Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"The world lost a powerful bigot today." from What Jerry Falwell Taught Me by Joan Garry

< - "Memorial" on Castro Street, San Francisco (

Well, Jerry Falwell has died, he who loudly opposed racial integration of the Southern States of the US, he who was critical of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, he who famously promoted the notion that AIDS is God’s punishment, and “outer’ of Tinky Winky, the hand bag carrying Teletubby in the National Liberty Journal in February 1999.

"He is purple - the gay-pride colour; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle - the gay-pride symbol,"

He said later that the show's depictions of homosexuality were intentional. "As a Christian I feel that role modelling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children."

Some of internet commentary on this event has been interesting - the rejoicing over his death by some queers, or the mourning by fundamentalist bloggers (and there is a disturbing large number of them), and other people criticising the "burn in hell, bigot" sentiments expressed by the queers. I didn't hear those voices raised in criticism of Iraqis dancing in the street at the death of Saddam Hussein, or anyone who might rejoice at the passing of Hitler.... while Falwell didn't go out and kill queers, he created an environment that demonises queerness, that can justify a bashers actions. I am sick and tired of queers never being allowed to be strident and angry when others are publically indulging in hate speech. And I'm sick and tired of those who have never grown up knowing in your very core that there is something terribly, terribly different about you and that this is a very, very bad thing, and that you are going to hell for it, regardless of how much of a wonderful, kind person you try to be, feeling like they are in any position to be judgemental of queer bitterness at organised mainstream religion and the nuclear family - two of the key institutions that work so hard to convince us of how sick and wrong we are, from such a young age.

To celebrate his passing, here are some of my favourite Falwell quotes:

"Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them."
"Textbooks are Soviet propaganda."

"The whole (global warming) thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."

"(9/11 is the result of) throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...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 try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen."

Two great pieces that say more that I can at the moment about what is so damn wrong with Falwell: from the the Religious Freedom Coalition of the Southeast and What Jerry Falwell taught me

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