done this: