Jerry Falwell has left us, and of course it goes without saying that all of our condolences and prayers are with his family at this sad time. Hopefully, he is in his beloved Heaven where his Lord Jesus Christ is welcoming him with open arms to his eternal resting place.
Unless, of course, Jesus is running through a long list of things, saying to a flabbergasted Jerry, "You got this wrong, and this, and this, and you really blew it on that. I mean, really, man."
Or, unless, there's no Heaven and he didn't go there, and there's no Hell and he didn't go there, either.
Falwell personally started politically active religious conservatism, an achievement on par with the creation of the civil rights movement, the women's movement, and malaria. Disillusioned traditionalists everywhere followed him like frightened bunnies, convinced that the greatest threat to America was not, say, insane religious fanatics who might blow you up, but insane immoral homos who might blow each other.
Falwell presided over the whole movement with his smug, beatific and jowly countenance, as if personally plugged in into the Almighty's hard drive. His words, and they were endless, inspired many to either applaud, reach for the booze or run screaming into the night. Behold just a few of his highly moral whoppers:
"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."
"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."
"The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."
"I hope to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we don't have public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them."
What a guy, right? And of course, let's not forget his piece de resistance:
After 9/11, on Pat Robertson's 700 Club, he said, "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.'"
Tonight, in bars, covens and clinics across America, the pagans, the abortionists, the feminists, the gays and the lesbians, not to mention the ACLU, PFAW and all those other heathens will be raising their cosmopolitans and high-fiving, indulging in a same-sex kiss in Jerry's honor. Larry Flynt will be popping wheelies. And Falwell's children - Dobson, Robertson, et al - will be elbowing each other out of the way to fill his void faster than chorus boys vying for a featured role.
Bette Davis once famously said of Joan Crawford," You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good!"