What should we tell the children about Reverend Falwell…?

The Danville (VA) Register and Bee, the newspaper of record in my current city of abode, plastered the following headline on today’s front page:


The “HE” of that headline is Reverend Jerry Falwell who lived – and died, in one of life’s little symmetries – in the city of Lynchburg, VA, about 60 miles directly north of here if you drive up US 29. This region – Southside Virginia – is one of the most conservative in not just this state, but in the entire US. And Falwell was a heroic figure to many here.

One story amid the plethora of coverage the Register and Bee has offered about Falwell is a “local connection” story about Falwell’s numerous visits to the “Dan River region” (Danville lies on the banks of the Dan River which serves as part of the border between VA and NC). As one would expect, Falwell led revivals, preached weddings and funerals, and spoke as commencement speaker at Christian schools in the area.

In fact, it’s commencement speaking that allows us to see Falwell passing along some of his wisdom – if it can be called that – to dewy eyed graduates on their way to evangelical bastions of learning like Bob Jones University, Pat Robertson’s Regent University, or Falwell’s own Liberty University. Falwell told the students of Westover Christian Academy that the REAL challenge they would face would be building strong Christian families and remaining faithful to Christ in the new millenium:

“The challenge you face is more severe than that faced by your parents or grandparents,” he told them.

Falwell also warned the students about false challenges they would be told about:

“You will be told global warming is a challenge,” Falwell said. “That’s a myth. There’s a God in Heaven who made everything there is.”

What to make of this?

Well, the admonition to the kids to lead Christian lives is entirely dependent on his – and their – interpretations of what a “Christian” life is. That’s open to discussion, but it’s not irresponsible.

But telling kids that global warming is a myth? And that it’s just part of God’s plan? That’s either a) irresponsible; b) delusional; or c) apocalyptic code talk. Probably all three. There’s a holy trinity for you….

There’s a lot of hagiographic journalism drifting past me in these days directly after Falwell’s death. I’m even hearing vague allusions to him as a saint.

But any guy who’d purposely misinform young people about a danger to their futures like global warming is no saint.

And I suspect the aforementioned He (Falwell) is having to do some explaining to do to the other He or She for this – and other indiscretions.










8 replies »

  1. It seems that Jesus just cancelled Rapture again….. no mass migration for Fallwel, Roberson, Graham, Swaggart , Haggard and the rest of the crooks
    There is no explaining to do

  2. Don’t forget that this was Mr. Aparthide. He considered S Africa the model for the “christian” world. White men first, everyone else last. Also, since when do saints die of gluttony?

  3. Few individuals actualy deserve to spend eternity in hell.
    Falwell is one of the very few to whom I can honestly say,
    “god danm you to hell.”

  4. I’m with Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle who wrote in Inferno that an eternity of suffering was too much for even the most maligned souls.

    Yet another reason I don’t believe in the Christian God….

  5. WHY should children get mixed up with the religious BUSINESS perverter J.Falwell? If anything he is a bad role model and evil person who manipulated people via their BIGOTRY and espoused racism, sexism,
    hatreds, lack of decent human values.

    The “reverend business” is highly lucrative and the reverends are millionaires sucking off their people of faith. It’s not about God.
    It’s about the BOTTOM LINE, stupid…$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…

  6. There is no schadenfreude nor epicaricacy on my part over the demise of Jerry Falwell; I simply am enjoying a world without his twisted logic, convoluted thinking and outright un-Christian pratings.

    Now, if the Lord chooses to call home Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Donald Wildmon, et al, I won’t shed a tear…neither will I cheer. I WILL, however, feel like the world is back in balance…having been rid of a few divisive voices of vile vitriol.

    Perhaps we can disagree, now, without being disagreeable. Brother Falwell’s departure is, at least, a nice start.

    (OK, I lied about the schadenfreude part; I AM enjoying a Falwell-free world.)

  7. I know what to tell them–
    Tell them that Falwell is a shining example of the evils of organized religion made by man.
    Tell them he was a bigoted, two-faced thief who preyed on the weak.
    Tell them how he preached hatred of all non-caucasian men & women. Anyone who did not exhibit the narrow-minded thinking and vitriol about folks “different” than them.
    Tell them that he and others like him are largeley responsible for placing a below average student with delusions of grandeur into the presidency.
    Tell them how Falwell and others have stuck by this lunatic president and as a result, the US occupation is responisble for the deaths of 600,000 innocent Iraqis…..all so that the oil companies can get their hands on the second-largest oil reserve on the earth.
    Tell them that he has passed from this earth, hopefully just in time for the rest of us to be able to salvage something.
    In other words, tell them that he is one of the many impostors who call themselves “Christians”, who seemingly don’t understand what Christ was all about. This from someone who believes that organized religion is at the base of every problem we have in this world.

  8. If these things do truly come in threes, I’m hoping for Jesse Jackson and Rush Limbaugh next.