The right's no-quite-rejection of Falwell (was: A Bunch of Stuff...)

Russell Turpin
Wed, 22 Jan 2003 03:41:25 +0000

S. Alexander Jacobson:
>Regarding Lott and Falwell, if you were not
>ignorant you would know that they were condemned
>by right-wing bloggers and commentators across
>the board ..

The problem with most of these condemnations from
the right is that they didn't really go to what
Falwell said. Oh, yes, it was wrong to jump on
gays and secular humanists right after an attack
by religious terrorists, and oh, no, we don't
really believe Ga-awd is punishing America. The
unstated implication is that feminists, secular
humanists, and gays are enemies (just not as much
enemies as Bin Laden), and Jerry Falwell is right
to make his Biblical pronouncements on our nation
(but we don't quite agree with his interpretation).
There were precious few voices on the right who
came out and said that secular humanism and
feminism are just as much a part of American
history and ideals as Falwell's fundamentalism, and
that the fundamentalist tendency to interpret
national events by Biblical prophecy is just plain
dumb. THAT is the rejection that needed to be

The irony here is that conservatives are the first
to see when a socialist (back when there were
socialists) distanced himself from the PRACTICE, but
not the THEORY that led to the practice. They are
trying to do the same with Falwell's stupidities.
They want to distance themselves from the practice,
but not the theory which led to it.

Falwell's practice was quite consistent with the
theory. If you're a born-again, fundamentalist
Christian who reads politics from the Scofield Bible,
you shouldn't have much problem with what Falwell
said. Conversely, if what he said appalled you, then
what you need to figure out is which part of the
theory -- your religion! -- went wrong. THAT is where
any conservative condemnations of Falwell must focus,
if they are to be taken seriously, rather than shallow
attempts to distance themselves, only in perception,
only temporarily, from an embarrassment. I didn't see
any conservative condemnations that went that deep.
(Maybe Sullivan's? I don't recall.)

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