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Jesse Walker judges the cultural and media legacy of Jerry Falwell.

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  • thoreau||

    ...[and] constant pleas for the viewer's money. (For the benefit of my liberal readers: The latter resembled a PBS pledge drive, except you didn't collect your tote bag until you died.)

    And this, Jesse, is the reason why you are one of my favorite Reason writers. Jacob Sullum and Kerry Howley might cover more "colorful" beats, but I love the way you turn a phrase.

  • Sandy||

    In the immortal words of a cartoon art critic commenting on the nude portrait of Montgomery Burns, "He's bad, but he'll die. So I like it.".

  • stephen the goldberger||

    "the frequently ribald humor of Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

    you had me until i read that line.

  • ||

    As far as they were concerned, the revelation would not be televised.

    Oh Jesse. Did you have to?

  • biologist||

    Like earlier generations of conservative Christians, Falwell's audience was alienated from the modern world, especially the government and the mass media.

    And wouldn't we have all been better off if they had stayed that way, instead of attempting to influence the government to force their morals on the rest of us?

  • ||

    Hitchens has gotten a lot of face time out of Falwell's death. Unfortunately it seems to have taken a toll on him.
    By late last night he was on MSNBC and he looked completely stoned, seriously. He was as eloquent as he usually is, but damn, that film is going to come back to haunt him.

  • Cesar||

    "Hitchens has gotten a lot of face time out of Falwell's death. Unfortunately it seems to have taken a toll on him.
    By late last night he was on MSNBC and he looked completely stoned, seriously. He was as eloquent as he usually is, but damn, that film is going to come back to haunt him."

    Hitchens is a drunk, hes always lit up on booze every time I see him on TV.

  • ||

    Falwell's demise = one less field general on Eric Rudolph's side of the culture wars.

  • ||

    The problem with automatic condemnation of the messenger is that you tend to skew the message to mean what you want the object of your loathing to have said.

    From a basic, black and white perspective, Falwell was right 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" contributed to the 9/11 attacks -- because the attacks were done by people who believed that all of those things are of the Devil, and who believed that they were on a mission from God to strike at the country which harbored them.

    Rather than kneejerk over everything that someone you usually don't agree with might say, pay attention, and sometimes you learn something.

    Falwell recognized a key reason that we were targeted. Whatever his idea of a solution might have been is irrelevant to the truth that he discovered. If you were hitting your head with a hammer, and he had told you that the reason your head hurts is because you hit it with a hammer, it doesn't matter how stupid his suggestion of turning it around so that the claw hits might be -- he had found the basic problem.

    The Islamofascists hate us because our culture is stronger than their own. The reason that is it stronger is because we DO tolerate so many things, people and ideas which they condemn. This was the truth that Falwell hit on.

    The Muslim extremists are left with three choices -- they can ignore us, they can change and become strong, or they can try to destroy us, thus to "prove" the superiority of their own cultures.

  • ||

    I DESPISE THE GUYS, WHO CRITISIZE
    AND MINIMIZE THE GUYS WHOSE ENTERPRISE
    HAS MADE THEM RISE ABOVE THE GUYS WHO
    MINIMIZE AND CRITISTZE THE OTHER GUYS


    SO WHAT HAS THE AUTHOR EVER DONE TO HELP MANKIND??? HMMMMM

  • ||

    Good article. Tolerance as Falwell's legacy however? That man did more to divide the world than any other religious leader of modern times. Our current administration is the typical flotsam thats get elected in wake of fundamentalist uprisings. Falwell hijacked mainstream christianity to use for secular and political purpose and turned it into a grotesque parody. Fascism puts on a 3 piece suit and parades itself as the politics of morality.
    Everybody seems to have forgotten that Falwell was the main orchestrator of the demise of the charismatic christian movement that was led nominally by Jim Bakker. PTL ring any bells? Triumph of dogma over the holy spirit. Falwell was spiritually dead long ago.

  • ||

    I thought your article was going to be intelligent and objective but unfortunately it was light-weight and awash in liberal rhetoric. It appears that the homosexual movement has taken a page from Falwell. Is that what you are advocating???

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