This morning the Rev. Jerry Falwell died at the age of 73 in his office of heart failure. Ron Godwin, Liberty University’s executive vice president, found the evangelical leader on the floor of his office unconscious and unresponsive. Far be it from be to speak ill of the dead…
Oh, who am I kidding? The only way I would’ve enjoyed this any more would have been if Godwin, who, I’m convinced, changed his name when he took the job at Liberty University, had found Falwell’s cooling corpse latched onto the hind-end of a handsome gay prostitute with Ms. Magazines spread over his office desk and pagan love candles burning on the bookcases. If Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” had been on repeat in the CD player I would have probably peed myself in glee.
Falwell represented everything evil and rotten with organized religion. He qualified his homophobic, misogynistic, bigoted, and racists beliefs with skewed and disgustingly distorted interpretations of the Bible, and he strategically manipulated his parishioners for political means. After 9/11 Falwell claimed that God allowed the terrorists to attack the United States because “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians” were turning our country into a secular state. He also called AIDS divine retribution for sodomy, although I noticed after Ted Haggard’s excellent adventure Falwell avoided damming someone that he actually knew.
And no, I don’t feel guilty at all for saying these things since he just died. In fact, I find the whole “don’t speak ill of the dead” philosophy rather repulsive. Why should we suddenly rewrite reality when someone passes away? Why one day is someone a total shithead, but the next day they’re suddenly a paragon of virtue? If I had to guess, I’d say the ridiculous belief in the sanctity of life fuels this mealy-mouthed outlook on the recently deceased. I’ll let George Carlin school you on the sanctity of life:
Thank you George.
No, Falwell was a giant douchebag in life, and now he’s a giant, dead, douchebag, and no amount of historical revision will change that. And no, I don’t feel that saying that is immoral–it’s just the truth.